Tue
Dec 9 2014 8:23am

Are You Choosy About Free Books?

If you have an e-reader, chances are good you have one-clicked a free book at some point. Authors are using free as a way to get their writing noticed by readers, and it can be an effective marketing tool (because FREE).

But if you're on a constant quest to climb to the top of Mount TBR, maybe you haven't one-clicked, even though you were mildly interested in the book.

Are you choosy about free books? 

Photo courtesy of Mariana Gonzalez's Flickr.

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14 comments
Scarlettleigh
1. Scarlettleigh
I really am choosy. There are just too many books to read. I used to think oh, I'll get around to it, but I don't. It sort of out of sight, out of mind.

If I request or download a book, just on pure impulse, rather than impulse and desire then the impulse fades away and I am left with a book that never gets read.

If I can immediately read the book, then there's no problem.

And I find that if I'm really interested in reading a book, then I do read it immediately.
Dragontree
2. Dragontree
Just last night I was looking at my TBR list on Calibre and realized that less than a quarter of that list was books I had paid for. I evidently prioritize reading the books I paid for over the freebies. I have been much choosier over the past couple of years but about twice a year I get into a "must have ALL THE BOOKS!" spell and refill the freebie pile. I need to really squash that urge.
Megan Frampton
3. MFrampton
I am like @scarlettleigh--definitely very, very choosy now. My TBR is out of control!
Dragontree
4. BethAnnie
I make collections of my freebies by date downloaded (seasonal quarters of year) so that if I later see a great review, I can find it and read it. I started this because there were several free books I passed on and later they became highly rated and I then ended up paying for something I could have read for free. Get fewer now than I did a couple years ago however.
Dragontree
5. Arthemise
I read a lot, so my habit is way too expensive to spend money on books that I don't KNOW are going to be wonderful. I have Kindle Unlimited, but the pickings are slim. I'll get whatever free books I can get my hands on and give them a chance. If I love them, I'll buy the rest of the series. Sadly, that doesn't happen often enough. I am a very patient and determined reader, but I can't even make it through some of the free books. Usually it's because they're just too darned boring.
Kareni
6. Kareni
I was given a Kindle in late April, started using it in June, and now have over a thousand books stored on it. Of those, I've paid for perhaps a dozen. The problem is that the first free book I downloaded was actually quite good. That gives me hope that others might also be, and it's hard to deny that hope!
PhoebeChase
7. PhoebeChase
I generally only download freebies that interest me, but apparently lots of things interest me. I have started reading samples if they're available. I think my favorite freebie is the "first in a series." When iBooks did that for a lot of romance series earlier this year I was clicking buy over and over.
lauralee1912
8. lauralee1912
Checking my TBR file on my Kindle about half of them are free books that I have not yet read. Some of them date to almost a year ago when I first started using an ereader (wheeeee! free books!). There are quite a few "Kindle Firsts" I haven't yet opened. Over the past year, I've DNF'd a number of cheap or free books for various reasons, but mostly because of poor editing and spelling.
Dragontree
9. Kahintenn
I'm not at all choosy about free books. I'll download just about anything. But if it isn't well written its a DNF with zero regrets.
Janga
10. Janga
For the most part, I limit my freebies--and "deals"--to books from authors I know or authors recommended by trusted sources. I've found the editing so bad on many of the freebies that even when I like the story, it is unreadable. I can't get past all the your/you're, whose/who's, and "between you and I" errors.
Kate Klebanski
11. kklebanski
I have also gotten much choosier with free books; I am especially cognizant of poor reviews on Amazon ~ they seem to be the most accurate. Poor editing and grammatical errors are the kiss of death for any book, and I don't hesitate to DNR them anymore, although I had a hard time doing that for a long tme. I love to sample them - then if I like it enough to keep reading, I'll "buy" it. I also DESPISE the serial books that aren't designated a such; those get a toss and a negative review!
Dragontree
12. Vickie Russell
I think that it's a good play by writers to do that and they will have some success, but I know from my point of view I hate wasting my time on books I don't like and unfortunately of the few freebies I've read in the past a lot aren't good. I am very choosey about what books I buy to ensure I get a good read so I'm not so adventurous in my reading, I tend to stick to authors I know or authors that get good reviews by my friends on GR to make my chances of a good read better. Nothing poops me off more than a bad book whether I paid for it or it is free, so for me it's not the cost (even though I can't afford to buy a dud) it's about the good reading experience. I'd rather pay for a book that percentage-wise is likely to be good, rather than read a freebie I won't like.
E.L. Felder
13. elf2060
I tend to squirrel away plenty of books for a 'rainy day', but I have to be intrigued by the blurb, so I am somewhat choosy.
Dragontree
14. Tabby Moray
I'm absolutely choosy about which free books I choose! There's only so much time in a day and I don't want to waste it reading crap. With that said, I have discovered some of the best self-pubbed writers by downloading free books. I promptly leave a review for each and every free book I read. On the flip side, I have also read some of the most stultifying, badly edited and poorly executed free self-pubbed titles also. But that figure's about the same for traditionally published books. More than anything, I like to leave writers who've worked hard to put their best foot forward a good review.
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