Rebecca Graf is a seasoned writer with nearly a decade of experience and degrees in accounting, history, and creative writing.
Though we often hear the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”, so much so it has become a cliché, with ebooks we should be modifying that to be “don’t judge a book by its price.” It is true, it has become easier for people to just piece together a first draft of something and have it available for purchase but this doesn’t mean good books and great writers have become extinct.
To be noticed, often times these writers with a passion for it reduce the cost to $0.99 or even free in hopes of increasing downloads and being seen more often by other fans. It’s true, not all authors are in it for the money and love just writing for the freedom of it but a paycheck would reassure them and allow them more time and freedom to create the stories you love.
We have all heard of Amazon’s KDP Select program, allowing authors up to five days of free book listing. To some readers simply on the prowl to fill their ereader this is like picking dandelions from a front lawn and storing them for years with no intention to look at them again. Even this helps the author as each download increases visibility among the crowd. What helps more is when the downloader does read the book and review it in lieu of payment. Authors get it, not everyone has $15 to pay for a book and are generous in decreasing their price to accommodate. Writing a review for that same book you enjoyed is free, too but carries tremendous value to the writer.
Here are five reasons you shouldn’t hesitate buying that $0.99 book or downloading a free one:
1. You'll Make the Author's Day
Your one download will have a ripple effect. Like contagious smiles, having you download a book at a low cost will ensure it shows up more for other browsers and raise the ranking of the book. The author will be delighted when they check their rank or sales report and see that their story is in the hands of, we assume, another reader who could fall in love with their writing.
2. It's a Gift to You
Think of it as a taste testing booth. You know the ones, tables set up throughout grocery stores offering a bit sized portion of a product they have. Although these tables don’t directly charge you they are now occasionally asking for your opinion on which item you prefer. It costs you nothing, you still get to taste delicious food and decide to either buy some or pass.
Authors do the same. If they have written multiple books, sometimes in the same series but not always, they want to offer you a teaser. A hook, if you will, to try their shorter story in order to fall in love with their writing style and purchase more for a higher price. And if you weren’t a fan of the first one enough to go back consider writing a respectable review anyway so they can more easily find readers who will like their work.
3. Every Little Bit Counts
Growing up and deciding to be a writer people often hear “but what will you do to make money?” or “there’s no money in writing”. Authors often prove them wrong and I’m not just talking the J.K. Rowlings or Stephen Kings out there. Authors tend to be creative on how they make their money but they all have imaginations and like to use them.
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Every book sale profit is split several ways so $0.99 doesn’t pay for much in the end but for the reader it does pay for an often great story. For the reader buying an ebook for less than a dollar is cheaper than their daily coffee or tea and your tip can be free (just a short review).
The difference between spending $0.99 on a book and $3.00 on a drink – the book lasts forever. It doesn’t go away from your e-reader so you can enjoy it again and again and it doesn’t lose its flavour after you brush your teeth!
4. Authors Want Readers
Thought a lot of writers would love to get paid what they are worth, it’s often more important to know doing what they love is worth it. For anyone who writes, knowing someone is reading their story is worth more than any money someone can give them.
5. It’s Affordable
Ebooks are oftentimes and impulse purchase but better for you than the selection of chocolate bars at the cash register—and often cheaper, too! If you love to read you can basically go trick or treating online and you only need to fill your collection with what you want—not what everyone is giving.
So I encourage you now to stop reading this (it’s over anyway) and find a freebie or inexpensive book for you or a loved one. Your download makes a difference!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Ronald E Franklin from Mechanicsburg, PA on September 11, 2018:
I've been using Bookbub to find free eBooks on Amazon. Usually I'm disappointed due either to the quality of the writing, or to the excessive use of coarse and obscene language. At this point I wouldn't pay anything for an eBook by an untried author because what I consider quality material seems so hard to find. On the other hand, if I found an author I liked, I'd start purchasing entire series.
Larry W Fish from Raleigh on April 16, 2018:
Rebecca, I realize that ebooks are the thing of the present and I am sure the future. However, as the saying goes I am from the old school. I enjoy having that printed copy of a book in my hands, turning the pages, and know that I have the pleasure of what I feel is what a book should be.