• Barbara Elsborg

How long can this go on?

Whether you're published with a publisher or you do it yourself - I'm a hybrid and do both - it's increasingly difficult to make yourself seen. Almost all authors are in the same boat, rowing frantically after readers, using all sorts of means to haul them in.

Free - being a common tactic. Offering a free book in exchange for signing up to a newsletter or info about new releases. But there are so many free books around, readers might never need to buy a book again. My Kindle is full of books that were free or 99c - it's going to take me ages to get around to reading all of them. To be honest, free undervalues the amount of time I spend writing a book. 99c undermines it too unless it's a short story. Even if it is!

Are we all so desperate that we're creating a market that will destroy us in the end? I made the mistake of signing up for a giveaway that resulted in my inbox heaving with authors' newsletters. Some coming at the rate of two a week. I have no idea how they found so much to say but almost all of them were offering more free books.

I don't mind offering a free book for a couple of lucky winners on someone's blog but to make even one of my books free for an extended period of time wouldn't - I don't think - lead to more sales of my others. I don't write series so there's no incentive to buy the next - unless you love my writing!

There has to be an answer - though I don't know what it is!


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