TODAY'S POST: I-Spy something beginning with ... Free Books!
As a reader? They're great! I've been able to download backlist books from authors I love, and sample new books from authors I've yet to "meet". Admittedly there are some drawbacks, even when the product is free:
* some books are poorly presented and written. I DoNotFinish, and avoid that author in future, but it means having to trawl through some dreck to find the gems.
* my Kindle is so full after a campaign that it takes me ages - if ever - to get around to reading all the new books! It does slow down my buying habits, which you could take as a good or bad thing.
* and I get myself subscribed to future free offers and early sneak peeks from the author.
As an author? It's a very useful marketing tool.
* if you send out Advance Reader Copies for a new book, this is a quick, low workload, and efficient way to do it.
* you can personalise the copies - in case one gets into the hands of book pirates, you can track where it came from,
So, but... what happens when the Honeymoon is over??
As a reader: Some authors are too pushy for me, following up with weekly newsletters, often checking in on me to see if I've read the book / what did I think / can I leave a review / do I want to hear about the next project?
In most cases, the answer will be positive, but I'd like to choose my time to engage. Gradually, I peel away the newsletters that *don't* appeal to me. After all, we can all use the internet to follow up on a new treasured author, at our own time.
As an author: I recently banded together with 80 other authors for just one week, offered a self-published backlist novel, and doubled my newsletter subscriber list to 1000+! Of course, it meant I gave away a whole bunch of books for free (though it was a slow-moving title in the first place). Nor is it just a numbers game - I can only hope it generates some new reviews, or interest in my other books. It's difficult to measure that success or not, but exposure for my author name is always a plus for me.
And a small percentage of the newsletter subscribers gradually peel away, just like I have done myself.
There are conditions to Instafreebie, and they do monitor drastic ups and downs on an account, in an attempt to minimise spammers using them. However, it's relatively easy to set up and use, and the basic account is free, though you have to pay a modest monthly subscription if you want to link your giveaway to your mailing list (which I think currently is worth the money for me).
Overall? I recommend it as a great way to share free fiction, meet new books and authors - because they're appearing every day in their multitudes! - and also reach out to readers of your own with writing updates, fun news and treats. You know, NOT everyone spends 12+hours of the day online like me *cough*, so a newsletter is a valuable way to reach new, and unique, readers.
And everyone loves the occasional free book, right? :D
And my newsletter is HERE!
What would you like to know more about?
We welcome everyone's constructive comments and suggestions!