Dear new authors, this is why you want to give your books away for free.
In case it wasn’t clear what the benefits were to making at least one of your books available for free, here’s a few.
Here’s a single review from a single person. Imagine that there are more out there like this. Also who won’t leave reviews but who go through the same process.
From a review on Amazon for The Soul Summoner (a book I’m “researching” (i.e. reading) because it’s in several of my upcoming genres):
I loved, loved, loved this book. I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review and I have to say that I read the first couple of chapters of this book, then went onto Amazon and bought the double Soul Summoner books (Book 1 and Book 2) AND The Angel of Death (Book 3). (Not to be satisfied with that, I also bought The Journey Durant Box Set which I haven’t yet read, but will leave a review when I have.) Luckily, I was also gifted an ARC of The Detective, Nathan’s story before the Soul Summoners, a wonderful, if too short story as well.
If the Soul Summoner series is an example of Elicia’s writing, I intend to buy everything she puts out. The books are very well written and totally believable. They drew me in from the start and I was amazed how invested I became in the characters, although I wish that Sloan was a little less invested in both male leads, lol. I understand there will be another couple of books to come yet, thank goodness and I am already anxiously waiting for them.
Let’s have a closer look at what the reviewer is really saying–and what it means for the author’s long-term career.
This particular case is an ARC book, but I’m going to assume here that a free book (especially the first in a series) could lead to similar results.
- loved, loved, loved this book
Had she not read the book, might this reviewer have loved it?
- ARC in exchange for an honest review
She was given the book (for free) as an Advance Review Copy. In other words, in exchange for an honest review. Always a good strategy.
- read the first couple of chapters
This is all we’re really shooting for, dear author colleagues. If we are not yet a well-known name, we really just want readers to get a taste of our writing. Our goal is, in this order: that they are intrigued by the cover enough to scan the blurb to then read a few chapters to then devour the rest of the book. None of this happens if they don’t have the book in their hands.
- bought the double Soul Summoner books (Book 1 and Book 2) AND The Angel of Death (Book 3)
This is dreamland, this is the hope and dream for many of us: the reader liked the beginning and they want it all. Would this have happened if the first book weren’t given away? Sure, maybe.
- I also bought
She then proceeded to buy yet another series by the author. Who is this dream reviewer!? We love her!
As she’s now such a fan, she feels “lucky” to receive even more books. Dearest Self-Doubting Authors, think that your fans might consider themselves lucky to read your work. I know, hard to fathom. But this is a real review.
She mentions again how she was given a gift of that first book. Who doesn’t like gifts? Who doesn’t like things for free? She’s the ideal reader in that she wants to then give back by buying more books from the author.
- I intend to buy everything she puts out
OK, just stop. This is too much! Right? Dear Author Mindset, think of your fans in this way. What if there are readers out there who want to buy everything you put out? Dreamland, right? Maybe, but think like this and it will help you write more–and better.
- another couple of books to come yet, thank goodness
She wants more. Author, can you deliver?
- anxiously waiting
How’s that next book coming along? The readers want it and they want it soon.
This is one review. From one reviewer. On one book.
How many books do you have out there? If you have zero, do you know how many reviews like this you’re going to get? How many fans? I can tell you (I’m a math whiz): zero.
This is our dream review. Shoot for this.
Oh, now get back to writing!