You Get What You Pay For—Why You Should SELL Your Books

The title says it all.

I’ve been through this multiple times while trying to market my own stories.  For the sake of gaining “popularity”, I would make my book free, and smile to myself as people “bought” my free book.

After I was done congratulating myself, I wondered why those same people didn’t buy the second book, which actually had a price-tag.

Image result for pic of free sign

Did they not like my first book?  Maybe.  But the truth is, I don’t think they ever read it.  Because it’s easy to download a free book and “show your support”.  But it’s harder to actually PAY for a novel…and when you PAY for a novel, you’re obliged to read it.

This is the magic of money.  Making your book worth money produces an HONOR system.

If you have successfully written a novel and you would like to market it, my advice is to SELL it, not give it away.  You worked hard to write that book, right?  Then why just give it away?  Are you really gaining loyal readers that way?


Loyal readers will buy your books.  They will take the time to read it.  Maybe they’ll write a review, maybe they won’t.   But the mark of a loyal reader is how willing he or she is to spend money on your book.  In the end, that’s really the best way to tell if you’ve hooked your audience.

Related image
This is what it looks like when you’ve hooked your audience

If something is severely under-priced at the supermarket, isn’t this a sign of poor quality? Naturally, in the world we live, we can be suspicious of an item if it’s priced either too low or too high.  Too high, and we don’t want to buy.  But if something is priced too low, is it even worth our time?

Now I know I’m not a great marketer.  All of this is my opinion.  Maybe selling freebies works for you, but it hasn’t produced a positive outcome for me.  Each person needs to find his or her style of promotion.

But, whatever your style is, make sure that people know what your story is worth!

What do you think?  Do you think freebies are a bad idea?  What are your experiences?


6 thoughts on “You Get What You Pay For—Why You Should SELL Your Books”

  1. Great stuff as usual. We’re actually in a similar situation, and of a similar mind. The thing about making (at least temporarily) a book free is that, for a new author, it allows you to reach some readers and hopefully get some reviews–otherwise your book’s just going to get buried. When we made our first novel free, it got numerous downloads, but not a single review from all those downloads, which was basically the whole point. So…yeah. Not convinced of the benefits of making your novel/story free. Thanks for the read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah. See that us definitely ashame! I feel like people buy the fred copy to be nice, or because they are only partially interested. But it’s not the same as someone buying your book, because that person will feel obligated to read it. And what’s good is that the sense of obligation won’t be coming from you, it will be coming from themselves, since they chose to spend the money on your story. The problem is that finding these types of people is a lot harder!


  2. I made a conscious decision to make my first novel free for a number of reasons, mainly because I wanted to give something to the reading and writing community, like a gift. Haven River was free for eight months. I think it generated about 10 downloads. Since putting it up on Amazon I’ve sold two copies 😦 but have my first review with five stars – yes! I haven’t regretted the decision to make it free but all my books going forward will be for sale.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I don’t blame you for making your book free! I mean, like I said, I did that too. I was hoping that I would hook people with the first book and then they would pay for all subsequent books. It just didn’t work out that way.
      Everyone has to find their own way I suppose, there is no roadmap!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have not considered any freebies really. But selling your own book is truly hard work and not for the faint. Having a demanding full-time job is not helpful to this endeavor either! I say put a price tag on it and if someone wants it they will buy it. If they don’t it was excellent practice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said. It’s true that having your book as a freebie makes everything easier, because it’s easier to market. If you put a price tag on your story, marketing becomes harder. But I’m sure it’s worth it in the end.


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