For the explanation as to why giving your book away for a limited time is a good idea, go to the bottom of this post.
I’m always looking for ways to get my books in the hands of readers without it costing me money. This week I’ve delved into Thirsty Author to see what they offered.
For no cost to me, I can sell my books on their site. And… I can offer my books for Free for a limited time (the dates of which, I specify.) I’m still learning the finer points of how their readers find my books, but in the meantime, I am using a link to sends new readers to a page that lists my books. (Below is a partial screenshot of that page.) Here’s the actual link:
Basic Questions answered:
- Do you have to create an account with Thirsty Author: YES
- Does it cost anything to create an account: NO
- To sell your book(s) you will have to upload a book file(s) which is no different than selling your books with Smashwords, Draft2Digital, or Amazon. They take PDF (preferable), mobi, epub, or mp3.
- Is the process easy: YES
- Is there a limit to the number of books: NO
- Do you retain the rights to your work: YES
- Is there a cost for additional promotion within their platform: YES (I’m still discovering how the buying and using tokens works)
- Do they help you create a reader mailing list: YES
As you can see, some of my books are currently downloadable for free in exchange for an email address. Scrolling further down the list shows the books that can be purchased. Thirsty Author uses a PayPal email to transfer royalties to their authors once those royalties have reached a min $20.00 limit. (Same as Draft2Digital and I assume Smashwords.)
The book-listing process itself isn’t very hard. The worst software issue I encountered was when I copied and pasted the book’s blurb from its Amazon sales page directly into Thirsty Author‘s form. I found that not all the commas and apostrophes transferred. So, I had to proofread the book’s description several times to make sure I caught all the new errors in what should have been an error-free blurb.
When a potential reader clicks on a book that is currently Free, this is what they will see. (Below) If you have an email collection program like MailChimp, the reader’s email is added to your list. If not, you have the option of collecting the emails yourself. For more information, click here.
If the book is not in a giveaway promotion and is currently for sale, this is what readers will see. Every listing gives readers a link to the book on Amazon or the Author’s website.
Of course, I won’t know how effective Thirsty Author is until a few months have passed. But for now, it’s just another tool in this indie author’s toolbox.
Fellow authors, let me know if they’ve worked for you. In the meantime, keep writing and reading out there.
I’ll do the same. 💋
Now for that promised explanation about Freebies.
Look, I get it. Giving your book away feels like you’re giving away a year’s worth of work for absolutely nothing. It feels as if you’re devaluing your efforts…the blood, sweat, and tears. But authors need readers. Yes, we write because we must, but a storyteller needs a listener. Without readers, we really are just wasting our time.
So I run promotional Freebies and Giveaways for my books. I’ve learned that this is a necessary marketing tool in order to reach readers. Face it, the bestselling authors aren’t always the most talented writers. The bestselling authors are the writers who have the most readers. They’re the ones the general public has heard about.
I can be the most talented writer and not have readers. Personally, I know fantastic writers who have few if any sales to report.
As an indie author, I don’t have a huge publishing house to promote me. I just have me. Once voice. So yes, I have to give away more copies of my books than I’d like. But eventually, I will find a dedicated pool of readers who enjoy my books and will begin to search for my titles. And truly, that’s all I want.
It is for this goal alone that I embrace book giveaways. Luckily, I have an entire first series I can offer up as kind of an enticement. It’s not that these books are less than. As a matter of fact, the last three books in the Darkly Series happen to be some of my very favorite books. They’ve earned awards. I can confidently showcase them as a sample of my style of storytelling.
What I never do is pay to give my books away. Back in the day, places like Goodreads.com would allow authors to give books away for free. Nowadays, it cost over a hundred dollars to do a giveaway. Are you kidding me? Nope. Not doing that.
Here lines the end of my explanation. And good luck to all the authors out there trying to be seen. 💖