Author Topic: How Many Freebies?  (Read 1875 times)  

Offline Carol (was Dara)

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How Many Freebies?
« on: September 05, 2011, 10:07:13 AM »
Not surprisingly I've got way more free ebooks on my Kindle than books I've actually paid for. Is it the same with everybody else? Most of my ebooks were either gifted to me or were Amazon freebies. Is it normal to download more freebies than paid purchases and are you more likely to read the free books first or the ones you paid for?

Offline Austin_Briggs

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2011, 10:15:49 AM »
Not surprisingly I've got way more free ebooks on my Kindle than books I've actually paid for. Is it the same with everybody else? Most of my ebooks were either gifted to me or were Amazon freebies. Is it normal to download more freebies than paid purchases and are you more likely to read the free books first or the ones you paid for?

Personally, I never download free books, unless their copyright has expired or the author had gifted them to me. My experience with free books hasn't been that great (maybe it's just me).

I read all the books I've paid for.

But I hear many folks download tons of free and cheap books, and never read them. Although I saw one reviewer over on Amazon who ONLY reads free books, and stubbornly leaves 1 and 2 star reviews because she "hates" them. She's read over a hundred bad free books. Amazing gluttony for punishment, if you ask me.

Offline Atunah

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2011, 10:16:04 AM »
I have many more I have paid for than those I got for free. Main reason is that there aren't as many freebies in the genre/genres I like to read. I don't get the free ones anymore unless I really would be interested in it. When I first got my Kindle I clicked on anything it seems if it was free.  ;D

I got some really great stuff free, even if they are few to be found for me. I got the first in the Fever series free by Karen Marie Moning and then read the rest of the series. Those books are usually 7.99-9.99. Outlander was also free for a while. Those are the kind of freebies I snap up in a heartbeat.
Again, I just don't see as many. I don't read books just because they are free. I read books because I want to enjoy them.

So the select freebies I do get, are read the same than the purchased ones. As they are usually really good deals.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 10:19:46 AM by Atunah »

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Offline KathyCarmichael

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2011, 11:08:29 AM »
I have many more I have paid for than those I got for free.

This sums it up for me, too. I have a few "select" free ones, but almost everything on my Kindle I paid for--and that's over 300 books :)
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Offline BethCaudill

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2011, 12:20:28 PM »
I've downloaded some books from authors I follow which is nice to get free ebooks when you already have the paperback.  But I also downloaded a lot of free books in genres I don't usually read.  I want to expand what I read and figure it can't hurt to try something for free.
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Offline digireader

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2011, 12:26:23 PM »
I have a mix of paid and free. Limited Time Freebies are often a good deal. Many authors seem to use them as part of the launch for a new book. I guess I figure if it's free and horrible then I just don't finish it and delete it off my Kindle. But there are probably just as many paid titles on my Kindle and as free ones. When it's free or almost free, I may discover an author that I wouldn't have otherwise and that may lead me to buy other books.

However, is PAID vs. FREE really a good marker when so many books are at the $0.99 and $1.99 price point? I mean at the $0.99 price point, it's not really much more above free and many of those books are quite good.
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Offline J.R.Mooneyham

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2011, 01:03:00 PM »
I can only think of one freebie on my Kindle at the moment, and it's a sci fi that I couldn't get through Amazon, but was available as a free download from the original publisher. I got it when I was searching for a new author to start reading, and found two decent sounding candidates; but then I could buy a book from only one of them on Amazon. So I ended up with the one bought and the one free. The author of the one bought may have had a slightly more up to date wikipedia page than the other, or a slightly more interesting series premise, so I read that one first. I enjoyed it, and so immediately bought the next book in the series, and not long after that, the third.

I'll probably read all this particular author's books before going to the free one now, as that's simply how I read these days.

Offline Geoffrey

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2011, 06:09:41 PM »
I was a little surprised by the numbers overall.  Out of 510 'purchased' books, 183 of them were freebies.  of these, 85 are unread, 67 I've read and 31 I started and abandoned.



Offline Krista D. Ball

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2011, 08:48:32 PM »
Personally, I never download free books, unless their copyright has expired or the author had gifted them to me. My experience with free books hasn't been that great (maybe it's just me).

Yup, same with me.

I do have a collection of old book (we're talking several centuries old), but I don't count those. They are always for research purposes.

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Offline Pawz4me

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2011, 03:49:56 AM »
I've been reading a huge number of free books this year, much more than in the past couple of years.  For whatever reason, it seems there haven't been that many books for sale recently that have caught my interest.  For the most part I've been pleased with the freebies.  Sure some of them aren't all that great, but that's true of purchased books, too.

I do tend to read purchased books ahead of freebies.  If a book interests me enough to buy it, then I'm usually eager to read it as soon as possible.

Offline BTackitt

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2011, 04:17:52 AM »
When I first got my K1, Freebies were just about all I read. Heck for the first year, if you had averaged out what I spent on books I think it was less than $0.10 per book because I read SO MANY freebies (Baen & Gutenberg).
Now, my paids outnumber my free, but I'm ok with that because I'm not paying more than $4.99 for most of the books. Yeah, there's the occasional $9.99 one, but that's like 6 times a year.
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Offline mikelewis

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2011, 04:33:05 AM »
I am at about 50% but don't have that many books on my Kindle App for Ipad as I don't use it that much.

I do download a LOT of samples whenever I see a book that looks interesting and I haven't worked through all those yet.

I also have been downloading some free books in a couple of genres that I have had ideas for stories for that I don't usually write - to see what the conventions of the genre are and how people put them together.

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Offline Harry Shannon

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2011, 06:09:29 AM »
I've learned the hard way that free doesn't mean decent. I now grab promotional books by authors I like, but rarely take chances on brand new ones any more, at least not just because they are free. Doing that just gives me more stuff to wade through on my Kindle, and I'm over 130 books behind as it is.

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Offline KateDanley

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2011, 04:19:23 PM »
Let's see... I have 179 items downloaded onto my Kindle.  I have a pretty healthy mixture of paid and free.  I download a lot of classics, like The Oz books and such, but I also will check the Top 100 Free Books list on Amazon at least once a week.  I habitually download the samples of books I have to pay for before I buy them, though.  Those samples number about 200.  Eight samples I have relegated to my "Buy this book!" list.  In my "I Have Finished Reading" list, there are only 12 books.  Of those 12 books, only one was free.  I gotta say, I have deleted a bunch of stuff, though, and have a ton of books that lost me half way through.

Hmmm...

Offline BTackitt

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2011, 06:50:35 PM »
Oh and MANY of the KB authors who are putting their books free, I already have paid for, so it makes me giggle.
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Offline GerrieFerrisFinger

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2011, 07:22:13 PM »
I never download free books. That's just me.
 

Offline history_lover

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2011, 01:29:58 AM »
I only get freebies I'm genuinely interested in. I've got 188 Kindle books - about 50 of those were free promos. I've read most of them -  some of them I've liked, some I haven't liked - only a few I've really, really liked. But I just recently went through and purged a few freebies that I decided I'm not all that interested in, especially if I realized they got a mediocre rating on Goodreads.

Offline djgross

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2011, 07:30:40 AM »
Probably 80% paid, 20% free

I have downloaded a fair number of non-fiction freebies on DNA, genetics, etc... over the last few months that I will eventually get around to reading.   

I subscribe to the feeds of Pixel of Ink, Daily Cheap Reads and Books on the Knob to get updates on free and bargain books.   

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Offline theraven

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2011, 10:11:42 AM »
Right now most of the books on my Kindle are free as when I first got it, I downloaded almost every single book that became free. I've been going through the list and deleting those that I know I'll never read as it's not a genre I enjoy reading or a non-ficiton book that the topic doesn't interest me at all. I do buy books on occasion and the ones that I buy (or borrow) are the ones that I read first. I probably average reading one free book a month and it will take me a long, long time to get through them all as I have over 100 (maybe even over 200).
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Offline jillmyles

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2011, 01:19:50 PM »
When I first got my kindle, I downloaded EVERYTHING that was free. Then I realized there was no way in the world I'd get a chance to read all of those. ;)

Now I just download a freebie if it sounds interesting, but most of the time they sit on my Kindle. If I paid for it, it usually gives me enough incentive to start reading it, right then and there.

Offline William G. Jones

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2011, 03:55:19 PM »
Probably three-fourths of my books are freebies. I've started a few and abandoned them, haven't looked at most. Now, occasionally I see a free novel from a Big-6 publisher that was popular a few years back and I'll grab that, but mostly I download non-fiction freebies that I find interesting and tuck them away. I have my Kindle organized with business books, spirituality, self-improvement, health & fitness, etc... eh, who am I kidding, I'll never read 'em.
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Offline SA_Soule

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2014, 02:46:42 PM »
Most of the eBooks on my Kindle are free downloads or bought for $2.99 or under.

Offline cinisajoy

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2014, 04:15:17 PM »
Ok I feel like the oddball in this thread.
Carol are we counting the multi-author 99 cent box sets as paid or free.   I have lost count of them.   
What about authors I found free and now buy their books?
Only 3 at the moment, do I pay for and read immediately. 
What about the what do you think of my book books that I have been gifted or picked up free? 
I know I have many more freebies than paid, but read ratio is about the same 50/50.

Not counting the short I want your opinion books.   Those get read immediately.

For my bathtub reading right now: I think it is one free or 99 cents (I can't remember) and the other one is $1.99 read but that is one of my go to authors.
Last night I read a short freebie.

But then I am not your average reader.  I will try anything once.

Now on the freebies at Amazon, my odds are about 75% good but then again I hang out in the WC and have an advantage.

Now about a year ago, I did a quick sampling and discovered that non-kboarders were about 1 good for every 9 bad.   Kboarders were exactly the opposite. 9 good for 1 bad.   
And those were all free books.
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Offline BTackitt

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2014, 08:15:09 PM »
Wow, 3 year old thread resurrection. ;)
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Offline Fizpok

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2017, 03:11:20 AM »
I've learned the hard way that free doesn't mean decent. I now grab promotional books by authors I like, but rarely take chances on brand new ones any more, at least not just because they are free. Doing that just gives me more stuff to wade through on my Kindle, and I'm over 130 books behind as it is.

Actually, 130 books behind is not something bad. I wish I had such a long list of pleasures ahead of me :)
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Offline Lorri Moulton

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2017, 05:05:45 PM »
Looks like this thread has been resurrected a few times!

I'm curious as to what readers think TODAY about free books.  Do you still download them?  Do you read them?

I've found that most do, but others authors have said that is not their experience.  Readers, what do you say?  Also, having the first book free in a series...is that seen the same way?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2017, 05:08:37 PM by Lorri Moulton »

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Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #26 on: June 09, 2017, 05:31:03 AM »
The subject of free books comes around periodically, it seems. :) Sometimes this thread, sometimes another.

Lately all I've been reading are 'free' books -- because I'm getting to the front of the queue for a bunch  at the various libraries I belong to. ;) :D

I also got on some lists specifically because the authors were offering 'first in series free'. There were maybe a half dozen books, and they were all the sort of thing I have liked in the past, but new-to-me authors and in a genre that, for me, has a fine line between 'uniquely enjoyable' and 'same old boring'. So I'm not inclined to spend to see which it is. I've read some of them -- they've been fine. Some I liked well enough that I've marked the series to follow on fictfact. Some were just 'meh'. In all cases I'm now getting email newsletters -- which is fine, I knew I would. Some of those are interesting and/or useful. A lot are just advertisement and those I delete or, after a few weeks of the same sort of stuff, unsubscribe. I WILL read the freebies I got -- but I'm not going to buy anything else until I have done. I'm not yet a 'fan'. :)

I've gotten a few free books, as well, via GR giveaways which, honestly, are also books that I'd probably not have bought but are willing to read if I get it for free.

Of the series I like and follow, I'm usually willing to go ahead and pay for subsequent volumes. Some of the 'big name author' series I follow, I borrow from the library, as they're more expensive on first release; unless they're one of my absolute favorites, I don't want to spend $13 or $14. Smaller names/publishers are often not available in the library though. :( Depending on how reliable the author's been, I may be willing to spend up to $10 or so, or may wait until the price drops.

In the early days of kindle, I definitely picked up a lot of books free -- at the time, when all I really knew were paper books, it was unheard of to be able to read and KEEP a book for free. I definitely got many in genres I don't often read -- some I liked and some I didn't. But, at this point, with over 3,000 books in my Amazon account, I don't bother downloading something I'm not pretty sure I really do want to read. And I fully intend to read everything I get when I get it. I do have some books in my account now that I got years ago and I look at them and wonder why I got 'em. Usually they were free (or super cheap), which is another thing that helps me resist taking every free thing offered now. :)

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Offline crebel

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2017, 07:50:46 AM »
Like Ann, I have answered this question more than a few times in the past, but apparently not in this thread!  If I dug up my old posts, I don't think my answer today would be much different from then.

I don't know how many free books there are in my 23 pages (in list view) of unread Kindle books.  At this stage, paid books are certain to outweigh free books.  In the early days (2009), free books of any type were "ooh, shiney - FREE!" and I downloaded a lot of them indiscriminately. Many, MANY of them were cringe-worthy.  Now when I look at a free book, I don't make any distinction for price in deciding whether I want to "buy" it.

Cover (yes, I judge by cover), length (not a novella/novelette/short story fan), blurb, reviews starting from the bottom up.  I don't browse much on Amazon anymore because all categories are overrun with books that don't belong. Most of the time I am looking at a recommendation from another reader I trust, so that gives a book an automatic leg-up.

I might be interested in a book in the middle of a series that is free, but if I haven't read the first-in-series, I'm generally not going to get it.  I'm pretty OCD about reading in order. 

If I have a free book on my Kindle, I don't usually remember the price by the time I get around to reading it.  For the most part, I read from the oldest download toward the newest in my never-ending TBR pile.  If I like the book I read, I mostly binge read through the series, buying at whatever price the subsequent books. Sometimes the subsequent books are a higher price than I want to pay and those go on a watch list for sales. Then I go to the next book in my pile! ;D

Bottom line, if I have a free book, it WILL get read at some point, in no different order than a paid book. A free book is still likely to entice me to try a new-to-me author if it meets all my other criteria.  I don't consider gifted or library borrows in the same category as a free book to buy.
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Offline Atunah

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2017, 08:10:54 AM »
Well, apparently I did post in this thread in 2011. And a few others I am sure about this subject. Whats funny is that my post I wrote in 2011 reads just like it would if I were to write it today.

Since many of the free books I got over the years are not free anymore, I don't know in most cases. I have my books sorted in 45 collections on my kindles and those are probably only sensical to me. I can't see what I paid for books. I have them going from 0-7.99 plus tax. I say this because 7.99 is the most I am willing to pay for a ebook. Although I have paid 9.99 once for a Fever book. But then I got the first of that series free, so it evens out.

I don't look at books as free or non free. I look at books as which ones do I want to read. Doesn't mean I will pay always, or anything asked for. Thankfully there are plenty books to be found. I use my library extensively and sure taxes and all, but in effect, they are free at that time. And they are what i want to read. If I look at a new to me author, a free book will always be more attractive than paid. Heck isn't that with anything? Free is always better than not? If I can save money I will. But that doesn't change my vetting system.

I will not grab a free book just because is free. I grab them because they are something I wanted to read anyway and now they just happen to be free. That is the big difference for me.

I was like Ann in the very early days. I have had my kindle since 2008. OMG free books. I loaded up. There was no vetting, it was just OMG free books.  ;D. A few years later I spend a few weeks sifting through all my books in the account and deleted about 1000 of them. I think that was around 2010-2011. Can't recall. But I got over it and applied the same vetting I do to all books I read. Sometimes I buy them, sometimes I get them for free, sometimes I get them from the library. Always books I want to read, regardless of the monetary cost at the time.

So as I am sifting through my kindle collections and sort books into the next reading lists, some I have owned since 2008, some I just got. Overall I have no clue what I paid for them. I only know the library books I checked out as of course those are on a time table. And the KU books I read, those I keep track off.

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Offline Lorri Moulton

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Re: How Many Freebies?
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2017, 01:16:28 PM »
Thank you for the responses!

When I had my paranormal romance for free (right after being turned down by Kindle Scout) I had over 700 books downloaded in the five free days on KU.  Many authors believe readers don't look at free books, but my website was only listed at the end of the story and I got hundreds of new people on my mailing list.  So...I thought they must have read the story. 

It's interesting to see the different responses. Of course, maybe getting interested in a particular book on KS means more people will read it, when it's free. 

Thanks again! :)

Please visit my Amazon author page to see my books...99 cents each, for the month of April.
Lorri Moulton | Website | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter