Renee Writes

Posts tagged marketing

InstaFreebie as a Promotional Tool (And Free Books)

new-2016-instafreebie-branding-teal

 

I began using InstaFreebie about a week ago after downloading a free book from there from another author. I wasn’t sure how well it would work out since I wasn’t familiar with it, but I figured it would be worth trying. At the very least it was another way to get my permafree, Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6) into the hands of potential new readers.

In that time, to my amazement, I managed to get about 41 downloads of my book, which is better than what I get on a weekly basis on all other channels combined. More astonishingly, I haven’t even been promoting the link. I just set it and let it go figuring I’d just see what happens. I wasn’t expecting much, so I’m surprised and thrilled with the outcome.

Aside from that, it’s a great place to get free ebooks if you’re looking for something new to read. I’ve found quite a few good ones there in the last week.

There are three plans to choose from:

  • Basic – Free
  • Plus – $20/month
  • Pro – $50/month

I’m using the free plan at the moment, but I may upgrade it in the future when I have more books published and want to run giveaways.

With the free plan you can have unlimited giveaways, you can set an expiration for the giveaway as well as the number of copies to give away, and you also have the option of DRM settings.

The paid options obviously offer many more features including Mail Chimp Integration and allowing those who download your free book to sign up for your newsletter. So it’s also a great way to build your newsletter or mailing list.

Authors!

If you want to give InstaFreebie a try, click this link and sign up today!

Readers!

If you’d like to download some free books, click this link and get started!

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Weekly Fantasy Fix: Mind Explosion!

Weekly Fantasy Fix

 

Have you ever had so many ideas that you felt like your head was going to explode?

That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. I’ve had tons of story ideas running through my head it’s been hard keeping up with them all. Now I’ve got Shadow Stalker, which I need to finish up and two novel series that I’ve been planning.

One is the A God’s Deception one I’ve actually been slowly working on for the last year or so. I’m also going to be writing a paranormal thriller series under a pen name. And I’ve got at least 10 more ideas that I’ve had to start writing down.

On top of that, yesterday I asked a friend if I could use her name for a story. I really like her name. Anyway, she said yes, so I decided to take it a bit further. I told her to think about who she would be if she could be anyone she wanted. I don’t mean another person, but what attributes she’d want. Then I told her I’d write a story with her as the character.

That should really be a fun challenge. I’m just glad my creative bug is coming back. 😀

Also in this issue:

  • Author Spotlights
    • Zero Visibility Possible By RJ Mirabal
    • The Birth of Death By Joseph P Macolino
    • Viral Spark By Martin McConnell
  • Shadow Stalker: Episode 17 Sneak Peek
  • Renee’s Works in Progress
  • Hyper Geek: There Has to be an Easier Way
  • The Writer’s Edge: Marketing Tips
  • And More…

Read the Full Newsletter!

Then sign up below for three free ebooks from the Weekly Fantasy Fix Authors!

Indie Authors Taking the Industry by Storm!

I just read an article, Maverick women writers are upending the book industry and selling millions in the process, that validated a lot of my feelings about where the publishing industry is headed, especially in regards to self-publishing. In fact, I was just speaking with my husband this morning about a lot of these things before I read the article. So it came at a really good time.

The first issue has to do with claims that it’s better to be traditionally published because they have more experience and know what readers want. Of course, I’ve never believed this, but I didn’t have evidence to back me up. The only evidence I’ve ever had was my own experiences and the experiences of other indie authors I know.

The subject of the article is a romance author, H.M. Ward, who suspected if she took her stories (which featured a “nice guy”) to a publisher, she’d be told, “Nice guys are boring”. I mean, I’m not a huge romance fan, but I do like to read them on occasion (especially if they’re fantasy, sci-fi or paranormal romances). And if you’ve ever read a romance, most of the time the male is the “bad boy” type who treats the female harshly to begin with (or maybe even all through the story). At the very least they have to appear “manly” or gruff. You know…a man’s man. Bottom line, you never see the nice guy in those stories.

If I had to wager a guess it’s because publishers have decided all women like the “bad boy” image, and it’s just a cliche that has stuck. Kudos to Ward for having the courage to step outside the box and publish her books to see how they’d be received. And well, it worked to her advantage.

Although we don’t really know for sure if her stories would have been accepted by the publisher, just from my own knowledge I’d pretty much guess she’s have landed in a slush pile somewhere. On her own, her books have become best sellers and she’s sold millions of copies of her books world wide since.

What have I decided to take from this?

Don’t believe anyone who tells you that they (or their industry leaders) know what readers want. The only way anyone could know what readers want is by asking them, and I have never seen any evidence that the publishing industry leaders have ever bothered polling the public to find out what they like.

If you have a story idea, and you’re not sure how it will be received, you have two choices. Visit forums and groups in your genre and poll the readers yourself to find out what the interest level is for that kind of story, or just write the book and see how it does. See for yourself what kind of feedback you get from it.

Another issue that I discussed with my husband was all about covers. Your book cover can make or break your book. So I’m constantly doing research and finding out what most attracts a reader to a cover. One thing I have learned is that the publishers don’t always know what readers want in this area either. Maybe they did at one time, but people change over time, and it seems the big publishers do not want to change with them.

In the article, they mention that the traditional smutty covers used in romance are actually not what the readers want. The covers are being toned down quite a bit by many indie authors and those books are getting a lot more attention than the smutty ones. So it’s very much the same with covers… don’t assume someone else knows what readers want simply because they claim to have more experience in the industry.

Something I know a lot of indie authors are doing now, and it seems to be working, is they are asking for a fans feedback on their covers before the book is even released. They will have at least four different concepts done and they will set up a poll to ask their readers which concept they like best. The one that gets the most votes becomes the cover for that book.

Not only does this find out what images the readers are most attracted to, but it helps your readers feel as though they are part of the process.

That’s another big difference between indie and traditionally published authors, as pointed out in the article. Traditionally published authors (for the most part…it’s not the same for all) are removed from their readership. They are essentially untouchable as far as the reader is concerned. Indie authors build a community around their readers. They interact with them on a daily basis and allow their readers to be part of their writing process instead of having to just wait around for that next book.

Maybe this is why indie authors are taking the industry by storm. Our readers want to feel like they’re part of our success.

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend reading the article. It’s got a lot of great information. Although it’s centered around the romance genre, the information is valuable to all self-published authors.

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