It is the dream of many writers who pour their hearts and souls into making a great book that their efforts do not go unnoticed with a little bit of money for their pockets. Some wish to make writing their full-time job to do what they truly love. But in this day and age of self-publishing, their intended audiences have hundreds and hundreds of choices from a bunch of new authors they have never heard of.
I, myself, am an indie writer for the time being. I tried the query game all writers have to play if they wish to get an agent that could lead to a publisher of some sorts. But with a countless amount of others playing the same agent-hunting game, that leaves the good portion of us without representation. Some will keep trying, while others will turn to the road of self-pub. It might be more of an instant gratification to have your little book up on Amazon or BN, etc, but you are now faced with the greater task: promotion and marketing. Many writers do not want to promote their works, or even know how to. So how can you make yourself stand out a little bit from the others?
There are a couple of good options if you wish to gain an audience—but it could come at a price: FREE for the consumer. So why is this a good choice? If you plan on writing many books, having a fanbase and stats to take to the agent or publisher could work in your favor. I think an agent might be more open to taking on a client with a decent fanbase already installed rather than a writer who has zero readers. Yes, it could all depend on the book you write, but if you two are equal off the bat, having numbers in your corner sure does not hurt.
So how can you get your book out for free? You can make your book into a free podcast you can distribute on iTunes, etc. I released my first book, THE STOLEN MOON OF LONDOR, as a free podcast novel over at Podiobooks.com. Over there, many authors have found a good amount of success with gaining an audience…which in turn, could make your current book and your futures ones more of a success for you. Although you are giving the audience a free product, they, in turn, will show appreciation for your work and buy the ebooks, paperbacks, hardbacks, or whatever else you have to offer. And when a new book of yours comes out, you can tell your audience of the podcasts and they are more likely to buy it than not.
Not much of a narrator? You can always hire someone to read it for you, or have a friend who isn’t too bad at recording themselves reading it. Or you can always read it yourself. It doesn’t take much to get started. A decent microphone and download some free audio software. You are just about ready to go at that point. And the folks over at Podiobooks are always willing to help out their fellow authors with advice, feedback, etc.
Another thing I did recently was made my ebook for THE STOLEN MOON OF LONDOR a free ebook for Kindle, etc. There are tons of websites and feeds that internet users subscribe to that will inform them of new ebooks for Kindle, etc that are free. You can see your downloads go from a handful per day to hundreds or even thousands per day. Now, Amazon will not make every book free on Kindle. First, you have to have your ebook priced at $0 on another site like MobioPocket or Smashwords. You report the lower price to Amazon, and you stand a good chance to have the Kindle version reduced to free. It has proven to be a great marketing tool for me. My second book, SHAMELESS WONDERS, is not a free ebook. So when people read my first book, they are more than likely going to purchase the second book to continue on with the story and to perhaps show their support for me since the first one was free.
And the more books you put out on Kindle, etc, later on that are for pay will hopefully assist you in making a little bit of profit. Giving the consumers a free taste of your literature, be it audio or free ebook, is a great way to build your fanbase and your dreams in becoming more of a successful author.