234 Freebies= 2 reviews

When I signed up for the Kindle Direct eBook publishing program, one of the promotional opportunities was to give the book away for up to five days during the 90-day contract. Recently, I picked five successive days, hoping that interest in Trinity on Tylos might be rekindled, even though the book was originally released in 2006. During the give-away, it rose to around #18 on the Science Fiction/ Free list. Unfortunately, as of this post, the experiment doesn’t look to have been especially helpful. For those 234 free downloads, I have gotten (thus far) two reviews. Thankfully, both of those were good ones. Clearly, those readers are superior intellects! Gotta worry about the single return, however.

Seriously, there is some risk, beyond losing sales, to giving away an eBook. Some authors report that readers have little respect for free content and are prone to writing negative reviews. Other authors believe that few readers actually read the free content, and that is also a valid concern. As a reader, I seldom choose to read a full price book before one that was on sale or even free; but I put more thought into buying a book than into downloading a freebie.

Hopefully, more of those 200 plus Kindle customers will eventually read, enjoy, and (maybe) review Trinity on Tylos. As a science fiction story, set in the future, it is more “timeless” than my contemporary suspense novel The Gift Horse. While I believe both books are both entertaining and thought provoking, Trinity is a bit more serious thematically. I’d really like to see more folks read it. Which is why I did the giveaway, rather than the “countdown” promotion that is more popular. So, if you downloaded it but didn’t read it yet, maybe this weekend will be a good time to read a science fiction novel.

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Freebies via Amazon’s Kindle Store

I’m really amazed at how much content is available for free these days. Since e-publishing began, there has been free (or super cheap) content, but much of it was not worth the storage space on my Palm Pilot.

Now, I read eBooks on my iPad, and I usually shop the Kindle store, although I have content through the Nook service as well. Authors can publish via Kindle direct, with little cost, so some of them are listing older content, or items that contain promotional content, for free. 

My two latest reads were free downloads. One was a full length novel by Lizzy Ford, called Rebel Heart, and it was better than I would have expected for a free read. Not a great book, but I have read worse books that actually cost real money. Rebel Heart is sorta of science fiction, somewhat romantic, with a heavy dose of political thriller thrown in for good measure. The characters, especially the hero, are worth reading about, and while the plot jumps and jerks like a kid learning to drive a stick shift, there was a good amount of originality in the story-line. Many self-published books suffer from problems with grammar, spelling, or punctuation, and there are few issues with those in this book. Instead, the problems are deeper, so Rebel Heart is a 2 star book.

The second freebie was quite well written, but the focus is not what I expected. 
How to Work for Yourself: 100 Ways to Make the Time, Energy and Priorities to Start a Business, Book or Blog by Bryan Cohen is more about time management than how to begin a business, write a book, or write a blog. And, there are some heavy doses of promotional material in the introduction and conclusion, but in a free book, that is quite forgivable. Actually, I really enjoyed this short read. Cohen has some great ideas on finding more time, and some of them are novel. If you want more time for whatever projects you have in mind, this little tome might be very helpful.

Both of these books made me think that Amazon’s free offerings are actually worth a look.