Is it true that free ebooks are rarely read after being downloaded?


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Thread: Is it true that free ebooks are rarely read after being downloaded?

  1. #1

    Is it true that free ebooks are rarely read after being downloaded?

    A few months ago, I successfully made the first book in my series installment perma-free. Despite the drastic increase in downloads, reviews are still slow. I even put in a friendly reminder before and after the story that leaving an honest review would be greatly appreciated. At the end, I have my characters ask for the reader to review in a fun way and even have the link there. I also include links to lead the readers to subscribe or buy the sequel.
    But I am having a feeling that most customers just download it because it's free. From last October to now, I think I reached more than a thousand people who received the book, either for free or paying (before it was perma-free). However, I only have 41 reviews on Amazon. I've been avoiding paying for review services, even if they only guarantee honest, unbiased reviews. So, do you think few are reading the book after they've downloaded it for free?
    I hear people online saying that people will download anything for free, even if they're not going to use them. Is that actually true?
    Children's Fantasy Author
    Hidden Content

    Purchase my book at Hidden Content

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by sunaynaprasad View Post
    I hear people online saying that people will download anything for free, even if they're not going to use them. Is that actually true?
    Unfortunately, I think so, yes. I'm guilty of it myself. I rarely get time to read for pleasure, once a year maybe, but I'll download free novels from authors I like to save for one of the days I might be able to read. Most times I know I won't be able to read them. But then I never grew out of collecting stories. That's not everyone, though, just a percentage.

    I have to admit, if I'm doing a free read, I don't really expect much in return. If I gain a few reviews from it, I'm happy. If not, because it's free, I can't afford to spend much time marketing it. That's not to say I don't spend time making it a very good free read: it gets a professional book cover, good formatting, editing etc. It's just once it's out, it's out.

    If it's something you want to spend a little more time on, I'd recommend trying a few more reviewing blog, only I'd personally avoid the paid reviewers.

  3. #3
    The dawg sleepindawg's Avatar
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    I personally read all the free E-Books I can get along with all the free and paid books in any form that I can get. What genre do you work in?

  4. #4
    My genre is middle grade fantasy.
    Children's Fantasy Author
    Hidden Content

    Purchase my book at Hidden Content

  5. #5
    I'm sure a lot of people just read it and not care about writing a review even when asked. If you are on social media, maybe try to get the people that downloaded it to follow you? I don't know what a good ratio would be but if 1,000 people downloaded your book and 250 of them later follow you on Twitter, that's probably gonna be more meaningful to you than 40 people writing reviews. It might not be good for getting Amazon reviews but you can target those 250 people that now follow you and hopefully buy something in the future.

  6. #6
    To increase reviews, maybe you offer a raffle giveaway for reviewers to enter...or is that against Amazon's policy now?

  7. #7
    I was considering that before, but I found out that it's against Amazon's review guidelines.

  8. #8
    I was first published about 30 years ago. My first book wound up sitting at number one on the B&N Fictionwise fantasy best seller list for around seven weeks. When Amazon changed its rules and when other publishers began attaching, to my mind, inappropriate requests to manuscripts, I decided to pull my books and offer them for free via a website I created using one of the free templates. At first, the change in review traffic was slow to nil, and then, earlier this year the reviews cropped up on the GR site, five stars. Remember, I was not on Amazon any longer. One writer wrote to me "How dare you!" (direct quote), as if offering books for free was somehow a crime.

    As an author, I do not recommend doing many freebie's, it does cheapen your image, unless, and those letters are in bold typeface, you have a way of explaining why and you have an audience, and your work is worthy of a decent price. The Kindle Unlimited is a good way to break into being published. Just remember, you are a minnow in a gigantic school of the same. There are ways of getting noticed, but most do cost a bit.

  9. #9
    I get round to reading everything I get in any form wether free or not. I don’t do reviews. I don’t have a confidence issue (I don’t have any so no issue). I honestly think my opinion doesn’t matter, why would anybody care.

    I wish I could get over that because that would mean I could participate here more.

  10. #10
    Try adding a LINK TO THE REVIEW PAGE at the end of the book (along with a short blurb begging them to post a review so you can feed your starving kids/cats/sex slaves.)
    I try to make it super-easy for the reader to post a link.
    I read one author who goes even farther; In addition to the review link, he has a link for beta readers.
    He doesn't go hunting for betas, they come to him.

    You can have links in eBooks. After all, they really are just web pages inside of zip file.

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