A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

NOTE: the blog is currently dormant but please enjoy the posts we're keeping online.

Julie Moffet . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Thursday, June 1, 2017

I-SPY Free Books?? How, Where, and What to Watch out for!

Join the authors and friends of Not Your Usual Suspects for an occasional series of posts about their world of reading, writing and publishing.

Short and sweet, hopefully both informative and entertaining - join us at I-Spy to find out the how's and why's of what we do.

TODAY'S POST: I-Spy something beginning with ... Free Books!

Instafreebie/bookfunnel campaigns - and please accept those example names in this post as relating to ANY other similar sites - have recently burst on the scene, as a way of offering free books in multiple formats

As a reader? They're great! I've been able to download backlist books from authors I love, and sample new books from authors I've yet to "meet". Admittedly there are some drawbacks, even when the product is free:
* some books are poorly presented and written. I DoNotFinish, and avoid that author in future, but it means having to trawl through some dreck to find the gems.
* my Kindle is so full after a campaign that it takes me ages - if ever - to get around to reading all the new books! It does slow down my buying habits, which you could take as a good or bad thing.
* and I get myself subscribed to future free offers and early sneak peeks from the author.

As an author? It's a very useful marketing tool.
* if you send out Advance Reader Copies for a new book, this is a quick, low workload, and efficient way to do it.
* you can personalise the copies - in case one gets into the hands of book pirates, you can track where it came from,
* you can use a giveaway campaign to increase your mailing list, to attract future fans. You can set conditions to your giveaway, where the subscriber can choose to - or must - subscribe. Then the free book program will connect them to your list on the platform you use for newsletters e.g. MailChimp.

So, but... what happens when the Honeymoon is over??

As a reader: Some authors are too pushy for me, following up with weekly newsletters, often checking in on me to see if I've read the book / what did I think / can I leave a review / do I want to hear about the next project?
In most cases, the answer will be positive, but I'd like to choose my time to engage. Gradually, I peel away the newsletters that *don't* appeal to me. After all, we can all use the internet to follow up on a new treasured author, at our own time.

As an author: I recently banded together with 80 other authors for just one week, offered a self-published backlist novel, and doubled my newsletter subscriber list to 1000+! Of course, it meant I gave away a whole bunch of books for free (though it was a slow-moving title in the first place). Nor is it just a numbers game - I can only hope it generates some new reviews, or interest in my other books. It's difficult to measure that success or not, but exposure for my author name is always a plus for me.
And a small percentage of the newsletter subscribers gradually peel away, just like I have done myself.

There are conditions to Instafreebie, and they do monitor drastic ups and downs on an account, in an attempt to minimise spammers using them. However, it's relatively easy to set up and use, and the basic account is free, though you have to pay a modest monthly subscription if you want to link your giveaway to your mailing list (which I think currently is worth the money for me).

And a plea? If you do subscribe to newsletters and then want to unsubscribe, please be careful not to tick the reason as being "inappropriate" or "spam", if all you want to do is back away amicably. Choosing those options (unless they're true, of course!) can flag up the author and cause them to lose their account.

Overall? I recommend it as a great way to share free fiction, meet new books and authors - because they're appearing every day in their multitudes! - and also reach out to readers of your own with writing updates, fun news and treats. You know, NOT everyone spends 12+hours of the day online like me *cough*, so a newsletter is a valuable way to reach new, and unique, readers.

And everyone loves the occasional free book, right? :D

~~Clare London~~
And my newsletter is HERE!


FUTURE POSTS will cover:
What would you like to know more about?
We welcome everyone's constructive comments and suggestions!


jean harrington said...

An informative post, as always, Clare. Wish I had your marketing and PR skills.

Anne Marie Becker said...

Great info, Clare! I use BookFunnel for giveaways and ARCs. It's worked great.

Rita said...

Clare thank you so much for sharing this it's really very valuable for me.

Clare London said...

Thanks to you all for dropping by! and good to hear it's working well for some of you x

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