Free Books from Amazon Making Authors Broke

Amazon Kindle marketplace helps some authors and hurts others as free books are pushed as the normal means to promote books.
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Oct. 14, 2012 - PRLog -- New Orleans, LA - The Amazon kindle marketplace is literally growing larger by the second.  New authors and experienced authors are publishing their books to the kindle marketplace where more than 300 million registered Amazon buyers are looking for the next great book to read.

This growing market place has the potential to either make authors a great deal of money or get completely lost in the tidal wave of books.

With so many books being published it can often make it difficult to find the quality books really worth reading. It’s tough for a new author to get any visibility when competing side by side with Best Sellers that have major public relations and marketing companies and budgets promoting their books worldwide.

Amazon has come up with a way to help authors get more attention — free books.  

But, is this practice doing more harm than good?

Some independent publishers say by giving away free books, it forces Authors to work for free, devaluing their work and ultimately turning their craft into a commodity.  

It is further argued that the continued decline in average book prices, combined with the increasing number of books and the ease of digital distribution will drive many would be authors to other fields where they have a more reliable source of income.

Whether or not this is the beginning of the end of high quality literature remains to be seen.

Other publishers take a different approach acknowledging that sometimes you have to give a little before you can get.  One such publisher, Mr. Bray of noted,  "Giving away books for a limited amount of time can really build some buzz, especially if you have a great book. If the reader then leaves a good review, you are much more likely to make sales in the future."  

He noted that,  “Until I actually started to give away my books, I literally sold zero copies.  I just didn’t have any audience for the book and people weren’t willing to risk their time or money on something they didn’t know.”

Aspiring Author, Jeff Mayer of the said, "I'm still finishing up my first book, but will definitely use free pricing to help spread the word."

For many publishers giving away free books has become a new cost associated with marketing.  They can either spend money to get attention, or give a book away.  For those publishers on a small budget, giving away books tends to make more financial sense.  It also allows the ability to get critical feedback and Amazon reviews.  Books without any reviews generally do not sell.  

The added bonus of giving away free books is that the more downloads you have the more time the book will be displayed to Amazon customers.  For instance if a customer downloads you book for free, and has also paid for a Best Seller, your book could potentially been shown to a much wider audience of people interested in the Best Seller.

In the new age of publishing there have been several success stories built entirely in the kindle marketplace.  Some books such as 50 shades of grey have outpaced the sales of traditional books, forcing traditional publishers to reinvent their business models as the Internet continues to disrupt traditional industries.

Mr. Bray is currently running a free book promotion “Sweat Equity: Building a House at Half Cost”
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Tags:Amazon Kindle, E-books
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