I know the ruse when it comes to writing a book. It’s a long process and it’s by far not the easiest thing to do. Couple writing with life which consists of a dreaded (and often stupid) day job, housekeeping, and anything else life throws at us and we’re lucky to have time to write a paragraph a day if that. Because of this, we might feel handing out a free series starter or e-books means writing is more of a love of the labor these days than helping means make an end.
But I’m here to tell you it’s not the case.
What if I told you that your freebies will lead to something greater over time, especially if you’ve written a series?
On my Lord of Columbia Series Site, you can clearly see I’ve done this with the Neo Skyehawk Series being set to permanently free, mainly on Prolific Works, but also anywhere not named Amazon, but only because you have to fight with Amazon to set a book for free and that takes a while.
My Neo Skyehawk Series is nothing more than a set of free novelettes/novellas related to the parent Lord of Columbia Series. It serves as a bit of a history lesson, which connects the two series.
As I mentioned above, freebies lead to something greater over time.
Face it, we live in a culture that loves two things:
Here’s the kicker, however.
People will pay for something so they can binge, but if you’re an author who’s independent or a no-name why would anyone in their right mind buy your books if there are zero reviews and have only sold a few copies?
Sure, your cover and description might be captivating but what am I getting if I open the book?
Plot errors? Grammar? Transitions?
I don’t know because no one in the review section told me anything. I couldn’t trust the book, and most people won’t.
There’s nothing wrong with people as to why they aren’t buying your book.
They WILL buy your book, or books and yes, you can and will make a living on being an indie-author, but will likely take two to four years to get to that point, which is why most indie-authors give up on making a living off their writing.
Think about it: traditionally published authors go through the same ruse and torment, as once a book is accepted for publication, it usually takes about two years before it’s on store shelves.
Indies aren’t getting charged extra. We just upload our books onto Amazon and other platforms without editorial or any kind of reviews. At least if we’re just starting out and haven’t taken the last three years to build an author platform. Some indies sell a lot of copies of their first book early on, yes, but bear in mind it’s highly likely they spent years building a platform first. Again, it evens out.
Is there a connection between platform building and freebies?
Or, you can do like me and upload a couple paid works to Amazon, then create your freebies as freebies are excellent platform-building methods.
Lord of Columbia Series is also a great way to build a platform in addition to this site.
And social media will freaking love you as well.
Because if I’m on Twitter and scrolling down my newsfeed I’m much more likely to download a freebie e-book Author X has uploaded to Prolific Works or wherever and more likely to stop following that annoying Author Y who keeps dishing out their Amazon buy link every three hours.
So, if I download, read, and like the book, Author X gained a fan and probably an email address to add to their ever-growing list of email addresses that they can then send a mass email to any time a new book is released.
Prolific Works lets you connect your email provider as well, so this works in a smooth manner.
Notice how I barely mentioned social media except as a means to dish out free offerings to your followers. Sure, it’s important and all, but having a couple blogs plus a digital item to hand out is going to take your platform so much further than talking about writing on social media.
Google is a powerful tool, so if you get indexed in Google, think about how many searches for your article’s keywords that happen every single day.
For instance, ‘free series starter’ is a keyword here. If you have the right keyword tool, you can find how many people search for your chosen keyword on a monthly basis. If 400 people search for it, that’s 400 possible eyes on this article per month, and this doesn’t count the other articles I’ve written.
When this blog matures and I have over one-thousand articles, and say my keyword searches average 200 searches each, that’s 200,000 possible eyes per month, and 2,400,000 possible eyes per year. If even one percent of that number clicked through to my site, it’s 2,000 visitors per month. Not a great number, but definitely 2,000 possible fans per month.
Now imagine if I have something for them.
Your Freebie Can Be Anything
While an actual book or books can go a long way, if you’re still uncomfortable with handing them out, your freebie can still be something else. Perhaps you created a world and you have notes that you used to build the world. You can use it as a freebie.
Maybe you want to create something to give readers a behind-the-scenes look at your work.
There are so many possibilities here it’s endless. Even exclusive inside looks to your books, or the making of your book. You might even hand them deleted scenes or earlier drafts of your book.
Anything is possible here.
I like handing out the Neo Skyehawk novelettes because while they’re still challenging to make, they’re far easier than actual novels. Also, Neo, Seneca, and many others from the series are mentioned in Lord of Columbia when the parent series’ important plot points intersect with it, so to tell the actual story piques a reader’s interest, but that’s my preference. Yours can be anything.