By Chester Campbell
Some of my colleagues here have been discussing the vagaries of book promotion. It is a subject that strikes the center of what we do, write books we hope others will read. Experience has shown that if we don't promote our works, people will not learn about them and, therefore, not buy. One of the sticking points of late is the subject of free books. Should we give some away in hopes of attracting more sales?
Being a midlist (or maybe sub-midlist) author who has never sold a ton of books, I am acutely aware of this problem. Well, I did sell some eighty-plus books at the Kentucky Book Fair several years ago, though I haven't managed to equal that since. At any rate, I decided a year ago that tales my colleagues were telling about freebies sounded like the way to go.
As it turned out, I got in on the tail end of the boom days. The first few I tried on Amazon's KDP Select program (about one a month) did decently well, then toward the end of the year tapered off as more and more writers jumped into the water. As others have noted, things continued to slip during the first half of this year.
I should make at least double what I paid BookBub, and my name has gotten out to thousands of new downloaders. Most of them probably aren't readers, but enough have been to make them come back to buy more of the series. Also the number of reviews on Amazon for Designed to Kill has more than doubled to 44, the latest four hours ago with five stars titled "Great read. Page turner."
BookBub doesn't accept every book, but I'll try another in a couple of weeks and see how it goes. My experience tells me don't discount the value of the freebie.
Visit me at ChesterDCambell,com