Thursday, October 11, 2012

Freeby Versus Freebee

 
My ebook, The Bridgeman, is free for the next three days. The jargon is “freeby” or “freebee”. I’ve been mulling over which one to use.

At first glance, freeby would seem to entice a little better. The “by” at the end might make the potential reader think of “buy”. Quickly followed by the realization that they can buy this one for FREE. (Buy can mean purchase for money but can also mean acquire a stake in or believe in wholeheartedly. I really like that last one.) Will potential fans think: hey, I can buy into that freeby?

However, could the word “by” make the readers think of “bye” instead? Could they think: hey, you get what you pay for, which means something that costs nothing can’t be good? (Missing the point about getting readers hooked on my series?) Maybe I should use freebee instead.

Perhaps this spelling would put readers in a really good mood. It could make them think of the birds and the bees. Of soft beds or pastoral scenes or verdant hillsides. They might like the idea of having a freebee.

However, could the word remind them of little buzzing insects that sting? I have to admit, The Bridgeman does sting a little: it’s a controversial topic that hits the reader between the eyes with its ferocity. But it’s such a great mystery and ends with hope, so I’m very proud of it.

The other question I am mulling is: where on earth did freeby or freebee come from? Are they akin to newby, wannabe, passersby, hushaby, hereby, thereby, whereby, bribee, frizbee?

I am so confused. But then, there’s always freebie: “An article or service given free.”

Like THE BRIDGEMAN! BUT, I continue to mull over: shouldn’t freebie actually be the plural of freeby, as in freebies? And where did the word mulling come from, anyway? Mulling wine perhaps?
 
Oh well, as I often say, “Belly up to the book bar. The first round’s on me.”
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