With the big Harlequin giveaway, Tor’s numerous free books last summer, and the $1.00 monthly Orbit titles, there certainly seems to be a big push toward giving something for nothing (or, at least, very little).  But is it working? 

Over the weekend, I finished THE WAY OF SHADOWS by Brent Weeks, the title Orbit offered last month for $1.00 (or 85 cents if you buy from Books on Board).  I enjoyed it so much, I’m ordering a copy of the physical book for my brother and I’ll likely be purchasing the other two books in the trilogy.  I’d call that pretty successful.  The super markdown got me to purchase a book I had my eye on for a while but couldn’t quit bring myself to commit to.

On the other hand,  I’m looking at Harlequin’s offerings and see maybe two or three of the 16 I’m interested in trying.  I’ve read two of the Tor books I downloaded over the summer.  Have they gotten me to buy copies?  No.  But then again, I wouldn’t have bought those books for full price to begin with.  So the company and the author haven’t really lost anything either.

THE USE OF WEAPONS by Iain M. Banks is the current offering from Orbit.  It looks like a little more sci-fi than fantasy, but again, for 85 cents, it’s not a huge loss if it turns out not to be that great. 

So what are your thoughts?  Do you like trying stuff if it’s free?  Authors, does the idea of giving something away terrify you with the thought of piracy, or excite you with the thought of new readers?