Giving them Away

Books, that is. I know that many indie authors have giveaways and contests. Some of them are really clever, getting readers to check out their work while generating excitement in the process. Heard of book swag? I mean, who doesn’t like free stuff or contests you can enter at no cost. It seems like a win-win situation, right? I was on a book blog site the other day and every novel listed was part of a drawing.  But I wonder how successful this strategy is for unknown indie authors.

A while back I read a free novella by Colleen Hoover who is the master of giveaways. She’s nailed it—practically branded the concept. And I think that’s awesome. Nothing about her giveaways feels forced, desperate, or like she wants something in return for giving away her novel. I get the impression when I read her blog that she loves giving them away. Not every author can or should do this, in my opinion. Colleen already had a fan base and this free novel was a gift to them. I think it’s important for authors to figure out what works for them, finding that special way to connect with readers. And you are not alone, I’m still trying to figure this out too. 🙂

Then there’s the topic free book. There are tons of free books available now by just tapping on a screen. I know people who will download books just because they are free, however, they have no intentions on reading them—at least no time soon. On the other hand, they always finish the books they buy. And that had me thinking. Does purchasing something instead of getting it for free increase its value or the customer’s investment?

A few years ago I organized a conference for college girls. I wanted it to be free since I know money is a common struggle among college kids. However, a friend of mine suggested I charge at least five dollars because it would help confirm attendees. It worked, and the turnout was much larger than I expected.

So what do you think about unknown indie authors giving away their books? Has anyone seen great success with giveaways?

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5 thoughts on “Giving them Away

  1. We gave away book one of our fantasy trilogy (The Gauntlet Thrown) to great success. It took a while to build an audience, though – a few years, actually. By the time we released Book 2 (The Challenge Accepted) for $2.99 there were plenty of readers eager to buy it.

    • Wow! That is so great to hear, even that it takes time to build an audience. I’ve been contacting reslifers everyday to share about my book. Next I’ll be contacting book bloggers. Not sure if this is a good plan, it’s hard to know where I’ll find my readers. 🙂 Thanks for your comment. I’m encouraged that authors are having success with their generosity.

  2. Hi Chloe. I found this really interesting especially seeing as I was talking to my mum about free promotions of books on Amazon. She was saying people often actually prefer to buy something rather than get it for free, even if it’s at a low cost. I think it can be a psychological thing; people attach more worth to something if it has a price tag.

    But I did a free promo on Amazon at the beginning of November and was pleased with how I did. So I guess it works differently for different authors, as you say in this piece.

    • Elaine! I wondered the same thing too about the psychology of it all. Personally I’m a little more invested when I’ve purchased something. Like going to the theater, I’ve never walked out even if I didn’t care for the movie. My nine dollar investment meant I was going to see it all the way through.:) However I am looking forward to doing a few giveaways and such! Thanks for reading my thoughts on the subject. 🙂

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