I couldn’t resist. I read a very interesting article by Mark Lefebvre of Kobo Writing Life and Ali Parker, a new and successful author, entitled The Secret to Marketing Your Book Series. The article is on Freebooksy’s Blog (they are a well-known book promotion and review site, similar to Bookbub and Bookgorilla) and so it is not surprising that Mark Lefebvre advocates making the first book in a series free.
His interview is definitely worth reading because that is not the only thing he advocates. The idea of making the first book in a series “permafree” or 99c is that this can act as a great promotional tool to lead readers to purchase the other books in the series.
If it works.
Lefebvre is careful to point out that not everyone who downloads a free book either reads it, or goes on to buy any of the other books. But he does suggest it as a way for authors to obtain visibility and perhaps build a readership.
He also suggests that books (those that aren’t free) should not be priced the same across all markets.
So I’m following his advice and having another crack at making my first book permafree (for a finite period, so it’s not literally “permafree”). This strategy is combined with publishing it across a large number of outlets, and not just with Kindle. It is also available from Kobo, iBooks, Google Play, Nook, and a few other outlets like Scribd, Page Foundry, Tolino and Oyster (the last one is new).
I hope – and hope is the main element – that this will lead to a certain number of free downloads, and maybe a few purchases.
And I will report back. I am aware that my most important task over the next few weeks and months is to finish Winterbloom. Which is now over 98,000 words long, and growing.
With regard to promotions – paid advertising – I will wait and see. I applied to Bookbub and was rejected again, which is fair enough. I trust them to know their target audience. And sadly I don’t really have the deep pockets to pay for book promotion. Though if they accepted me, I’d be falling over myself.