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Publetariat Dispatch: The Joy of Giving Away Ebooks

Publetariat: For People Who Publish!

In today’s Publetariat Dispatch, author LJ Sellers shares the benefits she’s enjoyed from giving away copies of her ebooks.

Four years ago this month we moved into our current house, and I was gearing up to launch my first novel. I had never heard of Kindle, and e-books were only a vague concept. My biggest concern was getting print copies in the mail to three major reviewers three months before the release date.

Today I’ll upload my eighth novel to Kindle, and my biggest concern is getting ebook copies to hundreds of reviewers. For me, in this new world of publishing, one of the best things about being an independent author is the ability to give away as many copies of my novels as I want, with no financial cost and very little time. One of the concomitant changes is the willingness of reviewers to read e-books.(Not Publishers Weekly, of course, but they aren’t going to review me anyway.)

For an upcoming author, this is a game changer. Giving my new novel to readers and reviewers who haven’t tried my work is the best promotion I can do. If they like it, they’ll blog about the novel, post reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, and hopefully tell their friends or book club members. I have the potential to reach thousands of new readers in the most effective way possible: word of mouth recommendations.

Not being able to give away ebooks was one of my biggest frustrations when I was with a small publisher. The owner simply didn’t understand the value and importance of giving away books to reach a wider audience. But this time around, I have a giveaway posted on LibraryThing and will soon post one on Goodreads and International Thriller Writers. I’ll send copies to at least another hundred bloggers and fans too. Why not? Very few of these people were waiting to buy the book the moment it was released, so there’s nothing to lose. My fans who are waiting to buy the book will do so anyway. Some will accept a free copy from me, then buy another copy as a gift for a friend to be supportive.

Of course, I’m also planning a blog book tour in early September (with print giveaways too), and I’ve purchased some promotional spots to reach readers who will pay for the book. But the word-of-mouth recommendations I’ll get from the giveaways is not something I can buy. Ebooks and social networking sites have bridged the gap between readers and new authors, and in many ways leveled the playing field. It’s a beautiful thing.

If you’d like a digital review copy of The Arranger: A Futuristic Thriller post a comment and email me to let me know if you want mobi (Kindle) or epub.

Here’s the back cover copy.
The year is 2023 and ex-detective Lara Evans is working as a freelance paramedic in a bleak new world. She responds to an emergency call and is nearly killed when a shooter flees the home. Inside she finds the federal employment commissioner wounded, but she’s able to save his life.

The next day Lara leaves for the Gauntlet—a national competition of intense physical and mental challenges with high stakes for her home state. She spots the assailant lurking at the arena and soon after, she lands in deep trouble. Who is the mysterious killer and what is motivating him? Can Lara stop him, stay alive, and win the Gauntlet?

Readers: Are you reading new authors because of an ebook giveaway?
Writers: Do you think I’m crazy for giving away my books?

This is a reprint from the Crime Fiction Collective site, by LJ Sellers, author of the bestselling Detective Jackson series.

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