For authors to succeed and sell more books, they should consider giving their book away.

Just ask a few candy shoppers.

My older sister and niece met my son and I this weekend at a landmark candy store, Economy Candy, located at the bosom of New York City’s Lower East Side. This institution was turning 85, and to celebrate its birthday it advertised free candy. The promise was enough of an inducement for them to commute from Brooklyn and me from Westchester.

There was a line 90-deep around the block. People lined up to get five free candies. But these candies collectively would hold a retail value of maybe a dollar. Then, once you crawled into the store, their entire collection of retro candies was fully stocked and on display of floor to ceiling shelves. These delectable delights go for lots of money.  So, the lure of free but cheap candy, drove the masses to come and gobble up high-priced goodies. My sister spent $56 and I spent $30. Others in line would spend even more.

Authors, take notice.  “Free” is the way to riches. Everyone loves a good sale but nothing beats free, the best deal of all. So, why should authors just give their hard-earned work away? Because it can lead to lots of sales.

First, think about what you will give away and why.

For instance, if you give away your book, readers may feel compelled to post favorable reviews, share something positive on social media, or give good word-of-mouth to friends and family. 

Now, let’s say you published three books and you decide to give away an older book, maybe the first one. In addition to garnering good word-of-mouth for it, that giveaway can serve as a loss-leader introduction to your other books. People naturally look up what else you have published when they enjoyed one of your books. They may end up buying your other two books.

If your book is being used to draw people to you to become customers of other products and services, free is perfect. For instance, let’s say you are a financial advisor, lawyer, nutritionist, consultant, or a home decorator. A book, whether purchased or acquired for free, can serve as a great introduction to your more expensive services.

Same goes if you sell other products, such as seminars, courses, etc. Give the book away and use it as a tryout, hoping to win over new customers.

You can also use book giveaways as a means to get people’s contact information in exchange for the freebie. This allows you to build up a mailing list that can be called upon to sell other services, products, or books.

As evidenced by my candy experience, it takes a small giveaway to reap larger rewards. You have nothing to lose, but there is lots of positive upside potential.

Just give it away and good things will come to you.

 

 

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at brianfeinblum@gmail.com He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres.

 

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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This blog, with over 4,000 posts over the past decade, was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a “best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum