There isn’t a corner of the world the Coronavirus hasn’t hit (well, maybe Antarctica) and now millions of people are stuck at home with nothing to do. Some are diehard readers, and others choose to binge watch stuff on Netflix or another online platform. For many people the social isolation is too much to bear. They can’t figure out how to productively pass the time. And then there are those of us who spend much of our year in social isolation, and this is just business as usual.
Smashwords has set out to ease the pain of isolation. They’re holding a sitewide Author Give Back program that lasts from March 20 to May 31. Authors can enroll some, or all, of their books, and those can either be listed as free, or you can set a discounted price. I’ve been a part of Smashwords for many years, and each time they have an event like Christmas in July or another promotion, I’ve always enrolled my books and short stories. Readers can find the sale books here. This is a good, free way to get your books promoted. But do you make money off giving away books? Yes, you do! Continue reading “When the Reading Audience is Captive”
My favorite saying about indie publishing is, “The only constant is change.” There’s no such thing as a long-term, set it and forget it marketing system that will continue to work to sell books year after year. I’ve employed half a dozen different primary strategies (and dozens of minor ones) over the last six years to market my books, and I have no doubt I’ll be adding more this year. We have to be like sharks — never sleeping, but constantly moving forward.
It’s been a while since I wrote something about how to gain more visibility for your books, so let’s dive in to one of my favorite methods — free runs. There is a certain segment of authors who believe that we work too hard on our books, and that we should never give them away. Essentially, they believe we devalue all books by choosing to give our books away. I was once one of them. Then, I too gave it a try. Five years later, I’ve given away almost half a million books, and in the process, I gained a career. Continue reading “Free eBooks: What Used to Be and What Works Now”
So, you’ve heard that making books perma-free (permanently or long-term free) is a great way to spur sales of your other books. You read an IU article on how to make your book perma-free, you did it, and now, six months later, your book has a ranking of 80,000 in free books and you’re barely getting one free download a week. Where did things go wrong?
(*It’s the rate of writing that’s slow, not the pace of the fiction…)
Back in 2012 I tried enrolling a novel of mine in KDP Select, or whatever it was called back then. I booked five FREE days, and was surprised when the book got thousands of downloads, hitting the number one free download ranking in both the US and UK Amazon stores. In the month that followed, thanks to the generous Amazon algorithms at the time, I sold several thousand full-priced copies of the book.
It was about then that I got a mail from a company called BookBub, explaining that they had promoted the title for FREE, without me knowing. That’s how BB started, targeting mainly indie authors as a means of showing how effective BB advertising could be.