His way? All will be explained. . .
There’s nothing worse than people boasting about how brilliant their book promotion went but, in a spirit of trying to give hope to all those out there, like me, who are doing our best to sell our books in a tough market, this is an encouraging story – if it helped me, it can help you too.
I’ve published two books now and in middle of writing a third, plus I do another blog about the hero of my mystery series Jack Lockwood (http://jacklockwood.wordpress.com) Tip one for blogs (learnt the hard way): I’ve been doing these stories for quite a time, but I’ve discovered that the shorter they are the better. No one wants to wade through long blogs. Make it fun. Make it unexpected. Make it short.
Thanks to reading David Perlmutter’s book MY WAY http://viewBook.at/MyWay , I decided to do a free 5 day promotion for my second book DOPELLGANGER, under the KDP scheme, who let you do a free promotion every few months. David has had well deserved success with his excellent, highly readable book WRONG PLACE WRONG TIME viewBook.at/WrongPlaceWrongTime …, and he knows a lot about book promotion, and he’s sharing his tips in MY WAY. It’s packed with useful, helpful tips, some of which I knew, many I didn’t. David’s book isn’t expensive, and it gives good straightforward common sense practical ideas that he’s leant the hard way. It doesn’t promise the moon, it simply tries to give you some help and some answers.
I thought what’s the point of a free promotion? The point is, with any luck you might get good reviews (you might get bad ones too, but that’s always a risk). And it’s nice to think of you r book being seen by many people, even if they never actually read it (I think some never even read it, or maybe just glance at the cover and forget about it).
But here’s the thing. The thing that I never expected. AFTERSALES. For some crazy reason, after the free promo ended I unexpectedly got lots and lots of sales in the first few days, and I’m still getting them. Rather like kick starting a motor bike which takes a long time to catch, I have the feeling that the motor has actually started. One, really sweet girl tweeted to say she’d started reading DOPELLGANGER at 8 o’clock the previous night and couldn’t stop till 4am, because she wanted to know what happened. She wrote a review, and another nice lady has done a fine review too within days.
I’ve been lucky enough to meet many kind people on twitter who, simply because they’re good and generous, have given me barrowloads of free advice about all kinds of things. I’ve done my best to use it, and pay back wherever I can, even if it’s only in RTs and helping in a minor way with their promotions.
GIVING AWAY YOUR WORK. The arguments against: You’ve spent hours and years on your book. It’s your baby and it’s precious to you. If you don’t value your work yourself, no one else will, you’ll be underselling yourself. These are all the reasonable cogent arguments for refusing to charge nothing.
But here’s the reality. Nobody cares about how long you took to write your book, or the effort it took you. Everyone in the book-reading world is as busy as you are, fitting in reading with family life, work, hobbies, worrying about making ends meet etc. They can read whatever they like at the touch of a button. Whatever bores them gets put aside. Whatever revolts them will be dropped. Book readers want to pass their valuable time making friends with nice characters, being captivated by a puzzling idea, entering a mysterious world that’s exciting, entering a romance, having a laugh, getting turned on by erotica, lots of things, everything under the sun, in fact. A writer once gave me some good advice: whatever your subject is, horror, crime, erotica, humour, chick lit, sci fi, etc, make sure you give them a hit of what they want on every page.
The facts? Unless you charge a lot for your book the difference between charging the price of a cup of coffee for your book or giving it away free means nothing. What matters is the chance of putting your work in front of a new person, who wouldn’t otherwise have found you.
So if you are hesitating about a free promo, why not give it a go? There’s really nothing to lose, and possibly plenty to gain. I charge 99c (77p) for my books, so unless I sell a great many, the money is notional anyway, my eventual aim is to try and establish my books and get some kind of a foothold, even eventually secure a publishing deal (although as we all know that’s a chance in a million).
I did it his way.
And I didn’t regret it.