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Author advice: A free eBook made me buy

Author advice: A free eBook made me buy 4.67/5 (93.33%) 3 votes

by Madeline Sloane

It works. I just wanted to share that with you. The concept of offering one free eBook by an author — especially an eBook in a series — worked, and tempted me to buy eBooks with my iPad last month.

I finished reading the first book – A Lesson in Passion by Jennifer Connors – then secretively used my iTunes account to login and purchase the next two books in the series. The hook set firmly and I finished the series. Not bad, I thought. The books, not the marketing technique. Pretty good, I thought about the marketing.

>> See where to find free ebooks here

free-ebook-coverIf you’re a reader new to the eBook download system and building a library, remember that free reads is just the first step. Actually investing $1.99 or $3.99 in a new book isn’t that bad… but I admit that I cringed.

I’m notoriously stingy when it comes to spending money on the Internet. But I justified it because it was a satisfying purchase, I didn’t have to leave the house and drive to the library — wasting fossil fuel in the process, not to mention having to put on shoes and (heavens forbid!) a brassiere.

When I’m home reading and relaxing in the recliner, I generally am dressed casually and have a cat on my lap and a glass of red wine on the side table. When I finish one book, I’m not interested in getting up, much less going out.

If you are still reading on a desktop computer, consider purchasing an eReader. I love my eReader, a 3G  iPad. I’ve installed the iBooks app, as well as the Amazon, Borders and Barnes & Noble apps, and I keep my library full. Usually I download the free books from Project Gutenberg, but I can only read Pride and Prejudice and A Scarlet Letter so many times. It’s important to me to see what — and how — other romance writers are writing.

Oh yeah, I should add that my husband also purchased an eBook for his iPad, and the latest Tom Clancy novel put him back $13.99. “Because it was a book. I was going to buy a book anyway,” he said, justifying the amount. “I was going to buy the audio book instead, but you told me it was too much money.”

I rolled my eyes at the exorbitant price but I know it’s because the publisher and iTunes/Amazon/Borders/Barnes & Noble set the price.

That’s why I admire the independent spirit of the self-published writer. We can set our own prices and oversee our own marketing. Who says our work isn’t as good as Clancy’s or John Grisham or even Nora Roberts? Only you, the reader, can give us that accolade.

“A free eBook made me buy more” by Madeline Sloane is licensed under Creative Commons, and based on a work at

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