Why give away your book?

Is it worth it to give your book away?

We all do it. We offer a free book as a prize in a contest or change our price to nothing for a few days or a week in hopes that the bargain will attract new fans.

I’ve done both, and I’m not sure how effective it is.

Another thing I’ve done is donate copies to my local library. This seems self-defeating, as now people can read the book for nothing when they might have purchased it.

The key word here is might. My best outcome was when a someone read the book and then bought a copy for a friend. How great is that?

I couldn’t donate copies of my “Question” series because they are all e-books, but I could and did donate e-copies to Overdrive, which is a reading app that allows people to temporarily download books from their library.

Multiply this by many libraries, and you can reach new fans and maybe generate sales on your other books when you do.

But I’m self-published and so my books aren’t listed in the catalogs libraries order their books from.

Yes, I hear you, but there is an answer to this. List your books in Library Journal.

This is an avenue for self-published authors to get their books noticed. You submit your book via an on-line form. The book is then made available to participating libraries across your state. If you choose, you can opt to have your book evaluated for possible inclusion in a curated, national product.

Why would you or I do this? Because, according to Library Journal, “50% of readers who discover an author in a library go on to buy a book by that author.”

Still wonder why you should get your book on the library shelf–physical or digital? If you are in it for the money, this may not be the channel for you.

I have long ago given up the idea that I will retire on my earnings from my books. Heck, I’m already retired and couldn’t  live a day on what I’ve earned.

What I want is to share my books with people who appreciate them. If they love them, even better. (If they love them enough to write a review…but that’s a different story.)

But if you want to get your name recognized and attract new readers, getting your book in a national outlet may work for you.

It’s worth a try.

Here’s the link: self-e.libraryjournal.com


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