A couple of years ago it was all the rage. Every author I knew had a free short story, or a free older novel or something they were offering to people who bought their latest book. Times have changed and I don’t see that as much this year. Maybe we’re all too busy; maybe it wasn’t an effective technique.
What got me thinking about it was a marketing article I read. In this article they talked about the principle of reciprocity. In other words, people who got something for free felt a little obligated to buy. It’s the principle behind all of those folks who demonstrate their product in grocery stores and hand out the free apple corer thingamajig thing to everyone who watches them.
So maybe the idea is to give the gift upfront to people and then they’ll want to buy? Not, “Buy my book and I’ll throw in free, the first installment of the epic saga.” Instead, come to my website and download the free first installment.
What do you think?