I've been struggling with something that feels a little sacrilegious. I've been thinking about switching from free to charging for Scary Mary and Unicorn Bait. I would most likely leave the free versions up on their websites, but I would charge for the ebook versions, and any updates I would make to the stories (in most cases grammatical) would only appear in the ebook version. My thinking is purely monetary. My current dream is to make enough money where I could reduce my full-time job from 40 hours a week to 32 or less (while still keeping my full benefits, I would just be paid less). The ultimate goal is to support myself solely by writing, but I know that isn't likely anytime soon. I just want to reduce my schedule by one day right now.
I know if I switched both books to .99 that the downloads would take a nose dive, but they wouldn't stop completely. I would possibly make fifty bucks a month or something but that would help me get a little closer to my goal of reducing my work schedule. That's not a guaranteed dollar amount, but I feel it's very likely, especially as a lot of reviews have been generated, so new readers may be willing to put down .99 for a book that a lot of other people have seemingly liked.
In my mind, one of the hiccups to changing to .99 is the free online versions. I worry that readers might resent the fact that I charge .99 for the ebook while giving it away elsewhere, but I've been told by some readers (they email me directly) that they would've happily paid for the story. This is wonderful to hear, but I worry that other readers may not feel that way. I've also seen some other authors charge for their ebooks in one location while giving it away elsewhere.
If I did begin charging for the stories, I would at least make another pass through them to fix any errors I found. (I just realized that somehow the first piece of dialog by Mrs. Boon is not italicized in Scary Mary's ebook version. I don't know how that happened.) But I wonder about adding any other content to make paying for the story worthwhile. I could add a sneak preview of Stalking Shadows to Scary Mary. That's a no brainer, but I don't know what to do about Unicorn Bait. I could add a sneak preview to (OMG, this will be first reveal of the title to the sequel) Dragon Prey. BUT that is still being written. I'm not even sure the first chapter will stay the same, and I would need to indicate when the sequel would be available which OMG (again), I have no idea about.
And I don't know if anyone really reads these posts so I may be typing into the wind, but if you have an opinion pro or con, please feel free to leave a comment. Even if no one comments, typing out my thoughts here has helped.
ETA: Well, this is ironic. It appears I was just featured on GetFreeBooks.com. Never fear, I'm not making the books for sale this instant. I'm just thinking about it, and I'll need a little time to read back over the stories to polish them a little more, but I am seriously considering charging, especially as I look at getting professional cover art for Dragon Prey. Dragons are expensive!