Welcome all to the End of the Summer Blog Hop. Today we have the awesome Lynn Crain to start out our hop! She is giving away a surprise prize to one lucky replier! Everyday you could win something, from e-books to Prints! so reply and have fun.
The Freebie and You
By Lynn Crain
Everyone loves to get something free. They think they have found a bargain, a jewel in the desert. Then why don’t more people take advantage of the free books on the Kindle?
Don’t get me wrong – many do – thousands in fact. But in my opinion it could be thousands more. Sure, some of it is due to genre constraints. Not everyone likes stories with erotic content nor does everyone like inspirational fiction of any ilk. No – my contention is how it is presented to the public and how an author promotes the free book.
First, the book needs to be easily accessible on leading websites. Of course, the biggest in Amazon and the easiest way there is to be part of the KDP select program, which allows five (5) free days per every ninety (90). Now if you are like me and aren’t in the exclusive KDP select universe, there is still a way you can get your book free at Amazon. It’s called price matching and what has to happen is a little more complicated.
In this situation, you lower your book free every where you can and then have people report to Amazon that the price is lower at other places. Now, these other places need to be some of the major outlets like Barnes and Noble as well as the iBookstore. Many times, Amazon will not drop the price until it is free across all the venues and that can take time.
However, the biggest secret to making this a success no matter how you do it is planning. Your planning stage should be from six to eight weeks. The days of the week a book is free may also be a contributing factor. Some say that its better doing it Monday through Thursday where others are big proponents for the Friday-Saturday-Sunday routine so that those who have worked during the week can see it. Time of year may be important as well and almost everyone I have talked to says not to put up a freebie during the month of August...why you may ask...because many of your readers are focusing on getting their children back to school.
Whatever time you choose, you need to start promoting it quietly or as some authors’ say softly. Promote it to your regular readers. Offer them something more if they feel slighted or have previous purchased the book. Court them with special offers and deals because they are your regulars and you need them to support you.
Also during this planning period, you need to figure out where to promote – push the envelope here as this is where you get your new readers. You want to be in places never before seen in hopes that your blurb, log line or cover will appeal to this new crowd. If those three items need work, now is the time to modify or upgrade your selling tools.
Once you have everything lined up, wait patiently and about a week prior to the free date, start putting out the word. Make sure it’s in your newsletter and out to your author friends. Make sure you tweet and Facebook the special event. One element of crucial importance is tracking – make sure you keep count of just how many copies have been downloaded during this free period. After the free period is over, see if you have an associated sales bump. Some do and some don’t BUT you will never know unless you keep track of the numbers. I did by accident and I’m glad I did – that’s why I’m stressing it here so much.
As an author, my experience with freebies haven’t been so good. The reason is easy – I’ve been doing it all backwards and plan to rectify it with the publication of my next book. Although I have a lot of books under my belt, I have none with the KDP select program. Most of my books are traditional ebooks done with an epublisher and only two are self-published at this point. Part of the reason I didn’t put the two self-pubs in the KDP program was that I liked to sell everywhere like Barnes and Noble, ARe and Smashwords. Amazon demands an exclusive for ninety (90) days and that alone makes me hesitate because I hate monopolies, even when it might be to my benefit. However, I’m not afraid to try something once hence the reason my next book will be a KSP select offering.
Readers – I know you’re wondering just how you can take advantage of the freebies we authors offer. Follow your favorite authors and genres. These authors will tell you not only of their upcoming freebies but about their author friends’ freebies as well. The indie community is a tight knit one and all of us try to help one another out.
Another way readers can find these free bargains are to look at the Amazon bestseller lists. I am sure many of you don’t realize that along with the paid bestseller genre lists, there is a FREE bestseller genre list. Readers can find new and many well known authors any given day of the week. These lists change rapidly, so if you see a book you want, snag it immediately because when you go back, it may not be there.
Does this mean as a reader you should only pickup the freebies? This may seem harsh, especially in these hard economic times, the answer is a resounding NO. Everyone deserves to be paid for their work and the main reason authors offer freebies is for you, the reader, to get to know them and their writing. Authors know they need to give back to those who buy their books on a regular basis and what better way to do so except to offer one free every now and then. Sure, there might be some benefit to that author but there might not as well. As it is, authors are still being paid horrible wages for the number of hours put into their books.
Some authors take months to complete a novel. I know that even when I’m writing my fastest, it will take me a week or about sixty (60) hours to complete something in the 30K range. Those hours include only the first round of edits. The book then spends at least another forty (40) hours with my crit group, forty (40) hours with my professional editor, twenty (20) hours with me making corrections, ten (10) with the proofer and the last twenty (20) hours with my formatter. Therefore, the minimum hours I’ve ever done a project in is 190 hours for each and every 30K book. A book in that range has a cost around $2.99. The total I earn per hour on that one book, if I go just one copy is $0.0123 per hour. Now, this doesn’t account for my costs in producing the book. For each book I self-publish, it will be a while before I see any profit on my time. Pretty dismal – huh?
So you can see that offering our books free is a gift that we authors want you to have. Of course, the more books we sell that number will rise. I just wanted to give some perspective to what we do because many of you would never work for the wage portrayed here. We love what we do otherwise we would not write. Not all authors make tons of money, some of us struggle...some of us are very lucky and sell lots of books.
The bottom line is that overall, freebies can benefit both the author and the reader. All that is needed is a little planning and knowing how to put it all together then getting it into the hands of the people who enjoy our books the best – the readers.
Word Count: approximately 42,000 words
Logline: Sky Nerezsh, a Harvester of men, leaves home avoiding a tragic path when a rival comes to claim Earth and the two Scottish lifemates she’s just discovered.
Blurb: Princess Sky Xera Nerezsh came to earth to avoid the normal succession path to the throne. Being the oldest daughter, she will be required to murder her mother in order to secure her path to power. Sky loves her mother and refuses this path, choosing instead to disappear in the vast reaches of space. When her past collides with her present, she has to think quick on her feet, claim two men and a whole planet just to avoid the inevitable: a meeting with her mother. Along the way, she discovers true love and a burning need to be there for them always. Now if the other Harvesters can just keep to themselves, they’ll have no problems. But who said true love was ever easy.
Suddenly one dark haired man was on the table in front of her, gyrating his sexy hips in her face, his package mere inches from her mouth. In another life, she would have leaned forward and planted her lips on his crotch, willing his body to perform. She really should have been paying more attention to the situation around her instead of wondering about where Angela had gotten herself.
Leaning down, his breath reminded her of the sweetgrass that grew on her home planet of Tyrsati, heightening her senses even more. “Sweetheart, I see how you want me...it’s written all over your face.” His voice purred in her ear.
Sky gasped and pulled back to get a better look at the man in front of her. He reminded her of the gods of Vada. He was tall, well-muscled, dark hair brushing the top of his shoulders and had the most incredible violet eyes she had ever seen. Guess the optics weren’t wrong. He would fetch an exquisite price on Texra and her mother would be extremely proud for her acquisition. She shook her head to clear the cobwebs.
“Nice eyes, sweetie – hang around after the show – I’ll make it worth your while.” His voice hit a resonance with her and her whole body flushed. It had been years since she had reacted to any man. Now her emotions and body betrayed her for an insignificant being on an outer planet. She shook her head. This planet was no more insignificant than any other, including her own but she knew if she didn’t get herself under control, the Harvester in her would take over. Old habits die hard.
“Don’t let his demeanor fool you, luvey. He just wants to get into your pants.” Another deep voice reverberated close to her ear.
She glanced over her shoulder and again her breath was nearly taken away as she looked into the bluest eyes she’d ever seen in the galaxy bar none. The sky of Octa couldn’t hold a candle to the color that swirled in their depths.
“Ooo, Jaxon is right about the eyes. Very cool green.”
“Contacts,” Sky managed to get out for the second time this evening, her voice low.
“And a sexy voice to boot. Very nice.” He twirled away to join his companion on stage. He was just as nice looking as the first guy but just a little shorter. His shiny hair swung around his jaw line as he moved and her hands ached to run her fingers through it and over his body.
She sat there stunned as the people at her table laughed and clapped her on the back as if she’d done some sort of fantastic feat. While her time on this planet had been very thrilling, in her old life working for her mother, their performances had to be impeccable or their fate might be worse than death. She vaguely wondered just how she’d rate them.
Sky did her best to smile and act as if what happened was one of the most exciting things in her life when in reality it brought back some memories she’d rather forget. Folding her hands in front of her, she closed her eyes and steadied her breathing. She opened her eyes slow and caught a glimpse of a targeting laser. The light was in a part of the spectrum that no one of this planet could even see but her optics caught it.
Scanning the crowd, she allowed her eyes to whirl, not caring who saw. There were not supposed to be any Harvesters on this world as it had been declared too primitive to even be included in the Alliance of Planets. She came here because she knew this was the one place her mother wouldn’t think to look. Now, she knew another Tyrsatian walked the same world as she did, occupying the very same room.
Maybe it was time to see just what type of trouble Angela got herself into. Leaning across the table, she quickly gave Jayne her phone number and said her goodbyes to all the others present. Rising slowly, she didn’t want to alert the other Harvester but she was just far enough away and at a weird angle to not see who it might be. Moving quickly to the back wall, she moved to where she stood way behind the woman but close enough to see who it was.
Jesata Ardik. Of all the Harvesters to show up on her new home planet, one of the most relentless in the business had to land on her new home. This wasn’t going to be easy. She had to delay her from marking them because once they were marked, it didn’t matter wherever in the universe they were, they would be considered fugitives until captured and sold to the highest bidder. Meaning, she wouldn’t be able to get them off world without the help of her mother.
Smashwords ~ https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/171101
Amazon ~ http://www.amazon.com/Harvester-Girls-Night-Out-ebook/dp/B008AP7ESI/ref=sr_1_15?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1339491578&sr=1-15&keywords=Lynn+Crain
Barnes & Noble ~ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-harvester-lynn-crain/1111514688?ean=2940014795517
Lynn Crain has penned over 25 novels in romance in the genres of science fiction, fantasy and contemporary romance, erotic to tame in nature. She always knew that writing was her calling even if it took years at other professions to prove it. She has belonged to EPIC and RWA for more years that she cares to think about. Currently, she lives in Europe while her husband of nearly 30 years pursues his dream of working internationally. Her state-side home is in Nevada where family and friends wait patiently for their return. You can find her hanging out at A Writer In Vienna Blog (www.awriterinvienna.blogspot.com) and various other places on the net (www.theloglineblog.blogspot.com; www.twitter.com/oddlynn3 ; www.lynncrain.blogspot.com ; www.facebook.com/oddlynn3 ) as well as her website www.lynncrain.com. Still, the thing she loves most of all is hearing from her readers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE: This is an erotic menagé novel with EXPLICIT language and adult situations.
Thank you Lynn for chatting with us! Everyone ask Lynn something and be entered into her contest.