Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why a Free Promotion?

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Today I'm gonna talk with you all about giving your book away for free and why people do it. There are some pros and cons and I'll be going over all of it. So, if you're ready, grab your pens and notebooks and let's get going!

First, let's discuss the stigma surrounding free.
You've just spent six to twelve months writing and editing a novel. Your blood, sweat, and tears have gone into this story on the page, and you're frustrated about giving it away for nothing. Understandable. Believe me, I get it. Anything you spend that much time developing might sting when someone downloads it for nothing. There's also the fear that people will think you can't sell a book and have to give them away (not true, but you can see where they might jump to that conclusion). However, maybe it's time to change the way we look at free and try to see where it begins to behoove us when we give a book away.

We're gonna have a moment discussing free print books.
Now, everyone is probably familiar with the giveaways on Goodreads. Why do we bother giving away print copies of our books (on that site, and in other giveaways)? Because they're signed, and we want people to sort of covet what we take the time to write our names in. Most of all, we want readers to add our books to their TBR list. That's where the key is. We want to be remembered.

Why does that make a difference? Well, sometimes, when a reader is excited about winning a certain book, they'll go on to buy it if they don't win it. Make sense?

Okay, let's move on to giveaways of e-books.
These work a little bit differently. When you give away an e-book, it's more about what's inside besides the story or what else is coming that matters.

For example:
  • A snippet or two of other books you've written
  • This is the first of a series (to be released)
  • Your social media contact information
  • Giving a sample of your writing to potential fans
If you're running a free promotion, there should be some reason behind it. Either you're trying to build a fan base, you want your rank on Amazon to jump up really high (some hit the top 100 in their genre), or you're hyping up another book that's A. Just been released or B. Will be coming soon.

There are many reasons behind free. Make sure you're deciding what yours are before you jump on the bandwagon. That way, you can have some way to measure your success. After all, you need something to snag a new fan, right? Rafflecopter giveaways can't carry everything. But, like anything, there are cons.

The cons of free:
  • Many people download a free book and never read it
  • If no protection, your book could end up on a pirate site perma-free
  • Your book isn't put in front of those who would enjoy it; rather, it's sent to everyone
  • You make no money off this publication while it's free
  • You may end up with a troll review or two
If you're willing to brave these cons, and put your hope in readers who will get hold of your book and read the heck out of it, you're ready to do free. Like I said above, be sure you know what your ultimate goal is.

Speaking of free and giveaways, come on back to the blog tomorrow for your chance to win a couple of books and some Amazon cash!

How about you? Have you done free promotions? What did you get out of it?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. I've had good luck with free promotions, but it does require a lot of effort to be effective. I promoted them heavily through ad campaigns to boost downloads. Falling for Autumn has been popping up on a bunch of piracy websites, but I did come across a tool that could be helpful called MUSO. I signed up for the free trial to test it out. It scans sites to find illegal uploads of your book and allows you to send takedown notices from their dashboard.

    1. Yes it does take a lot to be effective. I know a ton of folks that rave about MUSO. Free trial? Count me IN! :) You're so full of useful information! Thanks for sharing, Heather.

  2. I have my debut set permafree as a gateway to its trilogy. The title has been resident on Amazon's Free Political Fiction for a bit over a year now, and is also making nice headway on Kobo. It's visibility that costs a novel. The number of new readers and reviews it has garnered has justified giving away my first love. While I'm still chasing that happy virality leading to breakout, I'm certain that a lead title available without risk to a new reader is part of the equation.

    1. I agree with everything you said above, daleamidei. There's nothing quite like making the first book in a series free to gain new fans. :) Congratulations on your success! Feels good, huh? :) Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

  3. I'm actually trying my first print giveaway on Goodreads as well as experimenting with a promotion for the ebook.

    Once I had been published for a bit and watched others, I was about ready to try a free promotion of my own. Then I read a book by Patrick Rothfuss, fell in love with it, started following him, and was inspired by his generosity and charity, World Builders. He does tons of promotional stuff for his charity and it got me thinking. While I don't have enough followers to even remotely consider starting my own charity as Mr. Rothfuss did, I figured I could try to get some money from sales to donate to some of the charities I support. So that is what I'm trying out over the next few weeks. I'm not sure if it will be successful, but I'm hoping it will be. My hope is that 1) I can raise some money for a great cause 2) I can make people feel good about taking a chance on a new author and if they hate it, at least it wasn't a total waste 3) I can grow my audience.

    If this works, I plan on doing it with each book. Maybe it's something I can do a couple times a year. Who knows? But I'm excited to see if I can reach my goal.

    1. EEP! So good to see you back, L. K.! Missed you, lady! You're gonna love the results and exposure a Goodreads giveaway provides. How awesome is it that you're gonna donate to charity? LOVE! Thanks for the comment :)


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