September 30, 2009

A Horror Author's "Free" Experiment

I just read here that author, Darren G. Burton, is giving away free e-copies of his horror novel, Scarecrow, for free. It's apparently an experiment to see if he can reach a one million reader figure.

Well, people certainly do like free. Heck, I'd be inclined to download a copy too, if I had an e-reader of some kind. As it stands, I stare at my computer screen enough already, and I can't imagine reading an entire novel on my computer. Writing an entire novel on my computer is chore enough, thank you.

Still it begs the question of how effective a "for-free" campaign can be towards increasing sales. I mean, if an author is giving you his work for free, are you more inclined to pay cash for his work down the road? Or, are you just going to wait for the next time something is free?

If it works for the guy, so be it. More power to him. I can't help but wonder if he's selling himself short. He's got plenty of books under his belt already, so maybe this tactic works for him. What do you think?


  1. I like reading author short stories online (well on my ereader). It gives me a taste of their style and I usually go on to buy and read the rest of their novels.

  2. If I liked his free book (I so need an e-reader) then yes, I would pay for his second.

  3. Bella - Good point about the short stories, as I have been devouring them online, including some by the lovely Cate Gardnder. :)

    Cate - I'm inclined to agree. If the free one shows promise of equal or better reads from the author, I'll be more willing to fork over cash.

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