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Author Topic: giving books away  (Read 742 times)  

Offline katie78

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giving books away
« on: January 29, 2018, 04:47:05 PM »
i've heard writers argue the pros and cons. either we're devaluing our work or we're laying the necessary ground work. i think people don't understand HOW to do it as part of an overall strategy.

1. if you only have one book, it may not be worth it.
2. getting reviews isn't the point, but isn't impossible.
3. you gotta get backmatter working.
4. it has better success when given through a newsletter.

agree/disagree?



Edited to remove link. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 05:58:55 PM by Becca Mills »

Offline Lorri Moulton

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Re: giving books away
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2018, 04:52:04 PM »
Are you talking about a book that is always free or making a book free occasionally?

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Offline bmcox

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Re: giving books away
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2018, 05:57:33 PM »
I am considering giving away all my short work that I stockpiled over the past several years. In 2012, I started self-publishing (and hanging out here) but in 2014 I abandoned it to pursue trad publishing once again. I did this mainly because I was teaching college level creative writing and was hoping to get a small book contract or two somewhere which would help me look more competitive for full-time tenure track positions. Needless to say, lots of out right rejections or like your work but isn't a fit. I've attended competitive workshops, had great teachers, lots of encouragement, but no such luck with traditional book publishing or journals.

I have given away over 9000 copies of one book on Amazon, I don't have numbers for the other platforms. Recently, I worked on getting the two other stories free on Amazon (all are free on Amazon.ca; two are free on Amazon.com, and Amazon.co.uk). We'll see how that works out. I am planning on starting to put up other older work slowly. New work I still may submit, but I may be quicker to just put it up for free.

The whole thing is an attempt to reframe the way I see myself in relation to my work. I just want to be in a better place with the writing and the work. We'll see how it goes.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 09:29:20 AM by bmcox »

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Offline katie78

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Re: giving books away
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2018, 09:23:26 PM »
Are you talking about a book that is always free or making a book free occasionally?

either. i have a short story collection that's permafree and a full-length novel i put to free from time to time. if you write a series, it may make sense to make the first one free. if it's good, readers will buy the rest.

Offline katie78

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Re: giving books away
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2018, 08:50:01 AM »
giving books away in exchange for subscribers emails helps to build your newsletter.

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: giving books away
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2018, 09:02:38 AM »
I've had moderate success.
Spending almost no money, simply submitting my book to free ad sites, I give away 400-1000 copies a month of permafree.

These got me an average of one review every two months, or one a month if you count goodreads rankings. This isn't much, but it helped me get a little attention, where before I had none. Over the course of a year, those reviews add up.

I didn't have my second and third book at the time. When I finally launched book two, I saw very little sellthrough, but there was sellthrough. This may be because book one didn't have a strong ending and needs a rewrite.

All of my 2 and 3 star reviews came from people who got free copies. That is your biggest risk. Free copies seem to get lower rankings.

Offline C. Gockel

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Re: giving books away
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2018, 09:34:05 AM »
There are so many variables involved in this. In KU, not in KU, long series, short series, short story, novel, new author, established author ...

Without specifics it is really hard to say whether free is a good idea or not.


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Offline katie78

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Re: giving books away
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2018, 10:27:49 AM »
I've had moderate success.
Spending almost no money, simply submitting my book to free ad sites, I give away 400-1000 copies a month of permafree.

These got me an average of one review every two months, or one a month if you count goodreads rankings. This isn't much, but it helped me get a little attention, where before I had none. Over the course of a year, those reviews add up.

I didn't have my second and third book at the time. When I finally launched book two, I saw very little sellthrough, but there was sellthrough. This may be because book one didn't have a strong ending and needs a rewrite.

All of my 2 and 3 star reviews came from people who got free copies. That is your biggest risk. Free copies seem to get lower rankings.

i wonder if you'd see more sell through if you kept the launches closer together. if a reader finishes the free book and can't buy the next, you've lost a paying customer.

unless you have a newsletter and can update them on a new release. but even then, you've gotta hope they remember your last book fondly.

Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: giving books away
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2018, 04:28:27 AM »
i've heard writers argue the pros and cons. either we're devaluing our work or we're laying the necessary ground work. i think people don't understand HOW to do it as part of an overall strategy.

1. if you only have one book, it may not be worth it.
2. getting reviews isn't the point, but isn't impossible.
3. you gotta get backmatter working.
4. it has better success when given through a newsletter.

agree/disagree?



Edited to remove link. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca

This is pretty much the same things we talk about on every thread about free. Some agree, some don't. I think free can be valuable still, if one knows how to use it and has enough books available for the follow-through to take.
Queen of Procrasti Nation

Genres: speculative fiction under main pen name.




Offline katie78

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Re: giving books away
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2018, 09:34:33 AM »
i also think indie authors need to prove themselves before they expect people to buy their books. why take a risk on an unknown when there's so much else out there that's either made it past traditional gatekeepers or already has 100 great reviews?