Happy Monday, everybody! We don’t have a giveaway planned for this week, but we have a special guest post from one of the nicest authors I have met! Alex Abaz has written many books that would help you in everyday life and your writing career, and I hope that you will check them out! Now, here is her guest post!
Why free eBook downloads and giveaways are not a super book deal for authors or readers and how reviews and ratings can help: An opinion piece.
Everyone wants a fantastic deal! But the best deal is not always the one that has a free price sticker on it or the one delivered via a volume-discount subscription service. Nowadays most everybody worldwide has access to lots of free content online. The reality of the situation is that without hesitation or deliberation over the integrity of the source, people spend a lot of their time browsing weird, wacky, and also wonderful content, simply because it’s free. Many readers are also in the habit of downloading free eBooks in case they feel like reading some day in their spare time. Even though most of the free eBooks downloaded never get read, authors keep offering more daily. People want free content and there are plenty of sites willing to provide it in order to attract more visitors. Free offers and giveaways are magnets for enticing customers to buy other goods and services. Is it possible that normal forces that should lead to a balance of supply and demand, don’t apply to publishing, given that not everyone is in it to earn book royalties? If this is the case, then authors who want to make money selling books should seriously re-evaluate the business value proposition and/or rethink their marketing and promotion strategy.
While book promotion and advertising of free eBooks has become big business, authors are starved for sales of both eBooks and printed books. Both independent publishers (indie’s) and traditional publishers are struggling to survive in this disrupted marketplace. One might speculate that only sales of eBooks are depressed and not paperbacks, but this is not the case. Since readers get what they need from digital content, they can forego buying other media, including paperbacks. Surely professional writers haven’t resigned themselves to working for free forever. I believe that by hook or by crook, this situation will right itself, even if it’s hard to see how right now. It’s clear to me that authors are not doing themselves a big favor by giving away eBooks for free and adding to the oversupply of free online content. In the meantime one might say that readers benefit from it but do they really?
Amazon offers customers a choice of monthly subscription services that gives them streaming rights to unlimited online eBooks and digital media. To secure a large inventory of eBooks, Amazon encourages authors to enroll as many book titles as they have, in the streaming program. Authors have to give Amazon exclusivity in order to earn pro-rated royalties on actual eBook pages that customers read. More eBooks in the stream gives customers access to a larger library, making the service seem attractive. Because Amazon and other online book stores have made it really easy to publish books online, the supply is topped up daily. Consequently, it’s not surprising that self-publishing has led to a glut of books. But just because a book is published and sold at a discount or given away for free, doesn’t mean it’s worth reading. A poorly written book or one with wrong information is a cautionary tale. The first rule for readers of online content is to be skeptical of everything – always seek verification from reliable sources before believing it.
Readers can easily read books online for free and download eBooks, but how do they know what to pick and are they picking the best of the best? For one thing, bestselling authors don’t usually give their books away. That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of great books that never make it to the best seller’s rank but are worth reading just the same. Also, some traditionally published authors are not free to add their books to this unlimited subscription stream. Even if the subscription service included everyone’s book, how do you know what to choose, unless someone recommends a specific book to you? Otherwise, it’s like searching for a needle in a haystack.
My suggestion to readers is to choose your next book deal based on book reviews, book ratings, and recommendations, and not based on the price sticker. In a market where eBooks are ridiculously cheap, there’s an opportunity cost to consider. You can choose to read a highly-rated book or one that is mediocre. Book reviews can help you choose books that are worth your time. This is the best way of landing on a super book deal.
I’d love to hear your point of view on this topic. Are readers and authors doing themselves a favor binging on free eBook downloads? If you’re a reader: are you a book buyer or a browser? When you buy a book, how do you choose what to buy? If you’re an author: do you sell more books than you give away? Would you ever join an alliance of authors agreeing not to offer their books for free? All comments are welcome.
Alex Abaz, Author
Internet Marketing Tips-4-Clicks (Amazon Link)
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Internet Marketing Tips-4-Clicks
Goodreads Summary: Internet Marketing: Tips-4-Clicks gives you expert tips on how to use the internet as the cornerstone of your marketing strategy, outlines best practices for promotion via social networks and your website, and specifies how to measure and analyze results.
YOU will LEARN:
~ what MISTAKES to avoid with your social media marketing strategy – do’s and don’ts;
~ how to boost audience INTERACTION based on research data and psychological behavior;
~ how to optimize social media POSTS to amplify organic reach;
~ how the top social media NETWORKS compare and which one to choose;
~ how to optimize social and SEO factors to rank higher on SEARCH results (SERP);
~ how to boost TRAFFIC to your website and convert LEADS to customers;
~ how to optimize your WEBSITE and BLOG for the best user experience;
~ what content types work best and how to CRAFT visual CONTENT (for free on a shoe string);
~ how to distribute and PROMOTE your content — with inbound and outbound marketing practices.