Should you “buy” my book when it’s free?

Do you take pride in supporting indie authors? Are you a personal friend of mine? If so, you may have second thoughts about downloading a free Transference e-book during my Oct. 3 sale.

Let me break down some of the very real reasons you can take that free book without guilt:

  1. It’s a party! The sale celebrates Transference being announced as a semi-finalist for the BookLife Prize, BookLife is the indie arm of powerhouse Publisher’s Weekly, and its contest is respected and prestigious. This giveaway is like a party I’m throwing with e-books as party favors. I want people to have them!
  2. This is advertising.  Profit isn’t everything. Sales numbers are also important to indie authors, as is general exposure. Free books are a form of marketing, but paid for in goods rather than services. You are a consumer and a target for advertising as much as anyone.
  3. Ratings and reviews. Not everyone who downloads a free book will rate or review it, but reviews are vital to indie authors. Let me repeat: Reviews are vital to indie authors, so much so that some people resort to paying for Amazon or Goodreads ratings. If people who receive a free copy of Transference review it, we are both benefitting from the freebie. Plus, anyone who buys Transference during this or any sale price and reviews will be listed as “registered purchase” reviews, which are more respected and weighted differently by other future readers and by outside forces.
  4. Buy the paperback, too. If you still feel queasy about pressing download on that freebie, hey, you could always have both forms of the book. Bonus: After getting your free e-book, support the amazing local bookstores that carry Transference by buying at Tattered Cover (in store or online), BookBar or Boulder Bookstore (in store or online). You could support an indie author and an indie store.

Still feel guilty?

Don’t take advantage of the sale, of course. No hard feelings either way, but remember: It’s a party! 🎉 And you are definitely invited.