Why a FREE Book?

As you can hardly have failed to notice, this week the book I wrote with my Evangelical Christian friend Hellen Riebold is free to download on Kindle. I've been making a nuisance of myself all over Facebook about it. I'm sure there are people ready to block me if I mention it once more.

But you know what, it's a FREE BOOK! What's not to love?

Someone asked me why I was offering my book for free. After all, isn't writing about making money? Even at 70% royalties on Kindle books, 70% of nothing is... er... (never was very good at maths)... nothing.

There are several reasons why the book is free at the moment (only until Friday, though!):

  • Amazon offered a free period as a promotional tool. It's almost automatic to set up (you tick the box and set the dates and that's it) and we trust that Amazon, who are after all also in the business of selling books, know what they are doing. They are losing royalties on every free copy too. If Amazon tell us that a promotional free five days will do the business, we'll trust them in that.
  • It pushes it up the best-seller charts. That makes it show up more on searches and in recommendations or lists.
  • It's much easier to advertise something when it's free. I'm quite shameless about recommending it to people at the moment because I'm not actually asking them to part with any money.
  • If more people read it then more people are likely to review it (please). And again, the more reviews it has (good or bad) the more credibility is has on Amazon and the more likely it is to get future sales.
  • If more people read it they are more likely to tell their friends, or their book club, or their church, about it, resulting in sales we would not otherwise have had. In fact, given the nature of the book we anticipate people getting quite het up about it and telling lots of people to buy it because they want to be able to discuss with them the issues raised.
But apart from all that, there are two really big, major reasons why we are offering this book free at the moment.
  • We're not in this business to make money. There isn't actually a whole lot of money to be made from writing, and we knew this before we started. The vast majority of writers need to have a day job. They, and we, don't write for money but because they love writing. And we really loved writing this book. So it doesn't matter to us (much) if we have to give it away, we just really want to share it with people.
  • We believe in this book. We think it has a very important message and can go far in increasing understanding and tolerance. We think it has the potential to break down the traditional division and misunderstanding between Evangelical Christians and Latter-day Saints. We want people to experience Harley and Jeannie's spiritual journeys and to be able to re-evaluate their own, and their attitudes to others', in light of what they have read. We want people to be able to understand how divisive and unhelpful it is when they criticise the valid spiritual experiences of others. In short, this is a very important book and we want it out there. And we don't care that we have to give it away to achieve that.
If you haven't downloaded it yet, why not do so now? Even if you haven't got a Kindle you can download the free Kindle reading app for your PC, smartphone or tablet, and you've almost certainly got at least one of those (otherwise how are you reading this?) Here are the links:

(If you live anywhere else, just search for "The Saved Saint" on your country's Amazon site.)

Thanks! Hope you enjoy the book, and don't forget to leave a review, or "like" the Amazon page.


  1. I agree with you! We are definitely in this because we love our stories - whatever they are. But you missed one reason to do a free book... to get people interested enough to buy one of your others :)

  2. Jemima, excellent point, I quite forgot. I have three other books in print people might like to buy. For actual real cash money.


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