Congrats to the 4 lucky winners of a free ebook of Bavarian Beauty!
The winners are (with their blogs):
- Edward Roads — Mytwosentences
- Audrey Dawn — Oldest Daughter & Red Headed Sister
- Kelly — Kelly’s Wandering Mind
- Nabu Black — his erotica blog
But wait, you say! Weren’t there supposed to be 5 lucky winners of this ebook? Right you are! I just received 4 entries for the giveaway, so there was no need to throw names in a hat and do a random drawing.
That leaves 1 more free ebook of the novel available. If you want it, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. First come, first served — and I’ll leave the offer open until this Sunday.
I wondered about the whys behind the small number of entries. I know I’m just starting out in this self-publishing game, and I don’t have thousands of readers like James Patterson (er, make that millions of readers). Did some potential readers think I was going to use their email address in evil schemes? Like trying to sell them cut-rate pharmaceuticals from Canada? Or trying to get their bank account number because my friend, the Prince of Nigeria, has a ludicrous amount of money and wants to give most of it away to complete strangers?
But I don’t know the Prince of Nigeria. If there is a prince, I hope he’s a nice guy. Not so sure he’s nice enough to give money away to complete strangers through email banking, though.
Anyway, this giveaway was a lesson in promotion. For the next couple of ebooks that I self-publish, I’ll simply put them up for free for a limited amount of time. That worked much better with Beware the Ides of March and Maid Marian’s Missions, both released earlier this year.
This speaks to a challenge of self-publishing: the need to be a good self-promoter in addition to a writer.
I think it’s amazing to have tools to be able to self-publish my stories. Ebooks are a boon to us amateur writers. (Some may say they’re a curse for bad writing, but that’s another conversation.) In the time before ebooks, amateur writers would have to impress a publishing firm (either directly or through an agent, whom would need to be impressed first). You’d have to get into the door because you’d be seen as a potential money-maker for the firm. But with ebooks, amateur writers can publish by ourselves and have our stories out there for the public to read, and maybe make a little money in the process.
Self-publishing also means we have to do the non-writing work, too (or spend the cash for others to do it). In the publishing firm approach, I suppose a writer is paired with a publicist, who then tells the writer to go here for an interview with a radio station, TV program, magazine, newspaper, or website. And then go there for a book reading and autograph signing session. Hopefully, the writer would be driven to each event in a sweet ride. Okay, so not all of them get a limo (like Stephen King, maybe?), but let’s hope the writers at least get driven in something elegant.
Us self-publishers have to serve as our own publicists to pimp out our books. As I’m finding out, this uses a different part of my brain. I’m not really an MBA-type person — so it’s been a learning process for me. And I have a lot to learn!
Thankfully, there are resources out there. Kind writers who share their experiences. For example, Smashwords founder Mark Coker has put out the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide to help out. And — bonus! — it’s free!
So I need to learn more about marketing. This was a good lesson: It’s much easier to put an ebook up for free for 3 days than it is to collect emails for a random drawing 🙂