Late last week, I got a DM from a podcaster. She reads my books and wanted to know about my freebie ebooks. Which got the two of us talking about marketing, promotion, and freebie ebooks. At this moment, I have the first book in each series free and I’ve given away The Dysfunctional Mob, as well as Elysium Dreams. Her question as we discussed my blog posts and the prep to prepare them into ebook format and the fact that even in ebook format they will be free.
Her thought was that she wouldn’t advertise products without A) being paid and B) trying the product out herself, so she was a little surprised by the amount of freebie ebooks I have available. It would appear that most of those commercials in podcasts where the hosts are touting a product most of them got the product (usually free beforehand) for instance for a while Sock Club was one of her regular sponsors and she had a free membership to Sock Club.
It was interesting to learn marketing from her stand point as a podcaster, but it was also interesting to hear her tell me what a terrible business plan I have. But the reality is a little different. You can find practically every book on a pirate site, if people don’t want to pay for a book, they don’t have to… By offering freebies as I do, I hope that my readers will pay for my future books and not pirate them. I also hope that I can keep them happy reading.
Several dozen people offered to buy The Dysfunctional Mob even though I had given it away for free on my blog. But it’s probably the most easy to pirate book I have available. Sure, I’m losing a little money in the deal, but at $2.99 a book ($1.68 royalty for me – average), I’m not losing so much that it physically hurts. Plus, Dysfunctional Mob is a strangely dark book for the series. Much better to only tangentially offer it with the rest of The Dysfunctional Chronicles.
After four days, we decided to stop discussing it, because while I see her point, she didn’t see mine and I couldn’t explain it in a way that would clear it up for her. I love socks and a free subscription to Sock Club would be cool, but not so cool I’d spout their jingle and sell the product during the distribution of my product. For me, I would need cash to do such a thing, but I love to write and so offering a half dozen freebie books doesn’t hurt me and doesn’t hurt my readers, so why not. By contrast she loves her podcast and the membership to Sock Club was apparently worth touting their product (which I don’t disagree with completely I’d totally mention Nadine being gifted a membership to Sock Club for free socks, but it would be one line in a book, not 4 1/2 minutes of commercial during a 50 minute episode of a podcast).
It has also made me realize while there is some good money to be made via advertisements and sponsors in podcasting, but there’s also a lot of politics and I don’t always play well with others. I’ll stick with the written word in book and blog posts.