The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say. ~Mark Twain
Marketing. (AAGGHHHH!!!!!! …as she runs screaming out of the room.)
As authors we have to continually keep our eyes on that ball. Besides providing great content between the covers of a book, we now have to be masters of the business world as well. Sheesh- sometimes it feels overwhelming.
I have an interesting question that I will ask in just a minute.
There’s no getting around the business side of writing. There just isn’t. Let’s say you’ve published your book, you’ve blogged, you’ve Face Booked, you’ve had a book launch, you’ve done all the things you know how to do and your sales are still moving along at a sluggish pace. Many authors will offer their books for free on Amazon and other sites. While doing that, you can also contact sites such as www.indiebookslist.com, www.pixelofink.com, www.freebooksy.com, www.bargainbookhunter.com, www.flurriesofwords.blogspot.com, www.freebookdude.com, and www.snickslist.com. These types of sites will be happy to email or tweet your book to their followers which can run into the thousands. There are tons of sites out there to help you, too many to list them all here. I’ve heard of one author who offered is book on Amazon’s KDP Select, ran it through as many of these sites as he could (with no other promotion) and he ended up with over 4000 free downloads. This sounds pretty terrific!
Another interesting idea is to use something called Wattpad. I had never heard of it, but it could be a great place to start building a readership, get feedback, and build excitement for your next bit of work. It’s like a giant high school literary magazine where people can put up their work and there are tons of readers there. This site is most often accessed by smart phones where short stories, novels, poetry, and fan fiction are read voraciously. Many writers reveal their stories chapter by chapter so the readers anticipate new developments and can often be found asking the writer for plot shifts or new characters! If you think this is just another site among the millions out there, think again. Wattpad gets 9 million unique visitors a month! I think that qualifies as a good site to build a readership.
So here’s my question. With this fairly proven method of offering your work for free as a marketing tool, are we training a whole generation to expect free books?
What does that mean for a writer? Dale Brown, who is a very successful author, just offered his books for $1.99. That’s not free, but it is pretty cheap. My husband bought ten books at once. While that’s a win win for both my husband and Dale Brown, Peter will now think twice before spending a chunk of change on a new book. If he waits long enough it will go on sale or be offered for free.