THE VALUE OF A BOOK GIVEAWAY
What if I told you that the number of books you give away isn't enough? And I mean actual paperbacks, not ebooks. What if I told you that if you're cringing about the idea of parting with hundreds of your books for free, "You know nothing, John Snow?" What if I said 1,000 might be the number to come close to yield what you desire—albeit only the beginnings of it—which is, the road out of obscurity?
Yeah, I know. I had my hair move on my head too after I recently dove into marrying my art (book writing) and my business (book selling) and started researching book marketing tactics that would get me on the New York Times Best Sellers list, because that's my goal and my dream, and I'll do a naked dance for you if that happens. For real. Until then...
Here is a case study from Goodreads on how All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood made it where I want to be. It's highly educational. And it finally unblocked from being afraid to give away large numbers of my books. Paperbacks. When I can afford it. Because it costs me. Paper ain't free. But the value of the giveaways overrides the costs and has already started bringing me more sales. Yes, it's expensive. I mean, come on, I slaved over every word and now I'm supposed to give my babies away for free?? WTF??!?! YES, YES, YES. I'll tell you why. Ready?
A FREE BOOK IS AN OFFER NO READER CAN REFUSE.
Tattoo this on your forehead, dear writer. In your battle for readership you will have to lose limbs, and you'll have to be smart about it. It's not free, getting readers. You have to somehow entice them to even try reading you. How do you do it? Give them your book for free. A real book. A book they can hold in their hands. A book you signed (and maybe even kissed, like I do). This book is your ticket out of obscurity. Here is how it works:
1. You give your free book to a reader—either in person (rarely possible) or by mail (99% of the time). Since you'll mostly be sending it by mail, the rest of the points are about that option. (If you give the book in person, ask for permission to follow up via email, to ask, "How did you like my book?")