Free Kindle Books: How Is This Sustainable? Scott Gilmore

Free Kindle Books is one of the most popular searches for Kindle fiction books online. As a Kindle fiction author, I wonder how this FREE approach is sustainable for writers anywhere. Here are my thoughts.


Free Kindle Books‘ is a search that ranks highly on Google. I am someone who loves to get my nerd on and find frequent searches on Google, and this long-tail keyword comes up regularly. 

As a Kindle fiction author, I can’t help but wonder how this approach is sustainable for the entire Kindle ebook market. There are thousands of authors out there who want to write professionally and have a sustainable model to at least break even when they publish a book through Amazon. However, if readers expect Kindle fiction authors to give books away for free, will they ever buy them?

This is something that I can’t understand. Maybe it’s just me but, if authors want to write for a living, how can you expect to do so when continuously giving your works away for free?

I can see the reasoning behind a flash promotion for $0.99, €0.99, or £0.99. I have done this myself for a short time, but I was never to be a long-term plan. If we are to have plans of writing professionally one day, there needs to be a desire to at least make something back on your Kindle fiction book. 

As I pen this free Kindle books blog, there will undoubtedly be people out there who release books in this fashion as they see writing solely as a hobby. That is great, and I applaud them for doing so. However, those who aim to write professionally and become a ‘bestseller’ need to at least sell their books to claim that title. Here are my thoughts.

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How I View The Kindle eBook Market

When I released Inside Iris in September of 2018, I knew something of the Kindle ebook market, but not half as much as I needed to. I know I could have done much more research and learned more about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for my website, but I did my best for what I knew at the time.

Now, as I am set to release Anna’s Awakening in a matter of weeks, I have a better understanding of the Kindle ebook market within which my novels fight for a place. I feel in a much better place than I was 18-months ago.

The Kindle ebook store is a hyper-competitive marketplace that is not easy to genuinely get to the top of as an independent author without giving books away for free. If you want to become a genuine bestseller and sell your way to number one, you have to be incredibly dedicated as well as have a golden product to sell – your book.

When researching this piece, I saw how Amazon doesn’t differentiate between downloaded units that were paid for and free downloads. This, from what I have read, is how quite a few ‘bestsellers’ get that title for their social media profiles. This is what I don’t understand.

Free Kindle books should rank at number one but within a separate download chart. Then, when considered for overall ‘sales’, only the sold units should be counted towards that final number. For me, I feel this will give customers and authors a clear distinction about how Kindle fiction books may have soared to the top spots in the Kindle charts.

What do you think, guys? Comment below.

free kindle books blog

Click on the infographic to read the full blog article. Here, I share creative writing tips about how to write fiction quicker.


The Consumer

Considering free Kindle books is one of the top searched for terms when looking up Kindle books online, it goes to show that people love a bargain. We all love a deal, don’t we?

As consumers look to search for bargains right across all retail sectors, it means they are less likely to buy goods at full price. This is true for cars, furniture, and holidays as much as it is for Kindle ebooks and paperback novels. 

We can work to include some promotional offers into the business plans we have as authors to ensure potential readers get a bargain. However, we need to ensure that the work we sell has value to those who purchase it. If we continually give away our products for free, many people with Kindles will wait until the book is made available for free before they download it.

I do plan to have an Inside Iris Kindle download promotion ahead of releasing Anna’s Awakening, but the book will not be available for free. I want people to enjoy Iris’ story as much as the next author, but I know the plans I have made for 2020, and I want to stick to them while readers enjoy the Kindle fiction books I release.

What do you guys think? Do you solely read free Kindle books? If so, why? Comment below.

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Click on the image to read the full article. Here, I share how authors can use social media in 2020 as well as some of my bemused, bugged, and baffled thoughts on social media.


The Author

As a Kindle fiction author, I have no shame in stating that I invested in my debut novel, Inside Iris, and I needed to recoup the money I spent. This is the same approach I will take for Anna’s Awakening when it is released later in February. 

As authors, we put blood, sweat, and tears into our novels. Therefore, if we want to try to make what we do somewhat sustainable, we need to plan to break-even and, if we’re lucky, turn a profit! 

I have worked hard in the past year to change my career to a freelance content creator and blogger. This means I have been able to enhance my online presence and content creation skills at the same time. I also work hard to come up with ideas for creative writing blogs that can help fellow authors and writers.

The free Kindle books search term is something I can’t help but see as a disadvantage for those authors out there who are looking to sell their books, even for a minimal amount. The authors who dream of writing professionally someday will need readers to download paid copies of their novels to help fund a potential writing career.

What do you think? Are you an author who wants to make money from book sales, even a minimal amount? If so, what plans have you made to make this happen in 2020? Comment below.

uk fiction writer

Click on the image to read the full article. Here, I share how I researched real-life viruses to write Inside Iris, my debut novel. Get Inside Iris today ahead of the release of book 2 – Anna’s Awakening.


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Book 2 of the Iris trilogy, Anna’s Awakening, due to be published end of February – Early March.

Free Kindle Books: Do You Agree?


I am someone who loves to see young people write and share creative ideas online. This is one of the main reasons I scroll through social media feeds, like Instagram. Creativity is fantastic and is something that should be celebrated. 

The fact that Kindle is so easily accessible is something that I see as a massive positive for young authors and writers without access to a traditional publication method or agents to ensure their manuscripts get read by publishers.

I also see a space for free Kindle books that are accessible to those who want to read books for free. However, should these books then be sold after a long-term free promotion to get a ‘bestseller’ tag and 1000 reviews? I’m not so sure. Keep them free and let them be celebrated for what they are.

I feel that those who wish to write Kindle ebooks and sell them at all should be encouraged and supported by those who love the Kindle as an alternative to traditional books. As I said, I will continue to use promotions to sell Inside Iris and my upcoming novels for a discounted rate. However, I know Iris’ story is one that will never be made available for free. 


I want to write. I want to sell books. Maybe, in time, I will become a bestseller. On the other hand, if that is only ever to be a dream, then it will occupy my mind until I am old and grey.

Here’s to dreaming.

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