pros and cons of free ebooks. Some authors love giving away free ebooks, because it's an easy and popular way to get publicity. It also gets their work read by a wide audience. Readers love free ebooks, because...well, they get free books. But some people in the publishing industry have been calling for an end to the practice. I once read (but can't find now) a traditional publisher sniffing that they value their books too much to give away for free.
I look at it this way: giving products away for free is a new concept for the publishing industry, but not for the industry in general. Free samples are part of many industries. Samples of food, cleaning products, almost anything you can think of. Even in creative fields like movies, Hollywood gives samples of their movies in trailers or whole scenes distributed online. For decades, publishers have provided free copies of their books to reviewers. What's changing is giving away free copies to potential customers, the readers.
Now the key word is "samples." I think some authors are doing themselves and the industry a disservice by giving away their entire product line. If all you have is one book, then giving it away for free achieves very little in the long run. I don't think it's completely useless, though. You can get some positive buzz from those readers who enjoyed it and share it with friends or add reviews on Amazon. Some of those who have your free book may follow you in the future. Still, all you're doing is giving potential customers one less reason to buy your book. I also think there's a culture that's developed where readers assume every book on Amazon Kindle will end up free at some point.
What do you think? Are freebies killing or boosting the industry? Let me know in the comments