Here is a common dilemma for indie authors. Voices all over the independent publishing industry cry out for you to give away a full novel. The rationale is this. When you are an unknown, you need to build reader trust. Readers love to read. They are willing to spend money on high value entertainment. And they are willing to invest their valuable time reading if the read is satisfying.
Smashwords lets indie authors offer a price of $0.00
Enter the indie author, unknown to all. Solution, give away a book. Price it at zero. Let readers decide if you as an author are worth their time and entertainment budget.
I did that with one book. It wrenched my heart to do it. But the book garnered momentum. Thousands of copies of the book were ‘purchased’ for free. Then, I launched a new book with an appropriate ebook price. Suddenly, the free book had a spike in downloads. It was as if prospective readers went to the free ebook first to see if they should buy the new book.
So, would there be a way to do the same on Amazon?
In a great blog for authors, I found a suggestion I’m going to follow.
Indies Unlimited: How to Set Your Book Free on Amazon
The blogger went to his/her Amazon Author Central Page and sent an email to Customer Service. The ask was for Amazon to price-match the ebook that was offered free at other retailers. The author included the URLs for the book at the other sites, so customer service could verify the free pricing on other sites quickly and easily.
Since the price of ‘free’ is in essence a loss leader for an author, it seems wise to at least ask for the price match and appeal to the most readers possible.