The story behind Free Book Friday:
I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?
Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.
Don’t give away the farm.
Despite information that free books is a good marketing strategy, I still struggle with the thought of giving away my hard work as a writer. Oh, I’ve done it, but my finger hovers over the button for a long time before I make the commitment.
Book royalties are not very high with self publishing unless you are able to sell directly. I make more/book if I sell my paperback directly to a reader. Much more. And you get it signed by me. Oh, and you get a free bookmark that I designed. Even with shipping – which isn’t cheap, if I sold all my books that way, I’d be happy.
So, most indie authors are making a small amount with each sale, and it is hard to give up that amount when every little bit counts. But if you want to there are several options:
Free books for reviews: There are many ways to get your book into the hands of readers that will hopefully leave a glowing review that will boost your credibility as and author. I’ve had limited success with most, although my review rate I have discovered is typical. I recently started a two week promotion with Itsy Bitsy Book Bits which includes making my book available to their pool of reviewers. My previous forays can be read about in this post: Review Platforms: Take my free books, please.
Free days on Amazon: If you publish with KDP (Amazon), you have the ability offer your book for free. The benefit? If enough readers download your book, it can catapult it into the Best Sellers lists, which in turn increases exposure. I’ve done this as well as $0.99 sales.
Reader magnets: If you have never heard of these, I’ll let you in on a secret— [Tap on shoulder] “What’s that? I can’t? OK. you can leave now.” [footsteps]
Most authors offer up free samples of their books to readers, usually in exchange for their email address. It’s a win/win really. The author gets their writing into the hands of a potential reader (hopefully a potential purchaser), and the reader gets a chance to discover a new author and use their “junk” email address so they don’t have to deal with constant spam from authors. Yes, I know you have one. I’m talkin’ to you doodlepoodle57_hahaABC@yahoomail.crom. I only send out a weekly email that hopefully entertains and informs the subscribers of sales and free offerings that I am participating in. It is also the only way I can direct my parents to my blog without fielding a call like an IT call center. So yeah. Win/win
Writer’s platforms: There are various platforms for budding writers to post their creations. Last month I wrote about them: Free Book Friday: June 18 .
Nothing is guaranteed in the publishing business. Free books do not always equal more sales, and many readers will not leave reviews even if that is the expectation.
I appreciate everyone who has reviewed my books. I get excited when I see a new review posted. I don’t expect everyone to enjoy my writing, but most readers have always said something positive. For the readers who have purchased one of my books, I thank you for supporting me on my writing journey. I’ll leave you with this question: Where do read for free?
Current promos are here: Discover New Authors and Free Books
That’s it for this week!
Leon Stevens is a multi-genre author, composer, guitarist, songwriter, and an artist, with a Bachelor of Music and Education. He published his first book of poetry, Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020, followed by a book of original classical guitar compositions, Journeys, and a short story collection of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales called The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories. His newest publications are the novella, The View from Here, which is a continuation of one of his short stories, and a new collection of poetry titled, A Wonder of Words.
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