#IWSG: Advice – To Follow or Not To Follow, That’s The Question

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It’s that time again – time for another contribution to Alec Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. You should really pop over and join. My offering this month is about following (or not) advice.

InsecureWritersSupportGroupThere’s tons of advice out there for writers: how-to, what you shouldn’t do, you could fill the Library of Congress with it. I’m taking a poke at one piece of advice in particular – some people are adamant that you should never give what you write away for free as this devalues it. I’m not taking a side, nor am I attempting to debunk that belief. I’m doing what all the how-to authors should do, and telling you what works for me.

I’ve been publishing my books on Kindle for several years, but I resisted participating in the Kindle Direct Publishing Select (KDP Select) program for a long time because of the aforementioned advice. It was only after I’d launched my Buffalo Soldier series that I decided to give the KDP free offer a shot. I did the free 5-day giveaway with the fourth in the series at the same time I published the fifth, just to see what would happen. Up to that time I’d been getting 3 – 5 sales per month. That month, though, after over 600 downloads of the free book, I saw a significant uptick in sales of the earlier books. The new book also had amazing sales (nearly 800 during the first three weeks).

Since then I’ve been doing a 3 to 5-day giveaway each month. My sales went up after I started the practice, with an average of 100 – 150 per month. I can’t attribute all of the new sales to the promotion, but then again, who knows. Maybe it is a bad idea to give your work away, but then again – –

4 thoughts on “#IWSG: Advice – To Follow or Not To Follow, That’s The Question

    Yvonne Hertzberger said:
    July 2, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    So if you do a giveaway every month that means you are rotating the titles, right? Are you exclusive to KDP, then, or do you manage to get around that with rotations as well?


      Charles Ray responded:
      July 2, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      Yes, I not only rotate titles, but genres, since I write in more than one. I have some on Nook for Barnes and Noble, but mostly stick with KDP just to minimize the things I have to keep track of. I’m considering going with one of the other sites some day, but am just too busy to manage it right now.


        Yvonne Hertzberger said:
        July 2, 2014 at 6:21 pm

        I hear you about busy. Since I have only the one trilogy (yet) that strategy likely won’t work for me. (yet)


    Jacqui Murray said:
    July 2, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Great info, Charlie. I appreciate hearing it. I’ll be pondering that very question soon.


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