There's been a lot of discussion about the pros and cons of offering a book free on Kindle and the other eReader devices. I accidentally proved a theory that many Kindle authors espouse: offering a book free on Kindle sells other books. I'd heard this and have read much anecdotal evidence about this positive effect, but I proved it to myself this past week.
The Fever Series
This accidental experiment started when I downloaded, for free, Karen Marie Moning's Darkfever, Book 1 of the Fever series. I was hooked from the first sentence. Feverishly, pardon that adverb, I raced through Darkfever, finishing it beyond midnight.
I could not wait for morning, and I couldn't sleep so I turned on the wireless on my Kindle and purchased Book 2 of the series, Bloodfever. I read a few pages which turned into a few chapters. Only the thought of early morning appointments forced me to turn the Kindle off and lay it on the nightstand.
The next evening, I dived into Bloodfever, finishing it in the wee hours. Did I wait for morning? No, I did not. I went to the Kindle store and purchased each book of the rest of the series: Faefever and Dreamfever. Now I've finished those, and I have to wait until January for Shadowfever if I want it on Kindle. I haven't checked yet to see when the print edition comes out.
No! All those months to wait? How can I wait when I'm in a fever pitch (pardon the allusion) to find out how the series ends?
Free Books Sell Other Books
I don't think we can make a sweeping statement that offering a free book will make readers order your other books. However, I think we can safely say that if a reader downloads the free book and loves the story, the reader will seek the other books by that author. Since I don't read much paranormal, and I certainly don't read fantasy, I'd never have pulled any of these books off the shelf. I don't even shop in those sections of the bookstore.
A free book introduced me to a wonderful series of books. From free, I sought; I bought. I don't know how I'll manage to wait an entire 6 months for the last book.
Free is a good way to try something you'd ordinarily not select. Like me, you just may find books that are keepers and authors you will follow to other books, and you'll gladly pay the cover price.
(Parts of this were previously published on my other blog Joan Slings Words.