There’s a trend these days where authors promise something for free, typically using social media like Twitter or Facebook. The freebie piques your interest, so you click the link and go to the page to download the promised item.
Then you find out it’s not really free. There is a cost, and it’s typically your email address and a promise of future newsletter and advertising emails — not to mention a loss of your precious time.
You should stop doing that, if that’s part of your operating agenda to build up your newsletter and advertising list.
Why? It will not only annoy people, you’ve outright lied to them to get something of theirs. Readers have a long memory, and you don’t want to be remembered as the author who pulled a fast one to get someone’s email address. You’ve lost a potential (or actual repeat) reader because they have a negative view where you’re concerned.
If you want to build up your email address and newsletter list, consider doing it above board. Feel free to give something away, and then ask them to sign up. Many will, because you’ve already given them something. The ones who don’t will probably use a catch-all Gmail account, and they’ll probably be clicking the unsubscribe link as soon as the download is complete anyway.
Freebies are cool. Tricking people by promising something “absolutely free” and then forcing them to sign up for a newsletter they might not want is not cool.
Consider carefully how you want your potential readers to view your books in the future.