I know I’ve been quiet lately; I’ve been totally engrossed in a crash course of learning how to give books away. You’d think everyone likes a freebie, but there are OH SO MANY free books out there, you can’t just put an apologetic tweet on Twitter saying er, hello, would you like my book? Free?
Most writers have the subconscious but unshakeable belief their books are jewels of the highest quality, which need only to be brought to the attention of an anxiously-waiting world. Most of the experts trying to shift them for you cynically consider them the equivalent of an old sofa on the pavement. The reality, one has to hope, falls somewhere between the two.
Once I started delving into the subject of free books I was genuinely gobsmacked at (a) how many options there are (b) how many writers are giving their books away (c) how often (d) how far off trend my books are and (e) how difficult it is. The best free book websites won’t even look at your book if it doesn’t already have multiple reviews and a top rating, which seems completely puzzling to someone who was only thinking of doing it to get reviews and an improved rating in the first place.
I’ve done a giveaway once before, on one of my short stories, with I think 4 tweets on the subject, and shifted around 100 copies, so obviously the research needed to be done. I’ve now registered with any number of websites so that I can send them One Two when the promotion starts. I’ve joined about twenty Facebook promo pages so I can post the details, ditto.
This is like preparing for the A-Z blog challenge in April all over again, as I prepare lots of utterly spontaneous-sounding little tweets, posts, blurbs and mini-synopses to paste into place – I’m guessing the end of October will be an absolute blur of activity.
And yet – now I am coming across sensible, intelligent articles which agree, along with some of the websites I investigated, that I should be paying to give my book away. I’m having a little trouble getting my head around that, to be honest. It took me a while just to accept giving books away was good for sales, and I’ve attached a click-on link for a good article by Martin Crosbie on the subject of free promotions
Here’s another good article, by Rex Jameson, on How to give books away. Both articles were found on my new favourite website: Favourite, because the administrator emailed me back to tell me my blurb on One Two was crappy, and how to re-write it. That’s gold. So if you want a fab website for Freebie Fridays, pick up your free books via Indies Unlimited
I pay for my Grasshopper Lawn covers, and love the results. I pay for editing, after the many blushes of releasing One Two in January without professional editing; then picking up error after error after error and a review pointing out how desperately it needed it. At least with eBooks you can change the book as often as necessary – printing an unedited book must be heart-breaking, although at least the minimum-thousand-copy print runs of the past no longer apply. But paying to give the book away? Really? There’s a relevant up-to-the-minute article on the same website Is Free Over?
More research is necessary. Well, and more money. Writing is my passionate hobby, and no totally engrossing, thoroughly enjoyable, hobby comes without a price tag. Few hobbies actually pay back a few pennies here and there, or can be shared with people you have never met, so those are definite perks. But right now I’m deflated. I’ll give the promo a fair go, because it’s interesting and useful experience. I’ll put out the third book, because it’s the best so far, but if it doesn’t ‘take’, writing will go back to being a private hobby.
As for Five Six Pick Up Sticks, it’s back from being edited, and bleeding red ink on nearly every page, but the death of one thousand cuts is mainly superficial; no huge rewrites needed, and it will be published at end October as planned. As all of the above pain is to launch it into a world not completely indifferent to the series, fingers crossed…