Free is NOT a Four Letter Word! – Guest Post by Faith Simone

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Happy Monday, All! Today I am super excited because I have none other than the uber talented Faith Simone guest hosting for me today! Faith’s debut novel, When the Real Thing Comes Along, is now available on Amazon! I have a good feeling about this book so I’ve already added it to my Goodreads shelf. You can do the same here🙂 And that cover??? Woo, honey! Get the deets about the book below and in the meanwhile, check out Faith’s post about a much debate subjected among writers: free books. *Grabs popcorn* Enjoy! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!


Ok, so maybe ‘free’ is technically a four letter word, but it shouldn’t be treated like it keeps company with those four letter words. My girl Quanie (fellow blogger extraordinaire) teases me about the fact that I feen for free books like a proverbial crackhead. Did I really just say proverbial crackhead? Sure did, but I digress. Free is not a word for authors to avoid at all costs. It’s in fact an effective marketing tool that the savvy author should always have in their repertoire.  Let me explain.

Free books attract new readers. –  Whether you’re an author with an incredible fan base or a new author, you should always be on the lookout for new readers. A free promotion does that simply by putting your book in front of potential readers. Once they read your book description and decide they’re interested, having a $0 price will lead to them clicking that ‘Buy Now’ button in a hurry.

Free books garner reviews. – Out of the potentially thousands of downloads you’ll see as a result of a free promotional campaign, you’ll probably get at least a few dozen reviews. That’s like frickin’ gold to an author! Having those reviews posted on reputable cites will open the door to other promotional campaigns that will only accept your book if you have X number of reviews accumulated. It’s a win/win situation.

Free books show reader appreciation. – Want to increase your Facebook & Twitter followers? Want to add more readers to your email subscription list? Occasionally offer one of your books for free and they’ll be sure to keep following you and actually opening those emails you send out.  Plus, you could include a free book as a standard incentive whenever a reader connects with you socially. Everyone loves being appreciated.

Free books help SELL other books. – The goal in giving away a free book is to gain a new reader who will then say to themselves. “Wow that was a pretty good book. Let me see what other books this author has written.” Then WHAMO: a new sell and a fan who might be checking for your new releases in the future.

Have I convinced you to check into a free promotional campaign? If so, you might want to look into the following promotional expediters: BookBub, E-Reader News Today, and Book Marketing Tools. Some charge a fee and some are free, so hopefully you’ll find something that works for you!

Don’t throw banana peels and apples at me because my book isn’t currently free. It’s my release week people, cut me some slack y’all!



Title: When the Real Thing Comes Along

Author: Faith Simone

Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction, Edgy Christian Fiction

Release Date: February 13, 2015


About the Book

She loved and lost…Will faith give her the courage she needs to love again?

Jacelynn appears to have it all together: a great relationship with her boyfriend Jason who is truly a man after God’s own heart, a decent career and the love of family and friends. But when an unwelcome reminder from her past shows up, her previously uncomplicated world is turned upside down.  Will she jeopardize what she has with Jason in an attempt to rewrite the mistakes of her past?

They say you never forget your first love, no matter how hard you try. So far, Jacelynn has done a pretty good job of forgetting Taylor, the boy who had her heart first. When Taylor returns several years later as a man requesting a second chance, what’s a girl to do…Especially when she already has a new man?

The hidden issues of Jacelynn’s heart come to light and she’s forced take a hard look in the mirror while making choices that will change her future forever. Will she be able to reconcile who she was then, with who she is in Christ now?

Living and loving in faith isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it. That’s what happens…


My eyes were wide open the night I invited Taylor into my life. It was at the end of one of those parties that starts out with what seems like hundreds of people, but turns mellow before midnight. I was ready to go but my best friend, Kim, wasn’t. She was trying to finalize the hook up with a guy from her history class. Meanwhile, I was waiting on a ratty couch in the dark living room with a guy I knew I would never see again, wishing that I was at home watching Lifetime movies. That’s when I saw him.

He walked past me through the sliding glass doors into the backyard. Something about the gracefulness of his long strides, made me get up and follow him while the guy on the couch was still running his mouth.

The sound of Usher singing about how to tell if you got it bad muffled to a slow thumping bass as I closed the patio doors behind me. I waved away the sweet smell of weed as I stepped around a few people smoking and lounging on the mismatched patio furniture.

I trailed him across the large backyard where the only sound was the loud swishing of the dozen or so palm trees waltzing in the fall winds. Both of our steps were silent in the soft mushy grass. I felt strange following him without saying anything, but I wanted him to sense me behind him. I wanted to know if the crazy magnetism I was feeling was working on him too. But there was a different force drawing him that night. One that I would contend with at a later time, in another place, with a lot more to lose.



Faith Simone is a poet, playwright and novelist.  She is also an active blogger, sharing her personal thoughts, book reviews and tips for writers on her website Simone is passionate about using her gift of writing as a tool to help promote humanity, understanding and compassion.

Social Links


Twitter: @Faithsimone2011

Facebook: Author Faith Simone

Goodreads:  Faith Simone

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25 thoughts on “Free is NOT a Four Letter Word! – Guest Post by Faith Simone

  1. Congrats, Faith!!! I’m so sorry I missed the contest!

    Great post – I’ve been on the fence about ‘free’ for a while now, but leaning towards considering it a four-letter word. Your post put me right back on the fence again, and leaning the other way 🙂

    Hey Quanie, I nominated you for an award today. If you don’t have time to blog about it, NO WORRIES. Just wanted to give you a shout-out!
    Liz Blocker (@lizblocker) recently posted..Inspiration in the Deep FreezeMy Profile

  2. What you say makes a lot of sense, but there’s a part of me that’s resisting the idea – after all the work I’ve put in over the years, if I’ve finally got something that’s worthy of being published, I’d like to get paid for it. O_o Though now that I think on it a bit more, I’d be fine with it if it was a novella or something, meant to bring in new readers, rather than a full novel. Hmm.
    Mason T. Matchak recently posted..Building a Mystery.My Profile

    • I totally get your hesitation Mason! We work hard on our writing and it seems counterproductive to give it away for free. As someone who recently published and hasn’t even reached sales in the triple digits yet, the lure of exposure through free promotion is like a siren call right now, lol.

      I think that your idea of offering a novella free is a great way to take advantage of free promotion. It’s one I’m considering for a short story I have. Extending it to a novella wouldn’t be difficult, and it might help increase sales for my novel.
      Faith Simone recently posted..A Lover’s Prayer + #GiveawayMy Profile

  3. Oh! I loved this post! I’m always looking for innovative ways to draw new readers. I think it’s a terrific idea to request reviews in a give-away, just not in ‘exchange’ for one.
    Faith, your except left me in such a dreamy state of wanting to turn to the next page, I’ll not be able to shake it till I read the entire book! Write on!
    diedre recently posted..How Could You?My Profile

    • Thanks Diedre, I’m glad I could help! I’ve never done a review exchange with another author. I could see that potentially becoming a little sticky. But I’m not shy about requesting reviews, especially on Goodreads where there are plenty of avid readers. I don’t make it a requirement, I just indicate that a review would be appreciated. The reviewers I found there were awesome, even going out of their way to post their review on multiple cites!

      If you get ‘When the Real Thing Comes Along’ I hope you enjoy it. 🙂
      Faith Simone recently posted..A Lover’s Prayer + #GiveawayMy Profile

  4. Well said, Faith, I totally agree with authors having freebie promotions of their books. Although, I’m not sure it results in a lot more reviews, but it does expose you to more new readers.

    Congrats on your debut. I wish you much success, and looking forward to having you featured on my blog.
    Demetria Foster Gray recently posted..January Has No Power (re-post)My Profile

  5. Nice post about the benefits for the author by making their books free. And of course they’re will be people who’d take advantage of that and not support the author’s works. But with this post the benefits outweigh the risks. Also, congratulations on your release!
    lidy recently posted..Remembering What’s ImportantMy Profile

  6. Faith Simone,
    I am so proud of you and this achievement. Congratulations on this new endeavor and I wish you much success . I know J and T and Granny are very proud of you, too . I. can hardly wait to get my copy of this interesting and intriguing book. You Soar and follow your dreams! Love U!! -Cousin Diane

    • Awww, I didn’t expect to ‘see’ you here Diane! Thanks so much for the kind words. *tear* It means a lot to me to have my family’s support! I’m going to keep doing the best I can at this writing thing, and I know with people like you praying and encouraging me, I can do it. Love you too! (((((((hugs)))))
      Faith Simone recently posted..Keeping it Cozy + #GiveawayMy Profile

  7. Fantastic post, Faith. After hearing all of the comments on my last post about FREE books, I definitely see everyone’s side. I guess there are pros and cons to the meaning of the word FREE, especially within our community. It’s a great way to build a bigger following, especially if your writing is good. But I just can’t fathom those followers who are ALWAYS looking for a handout. And there are those people who refuse to pay for anything, even an incredible experience given by none other than the author.
    I love your story! I can’t help but to wonder who Jacelynn will choose. I think many women can relate to this. I know I can, for sure! I wish you all the best with your book and lots of success.
    gina stoneheart recently posted..Friday Feature and Thoughts On the Meaning of LoveMy Profile

    • Thanks for the well wishes for my novel Gina! I really appreciate it. You’re right that there will always be those people who are looking to get over. That’s super tacky! We all like to get something for free (no one more than me) but people shouldn’t try to take advantage of the system. If you love an author’s work enough to follow them, you should love it enough to support them by buying their books too. I’m never one to turn down a free book(understatement of the year) but if I like what I’ve read, I’ll purchase the author’s other book(s).
      Faith Simone recently posted..And I’m Still Partying… + #GiveawayMy Profile

  8. In my experience, this is absolutely true! I credit a LARGE portion of my fanbase to my first novel (Love and Other Things) being accidentally free for about a month before I figured out what I’d done (in my early days of not understanding how Smashwords worked). In any case, it put my work, and my voice in front of a lot of readers who are still loyal to me even now!
    Christina Jones recently posted..Sample Sunday from: Release Me If You CanMy Profile

  9. Some compelling points, Faith, that I will keep in mind for whenever I finish and publish this monster of mine! And *great* tease for the book! Love your style. 🙂

  10. so interesting. Love reading so many perspectives on the free debate…I’m not “there” yet…my book is still on sub so it should be interesting! Huge congrats to you on your release, Faith!! beautiful cover!

  11. I’ve read a lot of debate on this topic with varying opinions. I would tend to lean toward what you’ve written here though I’ve had no direct personal experience with this. From what a lot of other authors have said is that free doesn’t necessarily garner reviews, but that might be the fault of the book as well. Who wants to be mean and slam a book they didn’t have to pay for?

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out
    Arlee Bird recently posted..Slip Inside This House (BOTB)My Profile

    • I know right, Arlee? It would take a special kind of person to give a negative review on a book they got for free. Unless, they’re a reviewer who was given a copy in exchange for a review. That’s where it gets sticky.

      I do think that a well written book offered for free would lead people to buying the author’s other books. I guess you could say it’s like a super extended sample. This probably works best for series, though.
      Faith Simone recently posted..And I’m Still Partying… + #GiveawayMy Profile

  12. Free books do bring reviews on Goodreads but I haven’t found the same to be true on Amazon. Few people copy their reviews over there, I’m noticing. I always make sure I post a review in both places. Of course, it’s odd to me because I never, ever read a review before buying a book–I’d rather make my own judgments. But I’ll check out Amazon reviews for everything else I buy!
    Stephanie Faris recently posted..Why I Think Tom Cruise is Not HumanMy Profile

    • That’s weird isn’t it? You would think that the opposite would be true about Amazon & Goodreads. When I offered an ARC of my book on Goodreads, I made sure to say in the request that I would appreciate them posting reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I think having a specific call to action helped out a lot. I forgot about Barnes & Noble though, and only one reviewer posted there.
      Faith Simone recently posted..And I’m Still Partying… + #GiveawayMy Profile

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