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Free or $.99 for Teaser Short Story

Posted: October 18th, 2012, 4:01 pm
The question is whether it is a better marketing, promotion or advertising endeavor to place a short story (about 12,000 words) at all the download retailers at a cost of zero...The assumption is that by offering the story for free, it will encourage readers to familiarize themselves with my two main characters (the Universe they encompass) and of course, to further entice them to go and download for a reasonable fee, the epic tale (Newrael: Unavoidable Detour) based on the shorter story. With so many people giving away their stories, will another free tale go without downloads or will it encourage more than discourage someone from taking a chance on this humble writer? Further, will charging a dollar find more interest with those that feel free equates with something that is less than professional? I appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Re: Free or $.99 for Teaser Short Story

Posted: October 19th, 2012, 3:11 am
by Margo

Re: Free or $.99 for Teaser Short Story

Posted: October 19th, 2012, 11:53 am
by polymath
I sample before I buy whenever possible. With online self-publishing, the consequence thus far has universally been I don't buy. I wouldn't buy anyway without sampling a sample. I do this for all discretionary literature acquistions. Print, web, content sharing.

Marketing-wise as a consumer, I feel a literature product of a less than stellar quality should be offered for free. This is because I look for strengths that might be emerging, to follow emerging trends or new writing mannerisms or forms, and to evaluate whether to follow a writer's development. In other words, I look at the competition to see what's going on in the entry level of the publishing culture.

If I have to pay for a product that doesn't hold up to scrutiny, I'm disappointed and unlikely to follow the writer anymore. This is simply because I then feel the writer hasn't done due dilligence and is unlikely to alter his or her process. There's too much going on in the culture to follow a lost cause.

It's not the low low price of $0.99 that puts me off. Inputting personal information that might be abused causes me concerns. Been there, done that. Twice bitten, thrice shy. In the end, inevitably, for me, a sample or a full literature product, whether free or at a cost, has to meet a minimum expectation of greater strengths than shortcomings in order for me to bite. And that is based on whether a writer has done and is doing and will continue to do his or her due dilligence.

A story's artful expression comes first regardless. If a sample doesn't entice me, that's it. Maybe if I catch some sincere buzz, I might revisit an up and coming artist. However, I've not yet found one I've let go that I then changed my outlook toward. The reverse, though, is the opposite. I've followed many writers who fell off the poet's journey and dropped them from further consideration.

Re: Free or $.99 for Teaser Short Story

Posted: October 24th, 2012, 2:51 pm
In case anybody is interested, I have decided, once the short story is ready for upload to offer it for free...This decision is based on several sites feedback, including this one concerning this subject. The successful writers who have responded indicated that a free give-away can potentially lead to a fan base who intern might just buy a larger novel. If it doesn't work, well...Thanks for any comments.