I know an author that doesn’t like giving away free copies. Her reasoning is that – whatever you send out, you get back. Nothing’s wrong with her reasoning and I’m actually all for it. Giving away free copies doesn’t help, but we as far as self-published authors go, always give away free copies at some point. We use the reasoning that we want reviews and to raise up on the Amazon scale. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just remember to play by the rules.
Book bloggers figured out how to get free books and how to make money if they also organize book tours. Authors figured out which book bloggers to choose for book tours and reviews.
Some even take easy routes – choosing book bloggers who say that they only write reviews for books that rate 3 stars or above. That’s one way to keep up the ratings. However, not all of those bloggers agree to read your book so at the end you have less choices and a smaller audience for reaching out to potential customers. Other authors are okay with bloggers who say that they can rate their books at 1 stars and send their books. So if you get a 1 star review, bad reviews can get you customers as well. Some bad reviews even sell your book better than the good ones. Taking the easy route isn’t always the best for authors. Take time on making decisions, especially the ones with book marketing.
At the beginning, I was an author who felt hurt over 2 stars and I cried. I admit it. But, I did learn from a book blogger that I needed to grow an extra skin to be in the world of authors and I’m not just talking about self-published authors. When a reviewer asked if I was okay with their 2 star review, I asked not to post it and they agreed. After a year passed, the same blogger read my 2nd edition and I received a 5 stars and I jumped for joy. Biased. I was totally biased. That was my second lesson. I should have accepted that two stars so I could boast later that my 2nd edition did improve. Those experiences didn’t allow customers to flock to my books and I lost that book blogger. The other book blogger, I can still contact because I learned about attitude. I think I mentioned before in my posts about being nice to book bloggers. It’s always true because book bloggers remember the good authors and the bad ones especially. Those experienced led me to a blogger who gave me a low rating but was willing to read my second book because I wasn’t scared of her criticism and accepted her review. Now, I’m not afraid of criticisms, bad reviews, and bad correspondences. That allows me to create new connections with other authors and book bloggers. Sure, I had to learn it the hard way, but hey we have to learn some lessons the hard way.
I got off the topic. How to get customers flocking towards your book?
I don’t know. All I can do is continue doing cover reveals, book tours, and reaching out to book bloggers. Maybe just maybe readers would get interested in my works and get them to return.
What I do know is that an author needs to keep writing and learning. Writing more books can get you readers who will return again and again to read you. At the end, that’s what matters – readers who would be dedicated to you. For that to work, one needs to continue writing and reaching out to the people who can help you and sometimes it means handing over free copies. In return you get reviews and gain new friends.
If you’re a successful author, how were you able to get customers flocking for more copies? What lessons did you learn along the way? Are you able to admit to them?