Free eBooks: What Used to Be and What Works Now

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”

How to Use Perma-Free eBooks to Bolster Paid Sales

permafree books roe-deer-2540087_960_720So, 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?

Well, what I’ve described is not unusual. Free can be an effective strategy, but it’s not one that is effortless. If you don’t promote free, it can go badly. Today, I’m going to discuss some ways you can get the most out of a free book. Before I get started, Continue reading “How to Use Perma-Free eBooks to Bolster Paid Sales”

Slow Thriller* Writers and Free Books

(*It’s the rate of writing that’s slow, not the pace of the fiction…)

confusing author issues question-mark-1872665_960_720Back 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.

I remember saying on Indies Unlimited back then that however beneficial a FREE run on Amazon might be, I didn’t think I’d ever pay to advertise the fact. Pay to give stuff away? I mean, who’d do that? Continue reading “Slow Thriller* Writers and Free Books”

Ch-ch-ch-changes in Indie Publishing

publishing industry changes psychic-72085_960_720I received an email from another author recently, asking me if I could send him a link to a podcast I did on how to effectively leverage free days to promote your book. I had forgotten about that particular interview, but thanks to Google, it lives forever. After I found and listened to it, I knew I couldn’t send it to him. Almost everything I said at the time – the spring of 2014 – is wrong today.

Oh, it was true at the time, but in the ever-changing landscape of indie publishing, the advice I gave wouldn’t fly today. Continue reading “Ch-ch-ch-changes in Indie Publishing”