Free is Not a Price and Hope is Not a Business Plan

Prepare for a long rambling rant with overtones of self-analysis.

I have written before about using free as a strategy, not a price.

Please, make business decisions based on evidence, a plan, not hoping and wishing.

I’ve read mention of people giving away tens of thousands of digital downloads of their book, and receiving a few dozen reviews and the equivalent of $700 in related sales.

If the effort involved is minimal and the reward is $700, I guess I can see that. I suppose I have to reserve judgment until I have more data.

Yes, I want lots of people to read my books.

What I don’t want is for lots of people to just line up and download my books. It’s not the same thing.

free-get-in-line

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Narrative Strategy (Story Engineering and Physics #12 of 12)

Part of a series of posts on story engineering based on the book of that title and its companion volume Story Physics.

Story Engineering & Story PhysicsWe finish this series with one that can provide the twist of lime that takes your cocktail over the top to immortaility.

Narrative strategy is how we choose to tell our tale, the method of conveyance and who is involved. It embodies primarily two elements: point of view, and framing.

  1. Point of view — Who is telling the story?
  2. Framing — How is the story conveyed?

Point of View

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Free: It’s Not a Price, It’s a Strategy

Some insist that you have to give your first book away. Others claim that free means “worthless” and they won’t do it.

Free is good. If I’m talking to a prospective client, and I can impress them with my expertise and enthusiasm by mailing them a copy of one of my books that’s pertinent to our conversation, I’ve spent $7 on marketing to get what could be a $2,000 client. If I email them the Kindle version, I’ve spent zero.

What’s important to remember is that free isn’t a price. It’s a strategy.

Just posting a copy online with a price of zero is not strategic.

images http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1120086 by Laura Morariu http://www.sxc.hu/profile/lauralucia
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