Why I Did the Unthinkable and Gave My eBook Away for Free

This weekend, I did the unthinkable: I priced my eBook at $0. It had already made a decent number of sales, but I wanted to experiment with giving it away to see how many more people I could reach.

Crazy, huh?

You Are a Writer

My goal is to get You Are a Writer into as many people's hands as possible, and I don't want money to be an excuse for anyone to not have it.

Last night, I entered Amazon's KDP Select Program, which means that for the next 90 days, my eBook will be available only on Amazon. As part of the promotion, I get a select number of days to give the book away for free, two of which are this weekend: June 23 and 24.

Why I did it

This may be crazy, but I'm glad I did it. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Because I care more about spreading an idea than making money. If you're an new author, you should, too.
  • Because anonymity is a writer's greatest enemy. And the best way to beat it is through generosity.
  • Because giving away a book is actually a great strategy to sell one. My friend Sarah Mae taught me this when she gave away 2000 copies of her eBook and sold 20,000.

(A few more reasons here.)

I hope those who haven't been able to get a copy will take advantage of this promotion — and that it'll reach a whole new audience of readers.

A lot early adopters already bought the book. Thank you; I appreciate your support (diapers ain't cheap these days). If it's not too much to ask, I'd love your help in getting the word out to those who haven't had the chance to read it. After all, I'm more passionate about the message than the money (but again, I am grateful for the diaper cash).

What can you do?

If you want to participate in this experiment, here are a few things you can do:

  1. Pick up a free copy. Download it here (if you don't already have one).
  2. Tell your friends. Here's a message you can post to Twitter, Facebook, or wherever: Grab a FREE copy of @JeffGoins' new eBook #YouAreaWriter — just this weekend! https://amzn.to/K9HpIM
  3. Leave a review. Or you can email me with your thoughts. I'd love to hear what you think of it.

Don't own a Kindle? No problem. You can download one of the free Kindle apps for your web browser, desktop computer, or any mobile device you have. I've read lots of books on my phone, so let me know if you have any questions.

My expectations

I have no idea what to expect this weekend, so let's just see how this goes. I'll share what I learn sometime next week. Part of me hopes this reaches a new audience and once the promo's over that people won't have a problem paying the usual price of $3.99.

The bottom line: This is just plain fun. I'm excited at the prospect of thousands of new people having access to this important message I believe in. For me, that's what it's all about: spreading an idea.

By the way, this means that the eBook packages are no longer available, but you can still get the add-ons (writing worksheet and audio program) on the You Are a Writer website.

Final Update: You Are a Writer was downloaded over 24,000 times in three days and continues to sell well every month. To read about the behind-the-scenes of this experiment, check out my Copyblogger guest post: How Amazon Grew My Audience by More than 24,000 People in Three Days.

Have you ever given something away for free? How did it feel? Share in the comments.