I was one of the first authors to give away free eBooks. It always seemed to me that it was the best way of bringing in new readers.
It was deodorant that first give me the idea, believe it or not!
I was walking through a train station in London and a couple of pretty girls were giving out samples of Nivea deodorant, small, dark blue cans. Now at that point I wasn't a fan of spray deodorants. I prefer aftershave and don't like mixing the two.
But the girls were pretty and smiling and before I knew what had happened, I had a can in my hand.
I went home and next day I used it. And I immediately became a fan. It stops you sweating and it smells great. That was about five years ago and I have used their product regularly ever since. I used it this morning, and again in the gym this afternoon.
The lesson I learned was that if you give someone something for free and they like it, they will become a fan. And it seemed to me that you could do the same with books. So I started giving away free short stories as eBooks and over the last few years I have probably given away well over 100,000 copies a year. And the graphs suggest that when downloads of my free books goes up, shortly afterwards my paid-for sales also rise.
You can now see all my free eBooks on one site - HERE IT IS