Why “Free” Is Still A Great Deal For Everybody

Posted by admin - 27/12/14 at 03:12 pm
The Great Texas Trailer Park Escape

The Great Texas Trailer Park Escape

I had a friend ask me why I was excited about my book (“The Great Texas Trailer Park”) being offered for free for Christmas.

Quick plug, yes, free. You can get my book for free for another day or so here, as well as 20 other books from great horror writers like John Paul Allen, Sara Brooke, Neal Barrett Jr., Monica J. O’Rourke, and many others. Also, a free book from some guy named Neil Gaiman. Never heard of him. He sounds Canadian, or something. Click here for the link, and download all of them for free while they last.

Now, back to my point.

How can I make it as a writer when my book is free for a couple of days? It’s a logical question. When you get something from an artist for free, it’s hopefully a part of a long-term arrangement.

By the way, I’m using the word “artist” to mean anyone who creates. I’m not putting all of us on the same level. I look at some of the authors who are also on that page of free books, and I consider my own writing abilities, and it just makes me want to go sit in a corner and eat a bag of candy. I use the term generically, and without judgment.

For an example, my book sells for $2.99. For me to sell enough copies of my book to live my desired life of a riverboat gambler, I’d have to sell a copy to every man, woman, and child in the greater Dallas area. And I’ve been up there often, and I can assure you, many of those people don’t get my jokes.

The point of writing my first book was to keep writing, and build an audience. At this point in my career, I’d just like more people to read my books, hopefully enjoy them, and come back for the next one. Giving away a book for free if it creates a relationship with a new reader is an investment in the future.

So please, go ahead and download my book while it’s still free. And get the rest too, especially if you’re a fan of horror, because there are some really strong books on that page.

Just remember, you got the book for free from the author, and if you enjoy it, there are a couple of things you can do to help them in gratitude for providing you with free (or even low cost) entertainment.

First and foremost, if you like it, tell someone. A quick tweet or post on Facebook will do wonders, especially if you’ve got friends with similar interests. If you have friends without similar interests, well, you have really weird friends but they still might enjoy my book. Remember wearing a t-shirt from your favorite indy band? Same principle, but better fashion sense.

If you like the writer, follow them. I’ve got a writer’s page on Facebook  where I’ll be moving all of my random comedy bits after the start of the year. If you “like” my FB posts or my tweets, then like my new page so you don’t miss any of it. And better yet, share my page with your friends. If you think I’m funny, hopefully they will too. The best way to advertise is through word of mouth, so if you read something you like, let your friends know. Every connection made helps an author expand their reach, and creates another potential fan.

Also, leave a review. When you like something you’ve read from an author, please go to Amazon, B&N.com, and Smashwords, and leave them a positive review. Stats show 83% of people will at least glance at the reviews on a book from a new author before they buy it.

By the way, stats also show that I make up a lot of stats, and I always use 83% as my default percentage. Still, it’s vitally important.

If you like the new Lee Child “Jack Reacher” novel (I did), leaving a review for it would be nice, but not necessary. That book had already sold 47 billion copies by the time they finished printing it. Word of mouth doesn’t make that much of a difference to something that’s already in the front window of Barnes & Noble.

On the other hand, small press and indy authors need your love. “The Great Texas Trailer Park Escape” has 22 five-star reviews, and believe me, I appreciate every single one of them. The fact people not only have bought my work but enjoyed it? That makes me feel awesome.

When you create art of any kind, whether it’s writing, art, music, comedy, whatever, you create it in a vacuum. No matter how much you workshop it, take it to writers’ groups, and get feedback, there’s still a huge leap of faith involved in finishing it and throwing it out there for public consumption.

It’s like having a baby that you know the world won’t hesitate to point and call ugly. Thank God there’s no Amazon reviews for infants. Yet.

I’m pleased with getting my royalty checks from Biting Dog Press, don’t get me wrong. I’m even more pleased that people like my work, and are interested in coming back for the next book. That’s the goal.

So by all means, go ahead and download my book while you can. Grab some of the others too, and see if you like them. If so, let the authors know, and tell a friend or two.


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