I know many such authors who feel offended with the term ‘Free Copies’ and this post is surely not for them. I respect their thoughts and would never like to deny as they think as a creator and I think as Marketeer. I would only love to express what I have learnt from my ‘little’ experience of 5 years in marketing of books.
Coming to the topic, how ‘free copies’ help you in marketing your book.
There are basically two ways to promote your book Online and Offline. Under Online section, the major platform is Facebook.
Around 90% of all the authors are using the same platform to promote their books and that is Facebook. Facebook is actually a great medium to bring out sales for your book but only if you use it in a brilliant way.
There are some points that you should keep in mind while promoting your book over Facebook:
- Do not over do the things. Don’t force your friends to ignore your posts every time they watches your name in their newsfeed. Your friends are not on Facebook to hear only about your book. BEWARE.
- Posting in random group will surely increase your reach but will create no sale. This is only waste of time.
- If you want to stay longer, make your name a brand rather than your book. Work on your author’s page and be active on your blog or website.
- Respond to each query personally, stay as active as possible and never ignore the message that relates to your book.
- Be brave and market your creation.
Now let me tell you how free copies help.
- In India people loves to have anything for free and do respect it as well. With free copy and a personalized message, you’ll surely win the person. If he loves your book, he will introduce you to their friends and there begins the word of mouth.
- They will share the picture, a message or anything on Facebook and this will increase the discoverability of your book.
- New readers. A person who had read nothing in past is reading your book as their first read and we all know that our first read is always special.
- It is the cheapest way to give something to the society. You may do some big book launches, waste money on Facebook Promotion to grab likes and do various things OR you can simply gift a book. Isn’t that great.
- Amazon reviews. You can ask the person receiving free copies for Amazon Reviews that believe me these reviews are the best.
Now let’s focus on Offline Promotion
Under offline promotion, two categories are the important one; Bookstores and Events. Frankly speaking, there’s nothing for new authors at Bookstores. Bookstores are dying and the only author who can have benefit from them are already ‘established’ ones. I have seen girls coming over bookstores and asking for Ravindra Singh’s new novel. They weren’t even aware of the title of the book and the bookstore owner keep on selling books coming from Black Ink (A Publishing firm of Ravindra Singh). But even here ‘Free copies’ work.
Let me explain you a bit about the working of Bookstores. The reader arrives, searches for new book, asks the bookstore owner and then everything is on the bookstore owner. His recommendation will be the next read of the ‘reader’. Now which book will he recommend? He is a sellsman and sales man knows just one thing, Profit. The book that will earn him the maximum profit, will be the next read of the ‘reader’. Here’s when your free book will help. Other books will give the seller, profit of 50 or 60% but your free copy will earn him 100% profit. Now this reader, will go back to home, she’ll love the book and recommend to others and few of those others will reach the same bookstore and ask for your book. This will create demand for your book and now, you are the boss. Sell your book to the seller.
Now the events. Events are the best place to cover a large number of audience and influence them. This is the best place to give away your books. Don’t be shy, just give them all. Trust me, you’ll get a great number of readers from here and you may never know where your book will reach. One ‘VIP’ hand and everything will change.
So now summing all of this here in one point that never hesitate while giving a ‘Free copy’ because a ‘Free’ copy is never for ‘Free’. It comes with a disclaimer and it says, ‘Market me’.