Free or Not To Free....That's a Million Dollar Question

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! Today in The Locker we discuss the concept of the price set for books, and how the price may not exactly set a priority status on someone’s reading list.  If you are an author or editor, you understand the plight of too many books, not enough time. It seems I rarely have time to enjoy reading for pleasure, but, found myself determined to make it happen. I needed a few books on the old smart phone library for those moments I could steal for reading.
(Most of the time, this is my book of choice:)
But, I digress...I'm good at that.
Therefore, over the course of the past few months, I downloaded a few choices from Amazon simply because the author temporarily set the price as free for a promotional period, or set it at a .99 publicity price. Of the choices I downloaded, I admit, not many truly captured my interest- but, they were free, so why not?
I recently realized that just because the author offered the book for free, it did not move that book up on my priority reading list. How many more other readers do the same thing? Authors offer books for free to promote their work and gain readers. BUT, if readers download the free book, yet never read it, what has the author gained?
Okay, let me give a completely different example. A friend of mine worked as a real estate agent in Colorado. One of her listings included a nice home in a competitive price range. The house received no bites for at least a month. The agent suggested the tactic of increasing the price of the home, the owners agreed---it sold in a matter of days.
Does that make sense?  Not really to savvy consumers.
Maybe it’s best to offer the book for .99? If a reader has a vested financial interest in the book, it might persuade them to not only read the book, but, move it up in the priority reading list. Am I totally off base here? I do not personally have any sales stats for my books set at promotional prices. However, the experiment intrigues me. I research most things before I just jump on in.
I really want feedback on this topic, not just from authors, but, from readers. You guys remain the ones we want to please and provide entertainment for. Let’s play devil’s advocate, give me your slant of experience, help me understand the marketing gimmick behind the philosophy. Does it really work as well as we want it to?
By the way, @ePrintedBooks is shaking things up on Twitter, give them a follow. They follow back and retweet- what’s greater marketing than word of mouth or internet? J Please also visit them at  or
Until next time Fathomers….


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