Satya writes: A post from the archives about giving books away for free, after the re-launch of Thaw.
One of my friends got in touch last week, outraged that I was giving my new novel The Most Beautiful Thing away for free on Kindle on Tuesday and Wednesday. She enjoyed the book so much and thought it was worth so much that she couldn’t bear the idea.
So am I doing it from the kindness of my heart?
Here’s the deal.
1). I am an author, and I want to make money from my books. We need new carpets.
2). I want to be read by as many people as possible. I know that my character Joe has affected people. He’s moved them to happy & sad tears, and then stayed with them long after they’ve closed the book. My book has changed them. This is why I write.
At the moment, I’ve been graced with seventeen five star reviews on Amazon. But nobody is buying my book. Why should they? They’re not seeing it, because it’s not in the charts or in the shops. They don’t know who I am. Why should they part with their hard earned cash, when they have a list of novels by their favourite authors waiting to be bought (never mind the teetering pile on their bedside table)?
Giving-my-book-away is a part of my current book-selling strategy. If enough people download it, it gets into the Amazon charts where more people who don’t know who I am will see it and download it. Some of those people will tell their friends about the book. Some of them will write me a review. Some of them (like last time I made it free) will even get in touch and offer me a donation. People are nice.
Of course, it might not make a big splash at all. But at the very least my book will have a brand new readership, and some of those readers will care about Joe as much as I do. And that’s good enough for me.