3 Reasons to Offer Your Writing for Free
1) Establish a relationship with your readers – people are much more likely to take a chance on something that is unfamiliar to them if it is free. You can reach people who otherwise would not have read your work. (A word of caution about this below!)
2) Point people towards your other works – if someone likes your writing style, theme, plot, point of view, setting, voice, then they are much more willing to check out your other works and, yes, get ready for it, even pay for them.
3) Build momentum for an upcoming book release – timing is everything with this one.
1) Have more than one horse in the race. If you have only one book and you are giving it away to build momentum and reach new readers, once they read it, they are probably through with you. It is difficult to ask readers to wait for you, keep you in mind, and COME back to you when you have something else to offer them. Create more than one work, so if your readers love your free book, they can find more works by you.
2) A word of caution – people will try things ONLY because they are free. You may have lots of new readers, but they may not be YOUR readers. This is the dark side of the free book, the giveaway. Even if your book description says that your novel is only for people who love violin playing vampires, people who HATE vampires, especially ones that play the violin, will try out your book because it is free. Just a word of caution… do with it what you will.
For more info on why giveaways NO longer work to boost sales or why you shouldn’t expect miracles from them, read Russel Blake’s post – Great Until it Isn’t – especially the comments.