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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,
I'm new to publishing any of my writings. Does anyone have any insights/comments about making the first book in a series or a prequel a free download on Amazon ?

Not there yet, but my fantasy series (5 books ?) will begin with John & Andy – Book 1 – An Ancient Arrival. Planning on e-publishing on Amazon in March, with a bit of luck.

I'm reluctant to give Book 1 away, but as it is long (>150K words) it would not be a stretch to pull a few Chapters from the beginning and put them into an introductory novella.

Any thoughts

Cheers - Nick
 

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The point of giving book 1 of a series away it to sell the rest of the books in the series. If you're publishing the entire series--or at least the first 3, the freebie is an option. Although, if you search the forum on the hundreds of posts about this, you'll see we're pretty much split on whether or not freebies are a good idea.

If you're just publishing book 1, now is not the time to even consider it.
 

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Writing the next books in my Martin Billings series.
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Another option is to write a novella that is in the series world, possibly a prequel but maybe a standalone story, and give it away, making sure you have the links to the series in back.
 

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I'm new to publishing any of my writings. Does anyone have any insights/comments about making the first book in a series or a prequel a free download on Amazon ?
It works well for many authors. If you are wondering how to do it, you essentially have to set your 1st book to free on another site (Google, B&N, Apple etc) and then, after publishing on Amazon, let KDP support know the book is free elsewhere and ask them to price-match. Although they don't guarantee they will do it, they almost certainly will.
 

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I wrote a prequel for a Regency series. Then put out the other books, 1 per month. April, May, Jun, Jul. Then wrote another one that just came out. I had a bookbub for each except for the Jun book and links in the back of the freebie. To date: I've had 45k downloads. (I recently expanded the freebie to be eligible for a BB that just ran on 1/3/22.) The new release was the next day. It's worked out really well. The key is having those other books for sale if you do a freebie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wrote a prequel for a Regency series. Then put out the other books, 1 per month. April, May, Jun, Jul. Then wrote another one that just came out. I had a bookbub for each except for the Jun book and links in the back of the freebie. To date: I've had 45k downloads. (I recently expanded the freebie to be eligible for a BB that just ran on 1/3/22.) The new release was the next day. It's worked out really well. The key is having those other books for sale if you do a freebie.
Hi Kathy,
Thanks very much for taking the time to give me your insights on prequels.

I have the same problem with time I suppose a lot of other writers have, i.e. not enough of it. :)

I wrote my story without much structure as a free-flowing, character driven, almost no plot, stream of imagination. Now I am trying to make a book which someone might want to read from about 40% of a 400K word doc file :(

I'm spending a lot of time editing the text, so it looks more like a regular book. I hope I will have book 1 knocked into shape by the end of March. Therefore, if I do write a prequel and have both books 1 and 2 ready for publishing, I would be looking at another 12 months minimum.

We'll see - I'm going to have a good think before I decide.

All the best, Nick
 

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I wouldn't make a book free until you have at least two other books for sale. However, yes, first in series free works really well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I wouldn't make a book free until you have at least two other books for sale. However, yes, first in series free works really well.
Thanks for that.

We have a consensus of sorts that a free book can work well if there are at least two more books in the series which are published simultaneously.

I could certainly meet that criterion, given time. I have enough already written for two and a half books, at least.

What it boils down to for me is :- Do I publish Book 1 at the end of March, early April. Or, having reached that point with one book on the chocks, do I put the work into Book2 so that is ready too, and write a prequel ? The second option probably means nothing will be published until early next year.

Hmmmm :unsure:
 
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