Giving It Away for Free

Authors should be paid for their writing, just like musicians should be paid for their songs, but it’s a crazy competitive market out there, and newbies need to get noticed. Musicians do it by playing crappy clubs for next to nothing, sending demos to record producers, and a few high-tech pioneers even build websites that allow free downloads.

Free? I know one author who would disapprove of me suggesting that authors have to give it away for free to get noticed, because he didn’t, but I know another author who did just that back in the eighties, when his first novel wasn’t selling well. In fact, he wisely bought up all the unsold copies of the novel from his publisher at author rates and, according to some reports, started throwing them into the audience at an SF convention. His next novel sold better and his career took off.

However, giving it away is not as easy as it sounds. When KDP Select first came out, any free book listed could result in thousands of downloads. A lot of those people might just be book collectors, people who compulsively grab anything free, but I ended up with a few dedicated fans and some good reviews. Besides that, the afterglow resulted in some real book sales after the free period ended.

The challenge now is that there are so many free books out there, even giving it away requires promotion. Happily, there are websites that readers subscribe to that specifically promote free KDP Select books. The problem, of course, is there are vultures out there willing to take your money and provide you with very little in return.

Erotic fiction author Ashly Lorenzana has conveniently compiled a list of the top seven good websites that will promote your free novel, some of which I’ve used and can vouch for like Pixel of Ink, and all but one are free to use. I confess to knowing little about Lorenzana other than that she seems like a really swell person, but for all I know she could secretly be a fat biker named Thor. This is the internet after all. I came across her website because Amazon suggested via Facebook that I check out another blog she wrote on marketing, so I’m guessing they think she’s doing something right in that department. But here’s the legal disclaimer: this is not an endorsement of her services, marketing or adult. She may be great, but all the caveat emptors apply.

Here’s the awesome list: Top Seven Sites for Promoting Your Free Day.

So, best of luck on your free day. May the downloads be plentiful, and the reviews all stellar.

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Mike is the author of the 1000 Souls series that includes: Sacrifice the Living, Generation Apocalypse, and Heretics Fall. Warning: they contain violence, adventure, fast-paced action and hopeless love.