Today on my Facebook Timeline I asked people how often they bought books. I was surprised by some of the answers I received. And it wasn’t in the totals…but how they approached and purchased.
No free ebooks – A couple of people said they don’t download free ebooks at all. One said that if a free ebook catches her attention that she’ll buy it when she can if the price is decent, instead of downloading it for free.
My response – I usually download free ebooks in my genre for research. I’ve had good and bad experiences with the ebooks I’ve downloaded, but it’s a cheap way to do my homework. (Most free ebooks are crap, but there are good ones mixed in. I suggest taking advantage of the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon to see if the writing and plot are worth the effort.) I set my ebooks as free once in a while in the hopes of getting more reviews or new readers.
No ebooks period – One person responded that they only buy paperbacks and don’t even have an ereader.
My response – I can understand this as I was slow to get on the ereader bandwagon. But, I did mention that they could get free apps and that I read more books now that I have a Kindle app on my phone. So, while I love dead tree versions of books more, I will read them on a device just because of convenience.
I don’t buy books unless they’re by big names and I use my limited local library otherwise – One of the commenters doesn’t buy books unless they’re absolutely stellar and by big name writers (mostly because of financial restrictions). They themselves are a writer who has been published in magazines, etc., but hasn’t yet released a book. But, he does review the books he reads.
My response – Libraries are a good place to find books, but more than likely all you’re going to find are big names, and that doesn’t help other writers that you know. So, don’t expect your writer friends to be beating down your door to buy your books later if you’re not supporting them. There’s no room in the writing community for writers who don’t support other writers in some way – they eventually get shunned and left by the wayside. No one likes self-absorbed people who only think about #1. (And I know him and no, he himself is not self-aborbed, I’m just making a point.) I told him that he should put out a call for books to review in his desired genre. By doing this, he could get more books to read, support other writers with reviews (since he can’t purchase all their books), and get some networking going with other writers. A win for everyone.
What did I learn from this?
- Free ebooks aren’t as shiny as they used to be (but they do have purpose for marketing research).
- Readers are willing to buy books rather than get them for free if they’re interested and the price is reasonable.
- There are writers who need to communicate and get more involved with other writers to grow their network, experience, and provide more support in the long run.
Which of the commenters do you agree with or disagree with?
Tell me what you think! I look forward to reading your comments.