Frequently Asked Questions

 

 


What makes Free-Fiction.com unique in epublishing?

In short, our focus on reader and author needs, instead of book sales. 

To read more about our different approach to epublishing visit our About Us page, which goes into detail..

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Do you discourage your authors from traditional publishing?

Absolutely not!  Free-Fiction.com was created by a writer determined to improve the paying market for herself and fellow writers.  In the past, sites such as ours have been considered as stepping stones to "real" publication, places to develop a readership or prove a writers "value" to traditional publishers.   We hope to enlarge that view and create true equity for online writers that will make epublication an honorable goal in itself; however, we also respect the benefits that traditional publishing offers writers and readers.  Therefore, we encourage our authors to do what is best for themselves and their work at all times; we actively encourage traditional publishing and seek to help our authors get a contract if possible.  In fact, the stats we post are meant as an aid to traditional publishers who might want to track a book's online popularity before offering a contract.  We believe it removes a great deal of the risk factor they usually face in making such decisions.

Authors retain their rights and may remove their books from our shelves if they receive a contract requiring it.  We ask only for sufficient time to notify readers who might be reading the story at the time and allow them to finish.

Free-Fiction.com doesn't view itself in competition to traditional book publishing, which has a long and wonderful history of uniting authors and the public. Yet, neither do we think of ourselves as its poor, illegitimate child or a less valuable way to bring readers and writers together.  In fact, we see ourselves more as an alternative to past epublishing methods than to the traditional paper market.  Our goal is to generate a new pride and prestige in electronic publication by generating author income through innovative methods.

We hope that writers will eventually see sites like Free-Fiction.com as an honorable and equivalent alternative to the traditional market.

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Will this cost me anything?

Not a penny!  All online Free-Fiction.com novels and short story collections are complete, original and free.   You'll never be teased with sample chapters, then asked to pay to unlock a book or download a file.  We add an average of two new ebooks each month and they are always free.

We do offer a Premium membership service, but that is entirely optional.  You'll never be required to join to find new reading on our site..

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How do you make money giving away books for free?

LOL!  We don't--yet..

In the past, we tried ads embedded at the beginning of each chapter in our books.  You'll notice that most of them are gone now.  As the subscription service grows, we will eliminate ads entirely on the site. The truth is, ads didn't pay much any more.  Advertising on the net "bombed out" right at the time we came online.  Most webmasters only get about 20 cents for every thousand ads they present to unique visitors.  Add to that the increasing problem of scumware/spyware used with a lot of online advertising and you can understand why we  recently switched to a subscription service.  We hope that will provide income for the site and our authors. 

However, since we host our own site and do all the work involved without paid staff, we don't face the same problems as some other epublishing sites who must make sales to stay alive.  We have the freedom to be innovative, while bringing the best new writers on the net to our growing readership.

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Do I need to download a special program to read your books?

No.  All that is required to read a KeeBook is a web browser. That is one of many reasons we chose the program to display our books.  Click on the link to any book in our library and it will automatically open into a two page book that contains author info, a clickable table of contents, individual chapters, ads, a bibliography, and even a search engine. 

If you wish to learn more about this amazing ebook compiler and the many ways it can make communicating on the web easier for you, visit KeeBoo.com and take their tour.  With their KeeBook Creator you can create your own books, produce online albums or (we like this feature), download books into your private library or email them to friends.

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How do I switch a KeeBook from two-page mode to full-screen reading?

You can alternate between two-page and full screen mode simply by clicking on the title bar for the page you wish to enlarge or on the bottom Switch Mode bar.  To go back to two-page mode, just click on either bar again.

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I can't read an entire novel in one sitting.  Can I bookmark my page after each reading?

We realize that few people read entire novels at once; even fewer read an entire online novel in one sitting. So, we have set the KeeBook program to automatically bookmark your place for you.  It has a clickable table of contents to make it easy to resume reading or find a particular chapter as well. If you wish to change this, click on the Index.  On the last page you'll find a search box and, above it, icons for various options.  Chose the gear icon and a window will pop up that allows you to chose you reading preferences.

Should you accidently close the KeeBook, don't worry . . . open it again from your History option and you'll see that KeeBook reopens where you left off!

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When I am done reading, how do I return to Free-Fiction.com pages?

The easiest way is to do a quick double click on your browser's back button.  This will bring you to the last page you viewed before opening the book, and will open in the same window.  You can also go to the Index and click on the site's link in the bibliography to open a new page and then close the window for the book.  Another neat feature of a KeeBooK is that you open any web link into a new page by holding the shift key down as you click on it.  Find any logo or link within the book to the Free-Fiction site and you can immediately open a new page up.

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How can I share a great book I've read here with friends?

Each of our books has its own "card catalogue" page listing info about the book, the author, stats, awards it's won, reader testimonials, a rate it option and a tell-a-friend option. Simply click that option and a pop up page will open where you can email your friend info on the book.

Incidentally, even without that easy to use option we provide, most browsers allow you to send interesting links to friends by email.  For instance, with IE 5.5, you would click on File in your browser menu bar, choose Send, then choose Link By Email.  Check the Help option on your browser if you've never used this function before.  We hope it will be one you use often to let friends know about the great reading, original works you find here!

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I love your KeeBook format.  Can I make books of my own ,too? 

Sure!  Just visit KeeBoo and download their KeeBook Generator.  You'll be making books of your own in minutes using your favorite websites, files from your hardrive, or family pictures.  As an extra bonus, some of our books will be available to KeeBoo users to add to their graphically beautiful and easy to use KeeBoo Library that comes with the program!

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How do your ratings work?  What do the numbers mean?

On each book's page is a list of stats recording how many times each book is accessed ("off the shelf"), how many pages have been read for that book, an approximate number of total reads (calculated by dividing the number of page views by the number of pages in that book).  We then rank the book according to its full book reads.

We hope these stats will help traditional publishers track interesting books and encourage contracts on our most popular books.  The stats are also used give authors and readers an idea of how well the book has been received.

Must I subscribe to continue reading your books?

Absolutely not!  Our online Free-Fiction books will always be complete, original, and free to read.  We'll continue presenting new work by new authors as usual.  The Premium service is option only, an addition to our site, not a replacement for the great free reads you've come to expect.

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How much does Premium membership cost?

A lot less than you might think.  Only $3.95 per month!

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Why a membership service?

Since we opened, we've gotten constant requests for book downloads, but embedded ads linked to online advertisers was our only method of recompense for our authors. Offline reading meant the ads were useless.

Over time, we realized that with the drastic drop in CPM rates and affiliate program problems, the ads were about useless anyway. They didn't earn enough to maintain the site, let alone pay authors for their hard work.  People frequently offered to pay for downloads to recompense the authors, but we could not, in good faith, sell an ebook like that.  We are Free-Fiction, after all, and selling ebooks seemed contrary to our mission statements and goals. We didn't want to change the nature of the site (free online reading) because that might destroy our readers' trust (not to mention our own personal sense of integrity). Whatever we decided, it had to maintain our site integrity.

After a great deal of thought, we decided on  an optional, totally voluntary membership service. 

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What are the benefits?

As mentioned, the first benefit is the ability to read our books offline.  Each month paid members can receive four of their favorites in exe format.  The file expands into the same KeeBook read online at the site.

We realized the subscription service had to have added value.  Hard to do when you give books away free already--can't beat that for a reading value!  So, in addition, we decided to make our prepared, but not yet released books available for Advanced Reading. Those who support the site financially would get to read our free books before others.

We thought that was a nice little touch, but was it enough "value" to warrant a small monthly fee?  maybe, but we weren't sure.

We wanted something really special to repay the readers who might chose to support us with a monthly subscription.  And then it hit us!  To be accepted at Free-Fiction, a writer must be skilled enough in the writing craft to create the good reads we insist on.  Understandably, most of our authors have writing a long while and had other work available they wanted to add to the site.

Didn't take us long to realize what a wonderful "added value" we had available already--Premium ebooks!. Each month paid members get a brand new, not available elsewhere book by proven Free-Fiction authors they've read before.  Rather than setting up a bookstore to sell books, which doesn't fit with our site concept or goals, we could give them as a premium, a thank you to readers who support the site.  And this "extra" that did not detract from our mission to bring new authors to online readers for free. 

While offline reading, advanced reading, and Premium books are all tangible benefits, there is a less visible one that is just as important to us--and to readers.  As our base of subscribers grows, we will be able to pay our authors more.  And, while we already get an excellent flow of submissions, we are sure that more very talented, skilled authors will want to join the Free-Fiction family in the future.  And that means more wonderful free reading for our visitors and more options for paid members.

A beautiful, supportive cycle of readers, authors, and website that we hope may someday spiral out on the net and encourage more sites to do the same.  More authors published, more readers satisfied, lower reading costs, better payments to authors . . . we like the idea and hope you do, too! 

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How does it work?

We have a full description on our Subscription Service page.  Basically, you try our Free Trial offer for two weeks.  If you like it, do nothing.  The monthly renewal is automatic.  Click the "subscribe" button, fill in the PayPal info.  Then you'll be taken to the registration page to chose your username and password.  Next you'll be directed to our Members page where you can make your selections.  You can access that page at any time by logging in at our main page, or by clicking on the Members option in our bookcase logo.

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How do I cancel my membership?

Well, we hope no one ever wants to, but members can cancel at any time by sending an email to subscriptions@free-fiction.com.   Include your username and PayPal address.

Members can also cancel through their PayPal account.  Sign in, find the last subscription payment in your history, click on the "completed" option and you'll be given transaction details about your subscription. Click on the numerical "In reference to" link at the top, scroll to the bottom of the page that comes up, and click on cancel account.

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Where can I get more information about being a Free-Fiction.com author?.

Try our Free-Fiction Forum.  Most questions writers would ask will have discussions threads you can easily browse.  If you can't find specifically what you want, post your own question. Either the Editor, one of her asistants, or another writer will answer you fairly quickly.  Plus, you'll be able to talk to other authors and get their feedback, something you can't do easily at other sites.

You can also email your submissions via the Contact Us page under the Submissions listings.

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Do you pay writers an advance on their work?

No, writers do not sell their work to us.   They enter into an agreement to make their work available to readers in exchange for a share of the revenue generated by the site.  All rights are retained by the writer, who is free to remove work at any time by giving a ten day notice of intention.  We're anticipating that, thanks to our readers willingness to subscribe for Premium membership, our authors will come to view their association with Free-Fiction.com as a better deal than any available for writers on the net.  In fact, we're honestly hoping that this will make publishing on the net a writer's first choice, even before the traditional market, rather than the "last ditch effort" it is seen as now.

Our authors share 30% of the site's revenue as long as their work is available.  The shelf life of their book is not dependent on anything other than reader interest.  

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Do you accept submissions?

Yes, we do, for both novels and short story collections. Submissions should be addressed to submissions@free-fiction.com.

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What are your submission guidelines?

Because we don't face the constraints of paper publishing, we allow some leeway in novel length.  Anything from novella to large novel can be placed into an ebook.  However, lengthy novels should be tightly edited, without a wasted word.  Novellas should include everything a reader wants to know, no matter how short.  

For short story collections, we require a minimum of six short stories with a unified theme.

Send a well-written, concise query letter with a short description of your book, a sample chapter or story, and tell us a bit about yourself and why you think Free-Fiction.com is the right place for your work.

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Do you have a guestbook

Glad you asked that . . . we have a great little guestbook in the form of a world map on our main page.  We have readers and authors from all over the world and thought this would be a fun way to visually share our locations. 

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Will you exchange links with my site?

Yes, if you have an interesting site related to epublishing, writing or reading.  Send the URL to editor@free-fiction.com and we'll take a look at your site to decide.  We sometimes also add a link to interesting free reading sites in our newsletter as well.

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Free-Fiction.com 2000, 2001
1318 S 2nd St, Leavenworth, KS 66048
(913) 682-0294
Owners: Mary Ellen Knox and Christopher Ruff
Contact Info
Last Updated: 31 Oct 2002
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