With Amazon's free promo facility, there are so many readers that don't "buy" anymore. They just scan the free lists. I know this for a fact. I recently read it in an Amazon forum.
What is the future for us? Don't you think the value of our work is being degraded? Isn't this giving out a message that literature isn't worth paying for? I think it's only going to get worse.
I did a free promo for Twisted Velvet Chains at the beginning of the year. Initially I thought it was a good idea. Easy way to get exposure. But I also noticed, after doing the free promo, that it stopped selling. So was it a good idea after all? Will any of the 3000 that downloaded the book actually read it? Who knows ...
There's nothing wrong with giving away free work. In fact, I would advise that writers give away as many copies of their work as possible. But after a lot of thought, I think it's more beneficial to have control over who gets it for free. Give give give, but give wisely. Ultimately, I think the randomness of Amazon's free promo is going to destroy us. It's sending out the wrong message: Download me for free because I'm not really worth the money.
Can you imagine a supermarket opening an online shop which gives away Kellogg's cereal for free? No one would want to buy their cereal anymore would they? They'd just go and get it for free. Why spend money when you don't have to, right?
This is dangerous.
What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts.
PS: Many thanks to Tricia and Elizabeth for highlighting Fabric on their blogs today!