On this blog every Tuesday and Friday I write about story techniques, structure, and/or publishing. Comments and questions are welcome. I also have a personal blog, Amy Deardon, on which I write about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy.

I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research.

My book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story, is now available in both hard-copy and e-book formats. I also coach would-be novelists and screenwriters to develop their story. YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Viral Marketing

John Kremer (http://www.bookmarket.com/) is one of the best-known authorities for promoting book sales. He tends to think “out of the box,” as anyone who has read his 1001 Ways to Market Your Books will tell you.

One interesting tactic he promotes is the theory of Viral Marketing. Kremer argues that as more people read your book, more people will talk about it and pass it on. I’m not quite sure about this, at least unless you have many titles, since once a person has a copy of your book and reads it he’s probably not going to get it again unless maybe for a gift. If you the author don’t have anything else to sell to him, then the relationship is over. There IS a role for giving books away, say for endorsements (ARCs), book reviews (ARCs), or prizes, but for what my experience is worth I saw a lot of my *free* books being sold on Amazon (used and new option) or ebay. I didn’t see consequent increases in sales even though my book was supposedly getting to more people.

But that’s just me.

I wonder if a happy medium might be to offer a few chapters for free, and if the reader likes the book he can read more. Kindle already does this automatically, but it might not be a bad policy for e-books in general. Of course the sample chapters should contain valuable information, or else the person may decide it’s just not worth purchasing more of this drivel.

For anyone who is interested in viral marketing, Kremer has set up two web sites offering free e-books for fiction (http://www.allbooksfree.com/) and nonfiction (http://www.freebooksforall.com/). I’d love to hear what you think of this!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you! I think this is a great point. I have heard about the marketing strategy giving your books away for free, but never thought it was the best route. I can see giving some stuff away--maybe short stories in ebook format, or having sample chapters available online. You want to entice readers to want *more* of your writing so they will then buy the book.

    Another point I've read somewhere, and agree with, is that often times people who are given a book for free never even read it. And if they don't read it, they won't tell anyone about it. But readers who buy a book will read it because they have invested in it. So, you want to make them want to invest in your book.