Wednesday, May 2, 2012

AUTHORS: IT MAY BE TIME TO GIVE MORE BOOKS AWAY!

DO YOU KNOW THE PHRASE, "IT TAKES MONEY TO MAKE MONEY?" This is surely true for new authors unless you are already a celebrity.

Give your book away to as many people as you can–particularly people of influence. Not everyone likes the idea of parting with their books for free, but the majority of consumers buy books based on recommendations from media, peers, friends and family. Giving books away is a great way to launch a word-of-mouth marketing campaign.

Spend time on Google searching for key contacts (or hire a smart virtual assistant to do this for you). Find contact information for reporters who cover topics related to your book as well as radio and t.v. shows that report on similar topics.  Do the same with bloggers and internet radio programs.

Send an e-mail first. This gives me a chance to establish a rapport, which can go a long way when it’s time to follow-up. It also ensures that I’m not sending out copies that end up in the recycle bin.

to save some money use a service like Smashwords, you can give away ebook editions (create a coupon for 100% off).

Not every review copy will result in publicity, but the ones that do can make up for all the rest. A feature article in a major media outlet or a recommendation on a popular blog can propel a book to all kinds of success.m not suggesting that you give books to everyone you meet, because not everyone has influence. But you should give them to media professionals including reporters, editors, and producers. You should also give them to bloggers – these folks have more influence than ever before. Bloggers with a loyal audience can have tremendous influence when recommending a book.


As a freelance writer and ghostwriter, Kathy Stemke has published over one hundred articles in directories, magazines and on websites. She is a reviewer for Sylvan Dell Publishing and a former editor for The National Writing for Children Center. As a retired teacher, Kathy has several activities published with Gryphon House Publishing. Stemke is also part of the team at DKV Writing 4 U, a writing services company that includes ghostwriting, copywriting, editing, proofreading, critiquing, and resumes.  http://www.dkvwriting4u.com

Award winning author, Kathy Stemke’s first children’s picture book, Moving Through All Seven Days, was published on Lulu. Her next two picture books, Sh, Sh, Sh Let the Baby Sleep, and Trouble on Earth Day were released in 2011. Both of these books have been awarded the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval.  




9 comments:

  1. Kathy, this is sound marketing advice. Along with sending out review copies, it's a good idea to submit to contests, especially the biggies. Some of them are free, and the ones that aren't may well be worth the cost.

    Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

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  2. Kathy, thanks for the excellent advice. My head is spinning from all the things I'll need to do when my book comes out. Any advice on how to keep it all together?

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  3. Kathy, thanks for the good advice. I agree with Maggie that my head is spinning from all I need to do when Strength Renewed comes out. My situation is compounded by the fact that I live in South Africa. I will only receive a few free books, and want to give those to people who edited, proof-read, etc. Although I can buy at a greatly reduced price, by the time I have imported the books they'll probably cost me more than if I buy them locally!

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  4. Thanks Karen, Maggie and Shirley for your comments.

    Maggie-I suggest either chocolate, wine or a hot bubble bath to help keep it together.

    Shirley- If you have an ebook version of your book, you can save $ by sending that version.

    Hope this helps.

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  5. A good reminder Kathy that we should be very generous with our books. Cory Doctorow, the king of using freebies for self-promotion, says that not only does giving away books significantly increase sales (paradoxically perhaps but readers lead to more readers), but also provides more opportunities to earn money through ancilliary activities.

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  6. Well-targeted review copies are vital to get your name in front of the readers who would appreciate your book. And like Karen, l am now a convert to the value of awards and competitions for spreading the word. Thanks Kathy.

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  7. Really useful information. And I like the comment about the chocolate. lol

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  8. Kathy, I've found even offering free copies of my books usually results in very little in the way of sales or other publicity, especially true if you have a meager following on your blog or readers of your book.

    I've yet to see increased sales from offering my books as free downloads while in the KDP select program, which is what is supposed to happen and most of my sales are just coming from in-person events where I talk about what I have to offer. I'll keep on plugging away though and see what happens in the future - E :)

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of Finally Home, a YA paranormal mystery
    http://elysabethsstories.blogspot.com
    http://eeldering.weebly.com

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