Saturday, March 2, 2013

Free Series Starter Books

Like a lot of indie authors, I use the 'first book free' marketing strategy. They are all the first books in a series, however, so please, if you’re only looking for free e-books, don’t download mine that are free. I really don't want to disappoint people. Recently a reader emailed me to tell me how angry and frustrated she was after reading The Queen’s Blade, only to be unable to continue the series because she couldn’t afford the rest of the books. This made me feel really awful. I’m not trying to trick people. It clearly states on the books that they're the first of a series, and now I have added a disclaimer, stating that the rest of the series is not free.
I see the free books as a 'try before you buy' marketing strategy, so people don't buy books they may not enjoy and then feel cheated. Then I'm sure I'd have got plenty of emails from people complaining that they paid for a rubbish book. If you enjoy the first books, chances are, you'll enjoy the rest of the series. It's not intended to be sneaky or unsavoury; it's a way to boost my readership so I can make the books I do sell reasonably priced.

Without the backing of a publisher and the publicity it would provide, I must try to market the books myself. There would have been no point in publishing 31 books for free, from my point of view. I would be throwing away 20 years of writing, years of editing and weeks of cover design and creation, and had I charged for the first books, my sales would have been abysmal as an unknown indie author. I always recommend to up and coming indie authors who ask for advice to make their first books free to get their name 'out there' if they want to be successful. Many, who had been struggling for years making next to no sales suddenly found their sales skyrocketing once people had a chance to read their work and realised it was good. Then readers were happy to pay for more.

Many retailers encourage authors to make the first few pages or chapters of a book free as a sample, which amounts to the same thing; if you enjoy it, you'll want to keep reading. It's also like a movie trailer, which gets you all excited by how great the film looks, but you have to go to a cinema to watch it. Even a book's blurb and cover are intended to entice people to buy it. Look at it as you’re getting a free e-book, and if you enjoy it, the rest of the series is easily available and reasonably priced, too. The free e-books are: The Queen’s Blade, Demon Lord, The Cyber Chronicles - Queen of Arlin, The Broken World – Children of Another God, and Slave Empire – Prophecy. All of them are available on

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