The idea is to get more notice and buzz for small presses, and for their authors. If you have a good book, people will buy it, but if they don’t know about it because small presses have small marketing and promo budgets then they can’t know to buy it. With the free promo, my book is being introduced to readers who would not have known about it.
Case in point, we received an email from a lovely gentleman who said he reads sci fi and non fiction, but when he saw my book for free and it was No 1 or No 2 at the time, he thought, “why not?” – well, he said he stayed up late into the night reading it – couldn’t put it down. Now, that made me feel good. I emailed him back a warm note of thanks. And, he’ll buy my next book because he enjoyed TG. This is a reader who never would have picked up my book. If my book had sucked, he’d not buy my next book. If Tender Graces sucks, it will fade into the background unread–no matter if it’s free or if it’s not free.
The big Hoopla discussion is the term “Best Seller List” – it seems some people are cranky about that. They say that it can’t be a best SELLER if it is free. Okay, fine. Sure sure, I get that. But, I think readers are smart enough to know that this is a promo to get readers interested in an author’s books – it isn’t designed to trick anyone into thinking my book is on a “best seller list”—I mean, geez, as if they could be tricked. Readers aren’t stupid!
Thing is, The Big Guys out there have the budget to do all manner of things for their authors—I mean, really, come on! You don’t think The Big Guys don’t have all kinds of ways to make sure their authors are noticed? Renting book space in bookstores so their author’s books are placed up front. Shoot, I get that. Dang, I’d be all for it if I were published by The Big Guys. It’s all fair play. It’s all a part of the Big Game. It’s all a part of marketing and promotion. And I’ll tell you, it’s dog eat dog out there – it’s tough – it may be even cutthroat – lawd! lawd! I’m just a little author in a big huge bloated world of books and publishers…..lawd!
In the end, the author’s work has to stand on its own. If my books are not good, it won’t matter if they are free or not. If my books are good, then people will buy them. If having a free promo introduces readers to my books, then what is the harm in that?
I am rather enjoying all the hoopla. *grin* – I mean, the more they discuss it, the more people go by to see what’s up and the more people who may hurry up and download my book to kindle before the promo is over. Then, if they love Virginia Kate, if they love Tender Graces by lil ole relatively unknown Kathyrn Magendie, they may buy the book itself, or, they may go and purchase Secret Graces, and then the next books Bellebooks/Bell Bridge books publishes.
There isn’t a publisher out there who hasn’t done some kind of promo to get an author noticed, so why all the angst about this promo? I wonder if it has nothing to do with the words “Best Seller” and more about the attention this promo is getting for some of us smaller press authors. And of course, on the other side of it, The Big Guys have the right to say what they have to say to protect their authors and to tout their authors, as well. Meanwhile, I’ll just sit back and let them all fight it out because I don’t wanna get in the middle of the squeeze. I just want to write my books and do my thang. Lil ole me… Teeheehee.
Here’s one of the articles on LA Times – and here’s another one on Tampa Bay Online Critics Corner and then here is the Amazon Kindle “Best seller” list – where I have been between No 1 and No 2 (was No 3 and No 5 as well) for a while now for this two week promo, which ends this weekend, I think.