Having read fellow indie authors blogs and all the invaluable information that can be found on KBoards (a place where fellow authors gather to chat about all things book related) it has become apparent that a ‘freebie’ or ‘giveaway’ is a must if you want to promote your work.
Only problem is…. The Soul Guide is my only piece of work so far, and I’m not quite ready to give it away for free (it was only released yesterday so, for now, I can tell myself it’s a bit too early to do that). It would seem, unlike me, other authors have a vast back catalogue of their own work they can dip into to find a suitable freebie. Sensibly, many of these authors started writing short stories, novellas, or just other pieces of work before working on a longer novel. I, on the other hand, went headfirst into a full-length novel, published it and expected a massive audience to magically appear out of nowhere and love my work… the reality is far removed from this.
So, getting back to the point in hand, I totally get why freebies are so important as a promotional tool, and why as a writer/author having a back catalogue of smaller pieces of work is so invaluable.
The aim of the game seems so obvious now. – attract a potential reader with a freebie in the hope that they will read and like your work enough to want to go on and buy the book you’ve been slogging over for the last ‘x’ amount of years.
As a reader, I am one of those people who actively look for free kindle books on Amazon. When I first got my kindle (wasn’t that long ago, I’m a bit slow off the bat) I was astounded to find so many ‘free’ books. I’ve read quite a few and have enjoyed them, and felt extremely smug when I didn’t have to pay for them either. What I failed to realise was that the ‘free’ book had a cost to the author in all sorts of ways, like time and money being the most obvious (yes it still costs the author to get a ‘freebie’ up and running). I really didn’t appreciate the effort that goes into the whole self-publishing process. The work is immense. I naively thought I’d press the publish button on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) and I would suddenly have thousands of readers desperately clamouring for my book.
Believe me, I am cringing at myself now!!
Whilst The Soul Guide hasn’t been doing too bad in terms of sales. I think so far, the majority are likely to be down to friends and family and a bit of word of mouth (which of course, I am eternally grateful for). Actually, gaining readers who are particularly interested in reading books from the genre I write in, not least getting readers over to this blog (welcome if you are new and here today) is proving tougher than I thought and is currently my new nemesis, alongside a general crap ability at working out the simplest technical stuff (that’s a whole other blog right there).
This whole process is a steep learning curve for me, but I am determined to make it work. With this in mind, I am now signing off to go work on my short story linked to The Soul Guide (it may run into a novella, lets see) about Bertram and Mellissa’s first encounter and the days that followed, in the hope that I can give this away as a freebie and get those elusive readers interested in the main novel The Soul Guide.
Let’s see how it goes…
Oh, and by the way. If you like this blog, and want to hear more about my journey, upcoming projects, ‘freebies’ 😉 then please sign up to my newsletter. Thanks.