Many years ago, I delved into self-publishing my fiction writing sans any particular plan other than to bring my out-of-print first novel back to life and try to make the best of a bad situation.
Like most indie fiction writers, I worked hard at marketing my books—both on and off-line. I set up the random signing, I Facebooked (is that a real verb?), I tweeted and (most significantly) I set my prices low—starting at $.99 per download.
Years have past since my first two novels hit the top spots saleswise—all due to relentless marketing and good timing. Selling downloads for $.99 produced an income at the time much better than the one I got from selling them for $2.99—even with the increased percentage royalty at that level.
Obviously, things have changed. In the time when creative output must be worth the money paid or suffer the fate of being marginalized and ignored, it’s become more important than ever for authors to work together to improve their (for lack of a better term) market expansion.
I think what a reader wants today—and I speak from experience as a reader—is a level of trust be established between author and reader, before shelling out hard-earned dinero for an author’s book.
Say what you like about cover. Say what you want about having a catchy hook. Say whatever you want about price points and book launches. What it all comes down to is that book sales and trust go hand in hand.
Ask yourself then, as a reader: do I really want to buy the book that’s free or do I want to buy a book because, regardless of the cost, I know it’s going to be a good one?
I think for a writer trying to build a readership, giving away books is fine. As long as it’s done strategically, in an effort to establish that level of trust that allows a writer to seek payment for the work they create.
PS: I have added a Udemy course to my list of awesome things I’m busy doing. Feel free to jump right in.
Don’t worry! It’s strictly for beginners.
PPS: If you want to get in on any of the following awesome perks offered for your support of the Crime Cafe Stories Project, better act soon. The deadline is the end of the day on Sunday, Sept. 11! 🙂