Julia Barrett, wrote a blog about the perceived value of FREE merchandise. There's an on-going debate about what the perfect price point is for a book. Some folks won't read anything they have to pay for. Others have a top dollar price point of five dollars. Still others will tailor their book dollars to the product.
Personally, I will spend more dollars on a book I covet than almost any other item. For instance, the St. John's Bible is on my wish list for Christmas, Birthday, and any other gift day. A) Because I'm a calligrapher myself. B) Because I consider the Bible a sacred text.)
If I am particularly interested in a subject, I will spend a significant amount of money on a print book--especially for research purposes. I know fellow writers and readers who think buying such a book is insane. To each, his own, I say. In my experience, such a print book is far more satisfying than an e-book. If I have room to store it, why not?
But when it comes down to it, most folks buy novels and it's impossible to place a value on a novel. A title one reader will wait impatiently for will have zero value for another reader. So the excitement and anticipation for Book A won't mean anything for the individual waiting for Book B.
I call it the Sam's Club Syndrome. If you go to the club on certain days, you'll be bombarded by freebie food samples. Folks try them out--whether or not they would normally eat the item. Then they walk away, without buying the item, because they don't like that item. Never did. Never will.
Free books fall in that same category, somewhat. I cannot tell you how many readers have downloaded my books when they were offered as freebies who then wrote to me complaining about the book they downloaded. Inevitably, there is one sentence included--"I don't like fantasy (erotica, romance, shifter, vampire, etc.)"
Then WHY download it?
Because it was FREE.
Heh. Well, I'll bite. I'll pool all the commenters on THIS blog post and pick one or two to receive a free book. Only one caveat. The comment must be about this blog post.