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Book Giveaways: Are They Worth it? — 13 Comments

  1. True book giveaways are a great relationship-builder in the long run depending on who you give it to. I have done that lots of times on all my 3 books. And it’s just amazing the benefits i have got compares to the book sales i made.

  2. I’m a first time author and gave away 20 of my books on Goodreads. The only two bad reviews I ever got for Not Going Gently. . .A Psychologist Fights Back against Alzheimer’s. . ., were from 2 of those people who received a free copy and then stated something like ‘I wouldn’t have finished reading it, except it was free!’ Thank goodness my Amazon reviews –for paid books– are so positive. I think you’re right that people value more highly something they have purchased.

  3. Thank you for your insight. As a new indie author I’ve been trying to learn everything I can about marketing, and your article has given me several good points to consider.

  4. Great summary, Dave. I’ve made so many mistakes in the past with six of my books. Book seven is being treated with more business acumen and respect. Thank you.

    And I love Joel’s remark ‘free’ isn’t a price, it’s a strategy. Seven words all authors should chisel in stone before they market.

  5. You nailed it on the head.. I’m a book promoter and own http://www.ilikeebooks.com I have many authors submit books during their giveaways since they think giving away the book to strangers will help them in some way. Thanks for the read! I plan on sharing this with some authors that use my website and I hope it will help them in some way.

    Jason

  6. I’m a little confused here. Wouldn’t a friend feel awkward if not obliged to be asked to pay for a copy of a book? If feedback and spreading the word is needed where better place to start? But I think there is an implied obligation just in approaching a friend at all over anything commercial!
    If I have an idea I am just not sure is going to resonate it seems natural to ask a friend who can also give an entirely honest response – that is, if they are a friend!! I take the attitude of using whatever opportunity presents itself as sometimes the lucky break comes from never saying never or deflecting from the norm!

    • Jeremy, I think that’s whas I was driving at; real friends don;t ask for free books. Those who receive them rarely read them—or do so out of a sense of obligation. I bring my reader friends in at the pre-editor stage, before I send the final draft to my professional editor. I send them books as a thank you gesture, but if I value their input, I’d rather have that input before the book is released into the wild.

  7. Perfectly well said. Was the angle I was trying to express and you did it well.
    Provide the respect, it shall be returned maybe not the way you put it either but I believe it fits also.

    Thanks

  8. Excellent post, Dave. I expected an either/or essay, and instead got a thoughtful, well written explanation of the pros and cons of giving away copies. And I agree with you completely. When you’re running a business, sometimes you give away promotional copies. But you never, ever, give away books to “friends.” Friends buy your books because they’re friends! I give away copies to legitimate reviewers, and for promotional purposes, but none other.

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