You better ask somebody. Best-selling author Lynn Viehl is an incredibly generous author who has done the unthinkable: She’s given an analysis of her profit from a best-seller IN REAL NUMBERS. After much weeping, moaning and gnashing my teeth over her $50k advance, I read the eye-opening post with great interest. Check it out for your own edification.
Lynn’s blog, Paperback Writer, is like a primer on publishing industry. There’s so much nonsense out there, much of it incredibly expensive, like going to conferences or getting a lot of promo schwag printed up. Fortunately for me, I can’t afford any of that stuff anyway! Lynn is a strong advocate of using the internet to promote yourself. She uploads free reads on upload sites like scribd.com.
I uploaded Rock Star Wedding in March. It’s been downloaded 131 times since then, and some people have made it a favorite. Did all 131 of those people run out to buy my books? Probably not, but considering that I wrote Rock Star Wedding two years ago and have had it up on my blogs for free since that time I know that these people at scribd.com are new downloaders. I can’t imagine an author on this planet who doesn’t want to get as many readers as possible reading her books, especially when it doesn’t cost the author anything!
I plan to put some new freebies up as soon as I finish Morning Star. No one has ever told me that they bought one of my books because of a bookmark or anything like that. But plenty have said that they became interested after reading my freebie. Give them a taste and they’ll come running.
*Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean I don’t plan to have more schwag in the future. Let’s face it, schwag is fun, just don’t get it twisted: It doesn’t sell books!