Make More Off Your eBook by Selling it for Free

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In recent weeks, we’ve made some pretty big announcements about eBooks: an industry best 90/10 revenue split, distribution to Barnes & Noble’s NOOK, a handy new Word to EPUB Converter, and a new Manage Distribution page that lets you opt-in and opt-out of retail channels with the click of a button.

We’re on such a roll, why stop now?  The opportunities eBooks bring to reach new readers is so great, we just keep looking for ways to enhance our e-offerings even more.

Today, we’re happy to announce another eBook feature to give you more selling flexibility over your digital works:  Free pricing.  eBook authors can now distribute and sell their eBooks in the iBookstore with a price tag of $0.00.

Make it free

Right about now I’m sure you’re asking: “How will being able to sell my eBooks for free get me more sales?”  Well, the answer is simple:  Everyone loves free.  Heck, we’ve built a business off the principle with our free publishing solutions.

So far we’ve seen authors use free pricing in a number of clever ways to better market their works:

  • Free eBook Previews: Letting your readers sample the first chapter or two of your eBook is a great way to get them hooked on your story and more likely to but the complete work.
  • Supplements to Your Print Version: This is a great way to keep your fans interested in your work, even after they’ve finished reading it.  A free supplement could include character bios, background details on how you started your story, etc.  Think of it almost like your own creator’s commentary for your book.
  • Word of mouth: In an article in the Guardian, best-selling author Cory Doctorow says nothing sells books better than word of mouth. “Personal recommendations…enabled by freely copyable eBooks act as a force-multiplier…by letting readers make informed guesses about who else will like it, and giving those readers a persuasive tool for closing the sale.” Most readers buy a book because someone recommended it to them.
  • Impulse buying: Doctorow goes on to say that “the Internet’s attention span is about five minutes, so unless the reader can do something affirmative to acquire the book within five minutes of being enticed by the eBook, there is a good chance they never will.”
  • Best-seller Lists: Remember, most e-readers count and display best-sellers on actual units sold, not how much money the author has made. According to the New York Times, currently more than half of the best-selling eBooks on some of the most popular e-readers are available at no charge.   Getting to the top of the best-seller list guarantees better visibility.

Experiment to find what works

So there you have it, you’re now free to play around with your pricing however you want to better reach your readers.  To learn more, or to start your own eBook with just a few clicks of a button, visit our eBook publishing page.

127 thoughts on “Make More Off Your eBook by Selling it for Free”

  1. Adrian Middleton

    Hi Aj, great tips here!
    I’m planning on creating and selling some ebooks in the very near future but would like to run some ideas past you if that’s ok?

  2. No esta claro para mi adonde enviar la historia. Tengo varias escritas y son cortas. Tambien me gustaria publicar mi libro de poesias con lulu, pero ?donde estan? Poetry.com le vendio el domain a Lulu.com, y no se que hicieron con mis escritos. Puede usted ayudar?

  3. First of all I love your title, “Selling it for Free”.
    Another way authors are “Selling it for free” is to release free portions of their new books on their websites and build demand for the print version before it is released.
    Thanks for the other tips on “Selling it for free”.

  4. Thanks for the article. A free ebook is a great way to get more people reading your material. If they like what you offer them for free they will be more likely to buy from you in the future.
    The key is to make your free content stunning. Don’t hold back. Many people think if the information is too good people won’t feel the desire to buy from you but the opposite is true.

  5. Free ebooks is good. But is it worth to read these “Free” ebooks. The question is all about the content. Many people like to download but left it rusty in their hard drives.

  6. Hi,
    I’m looking into setting up an ebook online store and was wondering if you can get books off a free domain can i then put them on my website if i decided to build one?

  7. Hey,
    This is a really interesting post and it has given me some ideas for my novel. Here’s the idea: To take the prologue and first two chapters and sell as a free e-book. I would just like to know: For the cover of this e-book, should I use the novel’s cover or a different one? And if I do use the novel’s cover should I include text on there that says something like “Preview of first few chapters”? Please let me know your opinion, it is much appreciated.
    Sincerely,
    Kira4Inu (Author of Last Shred of Hope)

  8. I have always loved free, I built a website around free – to help children’s book authors (like myself) promote ebooks (for free!). “Free” has really helped me, on reviews, exposure, networking, As a bonus I’ve got great targeted traffic.

    1. Great comment, Danielle! Thank you for sharing those insights. So glad to hear that “free” is helping you with reviews, exposure, Web traffic & networking. That’s exactly the kind of marketing advice that is really helpful for all our authors. Thanks!

  9. Pingback: Lulu Blog » How Free Books Build Your Brand as an Author and Authority

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