Book Marketing - To Give Or Not To Give
Recently, I ran a free sale for one of my books and I was fortunate enough to get over 300 downloads. I know there’s a lot of debate about whether we should be giving our books away for free or not but if you’re like me and you’re new to the book biz, you have to do something to get your book into the hands of readers.
I’m not so naïve to think all these people will love my book so much that they rush out and buy another one of my books, but I do hope a few will become fans and hopefully a few will leave a review. I know there are people out there just waiting for the next book to become available for free and that this can hurt all of us but I think offering your book for free once in a while to drum up some buzz about you and your books is okay.
The beauty of it is that Amazon makes it super easy.
If you have your ebook in the Kindle Select Program, which means for 90 days your book is exclusively available through Amazon, then you can put your book on sale for free for 5 days. It doesn’t count you anything. Amazon is eating the download fee.
So, other than your original cost to publish the ebook (editing, book cover, and formatting), you aren’t losing anything either. Plus, there’s a lot to gain. I have over 300 people reading my book that would have never known I existed before. That’s pretty cool.
As you probably know, I do a lot of in-person events and I love these! They get me in front of parents and children where I can interact and sign my books to them. It’s great to meet these eager little readers. But, tables are expensive and I get tired standing behind a table all day so it’s not a sustainable marketing plan for me. I have to find a way to get “seen” on Amazon.
The other cool thing is my book soared to the top of the sub-category. For those 5 days, I was either #1 or #2 in one of my categories. I took screen shots and saved the links to these because now I can use that as a marketing too as well. Pretty neat, huh?!
Another side to this is that I give a lot of my paperback copies away, don’t you? Not only that but giving away paperbacks is more expensive. You have your original cost (editing, book cover, and formatting), plus the cost to print and have those books mailed to you. If you also mail these books to give them away, there’s that cost to. Trust me, I’ve done that as well! I give them to ARC readers and to fundraisers and other events that help kids. Recently, I gave several copies away for an Easter Basket that one of the stores who carries my books was sponsoring. I give to the Retired Teachers organization that provides books and a related toy to underprivileged kids. It feels great to give!
So, when you think about it giving away ebooks is really a no-brainer.
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