Readers Respond

In a column last week, Smashwords founder Mark Coker suggested that authors should “give some of your e-books away for free,” because doing so “makes it possible to reach new readers who would otherwise never take a chance on you.” Our readers expressed enthusiasm as well as reservation:

“I did a short-term experiment with free and had 27,000 downloads with a single advert. In one week I have received 23 new reviews. I can confirm that downloads do equate to reads, and my feeling is that more readers review when the book was free. The feeling I have is that a review is how the readers pay for the free book.”—Jane Davis

“The fact that authors don’t make a dime from free ebook giveaways remains a major drawback. Last year more than a million authors gave away more than a billion free e-books. That’s billions in lost income to hardworking authors. Authors need a revenue stream from free ebook giveaways.... [Until then,] authors will need to be smart about applying these strategies to build their brand and strive for crossover sales of their other books.”—Glenn McCreedy

From the Newsletters

PW Daily

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Tip Sheet

Cynan Jones, author of the grisly, slim novel Everything I Found on the Beach (Coffee House), makes the case for very short novels.

Children’s Bookshelf

A first look at A Child’s First Book of Trump, coming in July from Simon & Schuster.

BookLife Report

How a self-published author got tapped to write the official Dracula prequel.

The most-read review on last week was You May See a Stranger by Paula Whyman (Northwestern Univ./Triquarterly).



That time when National Geographic sent out promotional coconuts.


The Week Ahead

PW senior writer Andrew Albanese discusses one sector of the e-book market where digital sales are growing and handicaps what could be the final act in the Authors Guild’s suit against Google.

More to Come

The More to Come crew discusses Rebirth, DC Comics’s new publishing initiative, and the love/hate response to the Batman vs. Superman movie.

PW Radio

Romance author Linda Lael Miller discusses her new novel, Once a Rancher (HQN), and an exciting project she has in the works. Then PW senior news editor Calvin Reid discusses selling e-books in an evolving digital marketplace.


PW is logging a ton of air miles in the coming weeks. Here is where we’ll be; if you’ll be there, too, be sure to stop by and say hi!

Bologna Children’s Book Fair

April 4–7

Hall 26, B38

Public Library Association Conference

April 5–9

Booth 510

London Book Fair

April 8–10

Booth 6C75

If you’re not going to London, you can still read each day’s PW London Show Daily for free with PW’s app or online.

Texas Library Association

April 19–22

Booth 1025

PW Star Watch 2016 Is Open for Nominations

We’re looking for the next generation of publishing-industry leaders. Do you work with someone who is going to make a big impact on the business? Nominate that person for PW Star Watch, or you can nominate yourself. A panel of judges including members of PW, the Frankfurt Book Fair, and noted industry leaders will pick 50 up-and-coming stars and select five top honorees and a Superstar who will get an all-expense-paid trip to the 2016 Frankfurt Book Fair. Find out more.