Why do writers put their works out there in cyber-space for free? Why do they give away something they’ve worked so hard over?
First, of course, they have something to say and if no one reads what they wrote, then why bother writing?
But some do so because they believe, or have been told, that if they put some of their work out there for free then they’ll eventually sell something. It’s a decent marketing ploy that works for some writers, though the numbers game means that most free reads will never lead to sales because there are websites and blogs with no purpose in life other than to direct readers to free or almost-free reads. Those websites and blogs have huge followings of people who will never pay for something again. No sales on the horizon for those writers.
So why do it? The answer lies with Amazon. Amazon used to have two lists of best-sellers. One list was of paid best-sellers and the other was of free best-sellers. They’ve since gotten smart and deleted the free list, but it’s still there if you know where to look. And when you look, you’ll discover that Amazon’s software doesn’t differentiate between books that sell for $5.99 and those that sell for $0.00. As a result, free books are listed as sales.
Which is why I’m a best-selling author. I gave away enough short stories that The Eye of The Universe shot almost to the top of their charts for a brief period of time. I don’t feel like a best-selling author and I don’t have the income to show for it. But I can legitimately claim to be one, and I will, laughing all the time.