It’s amazing what you have to go through to give a book away for free. I’ve been working at doing that on Neptune Crossing (first of the Chaos Chronicles), and I’ve now mostly succeeded. The thing is, you can’t just do it—not in the Kindle store, or the Nook store. What you can do is make it free at Smashwords, then wait for the free price to migrate out to Sony, Apple, and so on—and then get your friends to visit the Kindle store and report a lower price elsewhere. If you’re lucky, Amazon will pick up on it, and your book goes to free in the Kindle store, the most popular by far of all the ebook stores. (So far, the Nook store hasn’t picked up on it; still $.99 there.)
Why go through this? Well, it’s no secret. I’m offering it free in hopes people will like it, and will want to go on to read the rest of the series, and then perhaps some of my other books, for which they’ll pay me. (Though they’re all pretty inexpensive.) Neptune Crossing: gateway drug.
The other thing is, if a lot of people take your free book, it improves your ranking at, for example, Amazon. The reason that matters is that Amazon gives better exposure to books that have higher rankings—and by association, more exposure for all your others, too. So it can be really good for business to give away a lot of books. A few hours ago, I checked and Neptune Crossing was in the top 100 free books in the Kindle store! It was also #2 in free science fiction!
So if you haven’t already downloaded Neptune Crossing from the Kindle store (or the Sony store, or Apple, or Smashwords), now’s the time! You’ll be helping me out by taking my free book! And send your friends!
Because, you know, I really don’t want to have to carry all these ebooks home after the sale!