Yes, dentists, and doctors, and lawyers do pro bono work- they sometimes offer their skills for free. Small businesses will offer samples in hopes of enticing customers into the store to buy. But no one stays in business long if they give away their product for free. So, please, think twice about free reads. Many authors are offering free electronic versions of their books on line. People love this- yay something for free. The problem with this is the reader then devalues your work. Why pay when I can get a different book for free?
Someone said to me, I'm going to self publish my book on-line. I've been reading the free reads and there are some really good books available on line. When I asked, have you bought any books from the authors you've been reading for free the answer was no. Huh. So, how will you get people to buy your book if all they do is read free books? Again, no answer.
There are certain circles of folks who believe that in future all books will be free. As in no one will be paid for services rendered. Great for readers. But not so great for writers. I truly believe if that happens, no one will be able to write for a living... Seriously, will we all write and polish and edit and market-for free? Would you do all this work for no pay? Some of you will say- yes, yes I will. My next question is -how long will you work and perfect your craft if you are not getting paid?
If there is no possibility of payment in future?
Books have value- in entertainment, in education, in magic. Never devalue your muse, your talent or your efforts. If you want to put up examples of your work, put up excerpts, entice readers like setting out small samples. But think twice before setting readers up with the expectation that you will do all the work while they give you nothing in exchange.
The first rule of business is to understand the value of the product and services you provide. (This works both ways- over valuing your work will ruin you as well.)
How do you determine the value of your work?