Tag Archives: Marketing

How publishers helped create a nation of readers by giving away 122 million books

Free book giveaway helps create a nation of readersWhen is FREE the right price?
An Article by Chris Robley


Last week at the end of an Apple product launch event, the band U2 came on stage and played a song. They then surprised the world by announcing that every single iTunes customer (500 million people) already had a copy of the band’s new album in their purchase history, downloadable for free.

The music media went crazy covering the story, but what I found most interesting was that U2′s other albums all got a giant sales bump because of this giveaway. By flooding the market with a new product, they created new demand for their older catalog items too.

This music news reminded me of a story I read in The Atlantic about how American publishers gave away almost 123 million books to soldiers during WWII. Not just pulp fiction and comics — which is what many people assumed the troops would want — but also ‘serious’ contemporary literature, histories, classics, and more. It was both an act of patriotism (giving the GIs books to take their minds off the horrors of war, remind them of home, etc.), and a risky, self-serving maneuver that might potentially create future demand for softcover books.

The program worked well on both counts. Many soldiers would speak of the free books as a kind of lifeline amidst the stress of battle and an aid to healing afterwards. And to the publishing industry’s benefit, those millions of GIs returned home hungry for more books, and books they were happy to pay for this time around. According to The Atlantic, the huge book giveaway created “a nation of readers.” Whereas reading was previously an activity reserved for the affluent, suddenly the general public had an interest in serious books, and the publishing industry went through its biggest boom.

The book giveaway during WWII and the U2 free album announcement are just two examples of how, when smartly employed, FREE can be a powerful price. Have you tried a book giveaway – or any type of giveaway? How did it work? Let me know in the comments below.

Don’t forget to sign up for Exploration Rights in my Newsletter to get access to my Member’s Area, extra goodies, giveaways and contests!


Writing Update 8th August

Hayley - workWow!  Winter’s Magic is due for release at the end of August and I can’t wait for you all to read it!  And I have also finished the first draft of the next ‘Way to Freedom’ book – ‘The Dream Thief’.

Things here have been really busy lately.  This is mainly because I have a habit of biting off more than I can chew.  I have so many stories knocking about in my head, all wanting to get out into the wild, that sometimes it can be hard to choose what my next project will be.

I know that my Work’s in Progress page has dates for what is going to be worked on next, but, as with all things in life, it is subject to change.  So please don’t feel disappointed if I rearrange the WIP schedule on what is coming out next.  Just be rest assured that the next book in a series will be out (in most cases, the first drafts are already written and are just put away so I can edit them with fresh eyes at a later date.)

I am now working on ideas for cover designs for ‘The Dream Thief’.  When I have some finals I will send them out to my email list for their opinion on what looks good and what doesn’t (If you want a say, then join up now!).  The aim then is to have ‘The Dream Thief’ out for sale by mid December 2014.

In my next news post, I will reveal the cover for my new book ‘Winter’s Magic’, along with the first chapter.  I hope you all like it.

I have also set up a group on Goodreads with Gina Briganti called ‘The Author Collaborative Network’.  We set it up as a place for Authors to get together and discuss all aspects of the publishing/writing/marketing process.  All authors old and new (and soon to be) are welcome to join us – the more the merrier.  If you are interested and are a member of Goodreads, then click the image below to take a look.

Author Network header

Well, I think I’ve procrastinated enough for now.  Better get back to work 🙂


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Tips For New Indie Authors

A post by Lindsay Buroker that I would like to share.

For New Indie Authors: What I Would Do if I Were Starting Today

I-love-IndieSometimes when you give publishing and marketing advice on your blog, you get a little resistance from new self publishers. But you’ve been doing this for 3+ years. You have a fan base already. You have heaps of books out already, so you’re not a nobody. It’s way different for people starting now!

I’m not going to argue that it’s not different. There are more ebooks in the Kindle store than ever. The gaming-the-system tricks that might have worked in the past aren’t working now. For self published books, the blurbs, cover art, and sample chapters are, on average, more professional than they were a few years ago. It is harder to stand out.


If you would like to read the rest of the article, click Here

And don’t forget to sign up for my Newsletter here to get access to extra goodies, giveaways and contests!  This months newsletter will have exclusive access and information to my upcoming book – Winter’s Magic

Book Review: Your First 1000 Copies

1st 1000 copies

Your First 1000 Copies – By Tim Grahl

In “Your First 1,000 Copies,” Tim Grahl describes a system that he has used in his own business for the promotion of authors and their book launches. He believes in the importance of an email list that was created with the permission of each email subscriber. He explains how these meaningful connections will work for you in the long run. He also gives his opinion on how social media is just one of many considerations when you become an author – but is not as important as most people think.

This book is filled with advice you can use with the knowledge that it has been tried and tested and only needs patience and a little hard work to accomplish. It will get most people out of their comfort zones and on track to book selling success.

After reading this book you will know how to effectively use your blog content to attract attention (without sounding like a pushy salesperson) and know who is an influencer and who you should contact about your book. You may even find yourself approaching bloggers and asking them if you can do a guest blog post or maybe even to review your work if you can come to an arrangement that can benefit both parties.

The one big takeaway that I got from this book is Tim’s underlying principle to be ‘relentlessly helpful’ to people.  This is a principle that I agree with.  You give out good karma and good karma will return to you.

And being ‘relentlessly helpful’ is a goal that Tim has met in this book.  I would recommend it to all Authors or in fact anyone who is trying to get their product or message out in front of people.  After all, if people don’t know you exist, they don’t know about your book!


Get it on Kindle here

Get it in Paperback here

And don’t forget to sign up for my Newsletter here to get access to extra goodies, giveaways and contests!

‘Bribe’ idea’s that can be used to build an email list

blog-hop-150x150During week two of the Book Marketing Challenge I have researched and come up with some ‘incentives’ that I can offer my readers to get them to join (and then enjoy) being a part of my email list.  I will list these here for anyone who is in need of ideas to kickstart their own email list.

Legitimate Email lists are a vital marketing tool in today’s world.  They allow permission for you to directly contact your readers while increasing the effectiveness of your message.  Every author (or anyone wanting to gain a following) should be working on building their email list, but how exactly do you go about doing that?

An important part of this is to include a link to your email sign up form or website at the back of your books.  Readers who have just finished a book are more likely to sign up to hear about new releases.  Also, place a link to your email sign up page in your twitter profile and FB pages – and anywhere else where you have a ‘presence’.

Exclusive or Advance information

Obviously I want to promote any new releases or events as much as possible, and where better to start than with a group of people specifically interested in what I’m up to?  I let readers know that by providing their email address they’re signing up to a service that’ll remind them about a product they enjoy.

If you want to go one step further then consider a policy of providing your email list with that information first. Let your fans know that before it goes on Facebook or is mentioned on Twitter, you’ll personally contact them with key updates. They’ll be the first to know when your new book is coming out, the first to have access to the synopsis and cover designs, and if there’s a book trailer coming out then they get the link before anyone else.  The further in advance you can offer information, the more desirable subscribing to your email list becomes.

Free content

Everybody loves something for nothing, and as a writer nothing advertises your work better than a sample.  You can offer a preview of your novel to subscribers, with the dual benefits of building your email list and getting them hooked on the story.  You could also offer short stories, poems or articles to email subscribers. This takes a little extra work, but it does allow you to use that ultimate buzz word: ‘free’.  This exclusive content is exciting for readers at the same time as its advertising your work as an author.


Competitions allow you to attract a lot of subscribers.  An offer of one (or a few) of your books with the only condition of entry being an email subscription, and you can attract hundreds of people.  While you do need to offer something in exchange for reader’s email addresses people are generally quite free with them, so offering a reward as tangible as free stuff will really bring in the big numbers.

The size of your contest is up to you so you can get creative.  This can be such things as book giveaways, a chance to name a character, name a place in a fantasy world, or even a chance to have the winner themselves featured as a supporting character in an upcoming book.


This is where email subscribers pose questions to authors either about their work or for advice on writing.  From the question list you can then choose three questions a week (or however many you may want) and provide your readers with the benefit of your wisdom. This won’t just invite people to join your email list but will foster close links between you and your readers.  Any reader who gets their question chosen will be thrilled, and budding writers who come to you for advice will be grateful for your time and insight.


Offer a weekly or monthly round-up of content you have enjoyed, whether it be books, movies, television, theatre, video games or some other art form (at the moment I’m doing book reviews).  Your email subscribers will appreciate this as there are few people whose taste readers trust more than an author whose work they enjoy. This is a way that will make you friends among fans and other authors (if you recommend them).

NB: However you advertise, collect and use your email list, remember that the platform is a privilege.  Be glad of the opportunity to address your readers directly and let it show.  If subscribers feel like you’re genuinely talking to them, and not just advertising your latest novel, they’ll appreciate it and won’t unsubscribe from the service.


Oh – don’t forget to sign up for my Newsletter here to get access to extra goodies, giveaways and contests!