What is your experience with free books from authors? Many of the offerings from the promotional campaigns that I are involved with through BookFunnel and StoryOrigin are “reader magnets”, short sample books of an author’s work. Sometimes they are like the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon book pages (the first 10% of a book), often they are the first chapter or selected excerpts from a book. Some authors will give away the first book in a series, in hopes that you will buy the next/rest.
All a reader has to do is give the author an email address. What do I do with these? I send out a weekly newsletter with my weekly blog highlights, an entertaining blurb, all the links to the BookFunnel/StoryOrigin promos, updates on my new writing projects, and any book sale dates.
Many readers have downloaded my free book and unsubscribed immediately, others stick around for a few months, but many keep opening my weekly offerings. Is a weekly email too much? I’ve debated going bi-monthly, but I haven’t decided yet.
Let me know what you think about free books and newsletters.
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.
Not ready to purchase yet?
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Earlier, I wrote a post about paring down my email subscriber list (The Purge). I went from 97 subscribers to 48. Sounds like a lot doesn’t it. That’s half my list. So yeah, it Is a lot. I started my newsletter to keep my readers entertained between my writing projects and to give them some insight into my writing journey. It’s both personal and professional.
How do I gauge success? I have a few benchmarks:
When my subscriber list had more non-friends and relatives – Check.
50% opens – Check
Subscriber engagement (comments, clicks, purchases) – Check. (This doesn’t count my mom who always replies to my newsletter, “I really enjoy your newsletters. I look forward to them every week.” Thanks, Mom. Love you too.)
100 subscribers – Almost…there…until…
I hope my subscribers look forward to my emails. I went with a weekly newsletter because is I think that once a month is too long between updates. For daily engagement, I turned to this blog. I hope that you enjoy my thoughts, ramblings, and humor.