Posted on May 8, 2020 at 3:00 PM by Guest Author

Updated on 06/29/2021 

There are several benefits to pricing your ebook at a discount or for free. Discover when you should reduce your pricing, how to promote your offer, and more.

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What Are the Benefits of Pricing Your Ebook at a Discount?

Like many authors, particularly indie authors, you may be hesitant about pricing your ebook at a discount. After all, you put a lot of time and effort into writing your book. You want to reap the full rewards of your hard work.  

We get it.

But consider this piece of ebook pricing advice from author David Gaughran: “Price is not a hill to die on, but a powerful tool for levering your books into the charts, rewarding fans, generating buzz, and expanding your audience.”

Rest assured that reducing the price of your book could work in your favor. It’s all about implementing an ebook pricing strategy that carefully considers how you make your book available to readers.

By running sales and giveaways on a regular basis, you can look forward to greater success across the board!

Here are some of the benefits that come with offering your book for free or at a reduced price:

It can expand your reader base. 

Giving people the opportunity to get your book for free or at a discounted price can help in expanding your reader base.

For starters, it encourages those who are intrigued by your book blurb to take the next step, removing any objections they may have since it’s such a good deal.

Further, those who enjoy your book will likely go on to recommend it to others.  

It can increase your reviews. 

Offering your book at a price that can’t be ignored doesn’t just result in a greater number of readers; it also results in a greater number of reviews.

The more people who read your book, the more chances you have of getting reviews that you can then use for marketing purposes.

Additionally, readers who are given a discount or a free offer are more inclined to provide feedback as a way of reciprocating. 

It can result in greater sales. 

Although it seems counterintuitive, offering a book for free or at a reduced price can also increase your sales.

Those who take advantage of your promotion and enjoy your book will be more likely to purchase other titles you have available — at full price. 

By pricing your ebook at a discount now, you can look forward to more books sold down the road. 

Not convinced?

A survey of 1,200 Fussy Librarian subscribers revealed that 83% have gone on to purchase an ebook from an author after receiving the first one for free! 

It can help build buzz around your book and your author brand. 

By running a sale or a giveaway for your book, you can get some much-needed exposure for your book and yourself.

This is especially helpful if you’re making your debut or releasing a new title after a long hiatus.

Pricing your ebook in a strategic manner can go a long way toward gaining likes, followers, and even media attention.  

It can assist in selling a series. 

When you offer the first book in a series for free or at a reduced price, it increases the likelihood of readers purchasing the rest.

Essentially, you’re removing any objection they may have to picking up the first book.

Once they do, your story will do the rest of the work for you, pulling them into the world you’ve created and encouraging them to keep going until they reach the end. 

It can help grow your email list. 

Pricing your ebook at a discount and promoting it accordingly can also help you grow your email list.

When your book is available at a reduced price or for free, readers are more likely to download it — as long as they’re intrigued by the book description, that is.

Then, once they’ve read and enjoyed it, they’ll be eager to join your list so they can learn more about you and the other books you’ve written (or plan on writing). 

Don’t believe us?

By doing a book giveaway and promoting it with The Fussy Librarian, author Emma Lombard was able to bring in 600 new subscribers to her newsletter

When to Offer Your Ebook for Free or at a Reduced Price

Now that you understand the value of offering your book for less than the original list price, you’re probably wondering, “When do I do it? What’s the best time to run a sale or a giveaway?”

Ultimately, there’s really no wrong time to think about pricing your ebook at a discount. Once you publish a book, you can reduce the price at any point.

However, there are some cases when doing so can be particularly beneficial. 

For example…

1. When You’re Releasing a New Title. 

If you’ve just finished a new book, you may want to give it away for free or for a lower price in the first few weeks. Doing so will allow you to drum up some attention for the new title.

Plus, it will help you get reviews — assets you can then use to promote your ebook at full price. 

As an alternative, you could slash the price of an existing title and promote the new release to those who take advantage of the offer. You can do this by including a short blurb or a single chapter of the new book at the end.    

2. When You’re Trying to Sell a Series. 

As mentioned previously, pricing your ebook at a discount can be useful for getting readers to purchase other books in a series.

If you’ve just completed a series or noticed that sales are down, it’s worth running a sale on the first book so you can hook readers and encourage them to pick up the other titles.

That way, you can hook readers and encourage them to pick up the other titles.   

Note that introducing a permanently free — or “permafree” — series opener is a commonly used tactic among authors.

Many opt to make the first book permafree once other titles in the series are published.

3. When Readers Are in the Market for New Books. 

When the demand for books is high, you need to take extra steps to get your book in front of readers.

There are countless ebooks out there, which means you must compete for readers’ attention. It’s worth running a discount or giveaway to help your title stand out. 

Some examples of when the demand is higher than usual include the following:

  • Holiday season – People use their time off to relax and enjoy their hobbies. 

  • New Year – Many individuals make reading resolutions at the beginning of the year.

  • Summertime – Children and young adults participate in summer reading programs. Plus, many adults fall into the summer reader category as well.  

4. When Your Book Relates to Current Events. 

Another time to offer your ebook at a reduced price or for free is when it relates to current events. This is an especially great way of reviving an older title.

If a book you wrote in the past aligns with the present goings-on in the world — or even an upcoming holiday — you may see impressive results by slashing the price and promoting it to new readers.  

How to Promote Your Discounted Ebook

Once you’ve made the decision to offer your ebook for free or at a reduced price, the next step is to promote it.

Although strategic pricing does provide several benefits, it won’t do much good if readers aren’t aware of the deal.

That’s why it’s in your best interest to get the word out in as many ways and through as many channels as possible.

Here are just a few recommendations:

Include an eye-catching graphic on the home page of your author website. 

When readers land on your site, you can make sure they’re immediately notified of your offer by putting a colorful graphic — one that features the ebook’s cover — front and center.

It’s well worth spending time to create this kind of graphic, as it will help grab readers’ attention. Just don’t forget to include the deal you’re running and how long it will last. 

Post about the discounted ebook on social media.  

Using social media to promote your free ebook is an excellent method of reaching current fans and potential new readers.

Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or all of the above and more, make sure to let your followers know about the deal you’re running and provide instructions on how they can take advantage of it.

You can do this with posts, graphics, videos, etc. 

Send out an email to your newsletter subscribers. 

Those who subscribe to your newsletter are already fans of your work. That means they’ll likely jump at the chance to get a new title for free or at a discounted price.

So, when you kick off your offer, make sure to send out an email letting them know about the deal and encouraging them to recommend the title to others. 

If your list is small or nonexistent, you can still reach readers by promoting your free ebook in our newsletter!

As a bonus, if you choose to use Book Funnel or your own website to give away your book you can collect email addresses and grow your own mailing list. 


When it comes down to it, pricing your ebook at a discount or for free can be an incredibly effective way to expand your reader base, gain exposure as an author, and increase book sales. 

Countless authors use this tactic as part of their ebook pricing strategy, and it’s been proven to work. So, consider doing the same! 

Just make sure you have a plan in place regarding which title you’re going to run a sale for, when you’re going to run the sale, how long the offer will last (if not permafree), and how you’ll promote the offering.  

>>>Are you ready to offer your ebook for free? Reach more readers by promoting it in our newsletter!<<<

Categories: Behind the scenes

Thanks for the tips!
Christine Keleny | 5/15/20 at 10:57 AM
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