Do you truly understand the power of free? Do you? Do you realize how much value you can add to your writing career by giving away stuff for free? People L-O-V-E free. More importantly they love adding value to their lives for free. Enter your freebie. Now, of course there is no sustainability in giving everything away for free. Some people might tell you that when you are starting out as an author it might be more beneficial to you to give your first book away for free. This is not true, even giving an entire book away for free for a limited time is not a good idea. Yes it may work for a few people, but you don't want a business model that works for a few people, you want one that works for most people.
So, what do you give away for free? How do you give it away? And how does it bring you value?
- Give away chapters (for fiction writers). If you are fiction writer, giving away a chapter of your next book for free is the best way to go. Yes, you could give away a short story, or a chapter from your last book, but that won't help the reader to understand if they are going to like the new book. Or, you could write a short ebook on a subject pertaining to your current book that you had to research, or were already very knowledgeable about. This will help the reader to get a feel of your passion on the subject as well as your writing style.
- Give away specifically written ebooks (for non-fiction writers). For non-fiction writers the best option is to give away a short ebook that you wrote on a subject in your specific field. Giving away a chapter of your next book is an option, but it would have to be a chapter that drives home a central topic and showcases your knowledge in your field. Remember, you are trying to establish yourself as an expert and giving away a short ebook showcasing your expert knowledge is a great way to do that. A single chapter may not have the same effect.
- Give them away everywhere you can. A great place to give your freebie away is on your website. Have a form pop up when people visit your website, offering your freebie in exchange for their email. Another great place is speaking engagements. Set up a merchandise table at speaking engagements and offer a link to your freebie in exchange for an email address. Or you could raffle off your last book, again with the price to enter the raffle being an email address. And of course there is always NoiseTrade, a website that allows you to offer your “freebie” to readers for any price they want, including free, in exchange for some information about themselves.
- The main point of giving away your freebie is twofold. Yes, you want to get exposure to potential readers, but you also want to get some information from them. Though your freebie will be free, it shouldn't come without a cost. You want to get email addresses in exchange for your freebie. This way you can add those who sign up to your email list (link to email list blog) and draw them into your business. In addition, you can take any other information that they provided to learn more about your target audience, which will aid you in marketing.
In the end, giving away something small, but of value to your audience, will grow your readership and writing business more, and for much less cost, than any marketing campaign ever would. Not to mention how much your audience will appreciate your generosity, and spread the word as a result.
What is your favorite freebie that you have received? Share it with us in the comments section below.