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Instafreebie to Rebrand as Prolific Works

The free ebook distribution service Instafreebie announced on Monday that they rebranding the company on 1 October in anticipation of a pivot to provide new services.

Instafreebie sent out an email to authors today, informing them of the change:

We’ve come to realize “Instafreebie” no longer fits us as our name and brand.

We started Instafreebie four and a half years ago with one primary goal: to make it easier for readers to download free ebooks.

We’re proud to have achieved that goal!

In the past four and a half years, readers have claimed over 35 million ebooks on our platform! We’ve made it much easier for readers to download and read ebooks, and in the process much easier for authors to spread their work to the world.

We’ve built an amazing foundation for this platform, and achieved a major milestone in our larger mission to accelerate great stories and big ideas.

However, our vision for this platform has expanded, and our goals have expanded along with it!

Instafreebie did not go into detail about the pivot, but they did end the email with the announcement that they will hold a webinar on 25 September "during which our founder and CEO, Jason Freeman, will talk about all these exciting new changes in detail".

We will find out more next Tuesday. In the meantime, all we have to go on is Instafreebie’s other announcement today. They sent out an email to users and told them that IF is launching user accounts on the Instafreebie website.

We’re excited to announce that today, Instafreebie has gone live with new and improved online reader accounts!

You are now able to create a reader account online and access your own personal “Library” on the Instafreebie website.

Similar to our app, your “Library” page houses all the content you’ve claimed on Instafreebie in one, convenient location. You’ll be able to sort and search through all your claims, and see recommended lists of new content to claim, based on your selection of genres during the sign-up process.

Completely free for readers, Instafreebie is funded by the authors who give away the ebooks. It currently charges authors either nothing, $20, or $50 per month. The upper service tiers include more features like Mailerlite integration and support for multiple pen names.

It’s not clear how the two announcements are connected, but the most obvious possibility is that IF plans to expand into ebook sales, and is changing its name in anticipation of adding payment processing.

That would be the most logical next step, but the name Prolific Works is so bland that it could be used as a label for just about any service the company could offer.

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TW September 17, 2018 um 10:10 pm

This is a terrible insult to authors. It’s a subscription plan for readers that steals content from authors, and has the audacity to actually CHARGE authors for the 'privilege' of being victimized.

Nate Hoffelder September 17, 2018 um 10:15 pm

uh, no?

Authors use it to collect email addresses for their mailing list.

TW September 17, 2018 um 10:48 pm

All of the free ebook services, from BookBub on down, are author-exploiters that cater to mostly one type of reader – the reader who won’t actually PAY authors for their work. Getting those email addresses is a useless payoff for giving away your work to those people because they will never pay the author anyway.

In contrast, the Kindle Unlimited (KU) subscription service actually pays authors to place their work in front of millions of readers. KU has its problems too, but it pays out tens of millions of dolars each month. These other 'services' are competing models of the subscription service. In one, KU, the reader pays. In the other, this Instafreebie abomination, the author pays. No self-respecting author would choose to pay to be the victim. (Yes, that’s a No True Scotsman argument, but it sticks.)

Nate Hoffelder September 18, 2018 um 6:27 am

I reserve the word exploiter for worse companies.

The thing about IF is that they did provide a valuable service: They handled the tech support for downloaders. The emails they got you were worthless, yes, but the tech support was actually worth paying for.

TW September 19, 2018 um 10:41 am

That’s BookFunnel, the great tech support for downloaders. I don’t think Instafreebie provided that.

Nate Hoffelder September 19, 2018 um 10:43 am

that’s different, then

Roland Denzel September 20, 2018 um 9:33 pm

It’s not stealing. The authors are giving the books away of their own free will, just like thousands do with good results.

Giving your first book in a series, or a sample of your work, away for free has worked for many authors.

Yes, some are just after the free books, but others are actively looking for new authors via free books, then go on to buy books 2-? in the series.

I’ve heard that their lists are great, so hopefully they’re perfecting the process. Other companies that gather emails via contests and giveaways have continued to perfect their systems. I don’t see why IF won’t, too.

Brian O’Sullivan September 18, 2018 um 1:53 am

Instafreebie was excellent when it first started but like a number of other authors I dropped them due to the poor quality mailing list sign-ups (which is why, I suspect, they’re being forced into a pivot). I can’t honestly see what new value they’ll add but they’re pretty competent and it’ll be interesting to watch.

J R Tomlin September 19, 2018 um 2:00 am

Do they even realize that works are not 'prolific'? Authors may be. Works quite definitely are not.

Roland Denzel September 20, 2018 um 9:28 pm

Sometimes prolific is broken, other times prolific works.

Nate Hoffelder September 20, 2018 um 9:35 pm


Georgia Carter Mathers September 20, 2018 um 11:33 pm

They are probably repositioning themselves because of the GDPR.

It is no longer advisable to collect email addresses by offering a freebie as an incentive; the reader may not actually realize that they are signing up to someone’s mailing list.

Instafreebie tried to readjust to ensure that readers are aware, while still gaining subscriptions for their authors. They gave authors the option to make susbscribing optional, but this means that authors ARE giving away their work for nothing. Only a small proportion of subscribers sign up now through my instafreebie account now. The rest just take my book and run.

I’d say that authors are deciding not to pay Instafrebbie now, because it is no longer worth it for them. And thus Instafreebie repositions themselves with new services.

Nate Hoffelder September 21, 2018 um 4:04 am

That would make a lot of sense – I can’t tell you the number of authors who say this type of service isn’t half as useful as it used to be.

Ramona Harris October 3, 2018 um 9:14 pm

i can’t find books I’ve downloaded from instafreebie and I guess from what I can tell prolific works will be the same

Ruth Ann Campbell October 6, 2018 um 7:05 am

The way it’s set up i can’t get any books downloaded on my kindle books to read. Also the app for prolific works won’t download. I’m out over 1,000 books. Not happy.

KarenE October 11, 2018 um 3:03 pm

I can’t download my books either. I am so confused!

katt med meg October 29, 2018 um 10:26 am

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