You’ve probably heard people say, “You can’t make money giving away your books for free!”
But that’s just not true.
Here are 10 ways you can increase your income by giving away your books for free:
1. Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime Borrows
If your eBook is enrolled in Amazon’s KDP Select program, Amazon Prime members and Kindle Unlimited members can read your book for free. But even though the customer doesn’t pay, Amazon will pay you based on how many pages of your book they read!
Most authors earn around $1-$2 every time a customer reads their book this way, and that can mean big money if your eBook becomes popular on Amazon.
2. Lead Generation
When you give away your book for free, you’re turning random people into prospects who know you, like you, and trust you. You can then convert those readers into lifelong fans, email subscribers, and paying customers.
Most businesses are willing to pay a fortune to generate leads, but you can do it for free by simply giving away your book!
3. Free Marketing and Exposure
Once you have a book published and available online, there are thousands of websites that will promote your free book.
It’s also a lot easier to get bloggers, influencers, and customers to talk about and share your book if it’s free.
4. Building Your Email List and Social Followers
Inside your book, you can ask readers to sign up for your email list and follow you on social media.
If you get 10,000 people to download your book for free, that could lead to at least 1,000 new email subscribers and fans.
5. Sell Products or Services
If someone has invested the time to read your entire book, they’ll likely want to learn even more from you. The back of your book is the perfect place to let readers know about any other books, products, or services you sell.
Many nonfiction authors earn more money from selling products and services to readers than they do from royalties.
6. Promote Affiliate Products or Offers
If you don’t have your own products or services to sell, you can sign up as an affiliate and get paid when your fans buy other products or services.
You can add affiliate links directly inside your book, or create a downloadable PDF or list of resources on your site that readers can use to find great products you recommend.
7. Get Tons of Book Reviews
With a free book, you can get more readers faster. That can lead to you getting lots of book reviews.
That’s why many authors make their books free for a limited time. After they get some great exposure and book reviews, they change the price of the book and benefit from all the great word-of-mouth and social proof.
8. Get Amazon to Promote Your Book
Amazon promotes popular books to readers, so if your free book is getting downloaded and read more than the average book in your market, you’ll get tons of extra promotion and downloads from Amazon at no extra cost.
9. Quick and Easy Search Engine Rankings
Getting your website to rank #1 in Google for a competitive keyword is tough, but it’s ridiculously easy for Amazon to get ranked #1 in Google.
You can get your book’s page on Amazon ranked very highly in Google, even for really competitive search terms, if you have a book that readers love.
10. Attract Lifelong Fans
Long-term success in business requires long-term relationships.
By offering your book free, you’ll attract more readers, and if what you have to say makes an impact, many of those readers will turn into lifelong fans.
Those fans could support you through future book sales, buying other products and services, supporting you on Patreon, and many other ways. Never underestimate the power of lifelong fans!
Today, fans pay millions of dollars to authors, artists, and creative people through platforms like Patreon. By getting your message out there, you can attract fans and ask them to support you on Patreon.
Here’s a detailed guide on how to be successful on Patreon.
Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.