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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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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