Free Books - I have an opinion about these. They're a great marketing tool for an author to get their wares out and be sampled, attract new readers to a series or their writing in general. But when you download a free book, how many do you get around to reading? Some hoard these books, and most of the time the ones they end up reading are the books they paid for. We all like free stuff, but how likely are you to actually read all of the free downloads? Especially if you're one of those people who have hundreds. (And you know who you are!)
Will I ever drop my books to free? Never say never, but chances are...never. I've labored too long in conceiving these stories, writing them, building the world and characters to distribute them to the passes for nothing.
I often wonder if readers who see these have any formulated opinions about them. The first that comes to mind is "indie". The savvy reader will know that many of these 99 cent books are written by indie authors. That is NOT a bad thing - there are some hidden gems out there! I don't know how many famous trad published authors I yawned through the pages reading. So one should never base their opinion on that.
Then there is the "up to snuff" factor. True, many indie author's do not have the available resources that traditionally published authors do (meaning the highest paid editors). But, many do hire very expensive editing services. Some work, some don't. I've seen mixed results and opinions on the matter. I think what I find most interesting is the disclaimer on an average review, pointing out the flaws before going into the fact they liked it. I had one such review on a site that specifically pointed out a typo about throwing up in Justus's luxurious kitten.
That's not a typo.
That's Silver's sarcasm spilling out, calling his car a kitten (engine's purr, and men have ridiculous terms of endearments for their machines). I had to laugh, because that is a case of the literal reader. Otherwise, it was a wonderful review. But it had me scratching my head about reader perceptions. I suppose I might be guilty of it too, and sometimes it's simply a disconnect when it's different regions of the country, or different countries all together.
But, word replacements do happen. Editing software won't catch it, and often an author too close to their own story won't either. Sometimes an editor won't even notice. Anyone who has been following my blog knows where I've started and where I hope to go, and you're here because you might be curious enough to follow this journey. Sometimes I intentionally misspell words (Like a scene where i use the word "Dahling" - because it emphasizes the playful accent that Sunny is giving in a scene. Also, as previously posted, I have specific rulebreakers on capitalization in regards to my breeds. Of course I know it isn't without flaws. I've never been a flawless girl.
But did it ruin the story for me? Yank me away? No! It has nothing to do with lower standards, either. In the real deal world, I speak this way, and sometimes it carries through a book effectively. When I get sucked into a story, the writing is important but sometimes that takes a back seat to my imagination. The only reason it rubs me the wrong way is that they're not often pointed out and the books cost a lot more. They're also not easily fixed, because that's the printed and copyrighted version.
So, does 99 cents mean it's going to be a "meh" book? I don't think so. I've seen lots of great reviews out there for 99 cent books. Am I one of those people who raises a brow when I see 56 5 star reviews on them? Um, guilty as charged. Do they have 56 friends, 56 cousins? lol Not everyone likes every book, and I do get scared away from reviews when they are all glorious 5 stars. I like to see mixed reviews so I can read exactly what readers didn't like to see if that would be a big deal to me. That's what you're going to get with me, because I haven't asked any review blogs to take on my book, nor have I solicited any reviews from friends or family. My books won't appeal to everyone, and I'm okay with that. I totally respect readers, because I AM one! The really cool thing is that there are a lot of people who DO like it. All of you have been supportive in your reviews, emails, comments, and even recommending this book to your friends. It means a lot, and I appreciate all of it - even if it's just a comment about how you love the cover I made.
On the price cuts: often these author's are lowering the price temporarily to attract readers. Notice how many are book 1 of a series. Give them a chance, and see if you can discover the next best thing to sliced bread.
Imperfections aside, I still have a love for my story that I would have set the price higher. The price isn't set because we hold less value in the book.
If you have any great book recommendations in the bargain bin you've discovered online, drop a comment! I'd also like to know your opinion on free books, if you download more than you'll ever read, and where on your priority list they end up.
Now, because it's Friday, I need to put on my jeans and get myself out into the real deal world.