Should you giveaway your books?
We are PRO giveaways and freebies when it comes to books. There are some who would argue with us about this. Some authors and publishers do not believe in giving away their blood, sweat, and tears for free.
We fully agree that you worked HARD on your book. You're marketing your butt off and trying to sell your book, and in turn, trying to sell yourself, as you are your brand. So why would you want to give away and make yourself free?
Here are a few reasons we'd like you to chew on.
Giveaways and contests reinvigorate sales by bringing attention to your brand. This can be merch or book giveaways.
Nothing is more exciting than your new books initial release! It's a fun time and the first one or two weeks will be the best sales period. Once many of your fans and regular readers get their hands on the book, things will inevitably slow down. If you then run a contest or giveaway for your book, you will bring attention to it all over again.
Contests and giveaways are pretty easy to run, believe it or not. If done right, they can give you new social media followers, bring attention to your blog or website, and turn into sales once the giveaway is over.
Giving away the first book in a series or an older release for free makes your name buzz and all your books can be discovered.
If you have more than one book out (HIGHLY recommended marketing tactic, by the way) then you can give away the first book in a series or make one of your older releases free for a limited time. This brings attention to your brand and if a person checks out your freebie, they may peek at your other books too.
The more your book is out there, the more reviews you can get and the more people will talk about it.
We know very well that not everyone who reads your book will give it a review, so let's not mince words on that. However, let's do talk numbers.
If you sell 10 books and get 1 review, then by selling 10 books and giving away 10 you could get 2 reviews, possibly more. Sure that's not astronomical, we used smaller numbers to make sure the point is clear, but it is one more review than you will get on those 10 books.
Another thing to note related to this, if you give away 10 books in a contest, the reviews will come after that time. Comparatively, if you WAIT for those 10 sales, the 10 sales could be made from now until a year later. THEN you also have to wait for the reviews. This way, you are in a bit more control over how fast you get those potential reviews.
Giving away your book for free means getting it in people’s hands! That doesn’t necessarily mean “permafree”.
Again, the goal is to get the books in peoples hands. Once they have it they can review it, talk about it with friends, or share it on social media.
However, this does not mean we think your book should be free all the time. We do not believe in pricing a book free, permanently. This is another debate. Some authors have no issue with giving their first book, or shorter books away for free forever, but we believe that free books are a temporary, marketing tactic to be used to introduce your book to new readers or motivate sales of other books in a series.
To us, it's kinda like too much of a good thing...
Would you rather have your books in people’s hands or make money? Tough choice but we think that getting books out to people is important with or without pay.
We understand that question is VERY loaded, and most authors want both of these options to be possible, however, we know that sometimes, both is not an option. This is just our opinion. The perks of giving away some free books are very good and include: adding followers on social media, getting reviews on book marketplaces and Goodreads, bringing attention to your website, blogs, or other media outlets, getting word of mouth started on your book, etc.
Additionally, as we've stated before and we can never state enough: Getting your books in peoples hands is the gateway to your other books. The ones that cost money!
Lastly, we want to say again, the clock on getting these perks starts after you give the books away, unlike when you have to wait for sales.
In the long run, YOU have to decide if you want to give books away and how you think it will benefit you. Do your research and plan diligently!