The act of giving is such a wonderful thing, but could it have some devastating effects?
Most people want to get everything they can get for the least amount of money. It is a natural thing, and you can’t change that. But what happens when you give something away, and you offer it to everyone?
Let’s say a new fast food place opens up in town. You haven’t heard of it before, but they have free coffee. So you go and get your free coffee. That’s all you get, because, hey, it’s free! It’s not a bad cup, but not the best either. You go there every morning and get yours. Months go by, and the coffee gets a little better, but it still isn’t the best. Then one day you show up and they tell you the coffee will cost you two bucks.
You say, “Why? It’s always been free.”
They don’t want to tell you they lured you in with the word ‘free’ hoping to get you hooked on their coffee.
You realize what’s going on and say, “Your coffee isn’t any better than that new place down the street. They are offering theirs for free now.”
You jump ship and start going somewhere else for your free cup of Joe.
Are some authors doing this very thing? It seems they are hoping to lure readers to them by offering free ebooks, in the hopes that they can charge for their other works at a later date. If we all adopt this pattern, then there will always be someone offering free ebooks. If your work doesn’t really stand out, then most people will be willing to drive down the street and say, “I just heard another author is offering a similar ebook for free.”
Your knowledge and your skill as a writer are the most important things you have. It is your product for sale. If you give your skill away, then you have effectively reduced the value of your product to zero.
Most people want to spend the least they can. If you have shown them that your product is worth nothing, then they will not want to spend anything on it. This is especially true if there is a similar product on the market for free.
I would love to hear your opinions.