I've never given my books away online. There, I've said it. I'm just not convinced using "freebies" will get you new readers. Imagining a vast wasteland of ereaders jammed to the gills with free downloads, I just can't bring myself to toss my hard-worked, sweat-of-my-brow, blood of my soul stories into the ether for free. I worked hard on those books, damn it.
I feel as if it would be a betrayal to give them away. I don't mind an occasional story or bits and pieces. Sometimes I just need to know if something is working before I spend the next six months of my life on it. And as a woman, I recognize the fact that we get paid a hell of a lot less than men for doing just as good a job, or even better. So the issue of the laborer being worthy of her hire strikes a resonating chord with me.
I'm also suspicious of what people will think of a free book. Will they think it's less good, less valuable, less worth their respect or time? I know I feel that way. Or else, I wonder why a writer considers this book to be a throwaway. None of those feel right to me.
Marketing Ebooks online seems to me to be like herding cats with an invisible net. If there were a sure-fire way to garner huge readership by giving away free copies, I'm sure the writing world would be doing it en masse. Me, I think the real idea is to write a damned good book. Let the readers take it from there.