I've just finished a one-week FREE campaign for The Second Mouse Gets the Cheese. During that time 1,339 readers downloaded an electronic copy of the book. and once again people are asking, "Why would you give away that many copies of your book?" The question is the same one I've been hearing since last summer -- and my answer is the same, too. In case you've missed it, here it is again. In the last chapter of "The Second Mouse," I wrote:
Someone mentioned that my book, Beyond All Price, had become the number-one bestseller among Amazon’s free Kindle editions of historical ﬁction. What did the other listeners hear? “Free.” One fellow shook his head in pity: “That’s nice, Carolyn, but those are all copies you gave away. They’re worthless. You didn’t make a cent on them.” I don’t remember what I mumbled in response. But here’s what I should have said:
“Worthless? More than thirty thousand people now have my book in their hands. It didn’t cost them anything, but they asked for it because they wanted to read it. How is that different than a patron going into the town library and asking to borrow an interesting book? A library buys one book and passes it around until the cover falls off. The author may earn a few cents, but the readers get it for free. Money doesn’t bestow any value on a book. The only thing that gives a book value is the moment when a reader picks it up and “gets” what the author has to offer – whether that’s new knowledge, an emotional experience, inspiration, understanding, or pure entertainment.
So, in answer to all the critics of electronic books, as well as to all those who judge an item’s worth by dollar signs, I suggest that Kindle’s free book offerings are the equivalent of a great public library. Both provide free books to readers. Sure, a reader still has to pick and choose among the offerings. Some books will be wonderful and some will be trash. But it matters that they are free and accessible to millions of people who would not otherwise be able to read them."
If you missed the last offer, the Mouse's e-book is still available at $2.99 on Amazon. Or if you want a real bargain, you can find it at smashwords.com for only $1.50. The Coupon Code REW50 is good until Sunday, March 11th. Happy reading!