Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Book Bundles, Promo Cookbooks and Free Books: Author Marketing that Works

Now through October 14th, Book Bundles, 20 reads for under 5 bucks! Get Prodigies of Mystery II here at iBooks, 99 cents for three full length novels!

How are midlist and new authors going to stand out in today's overburdened publishing biz? Here's a few recent methods I've found successful.

First up: Book Bundles. My publisher is running a special on five bundles, one of which, Prodigies of Mysteries II, includes my cozy mystery Starke Naked Dead. As a reader, I've noticed that I often buy these bundles because there's a lot of reading for cheap and it's a great way to find new authors. As an author, I discovered that Starke Naked Dead is coming up in the rankings considerably while offered in Prodigies of Mystery II. A  great way to get noticed and to brand your author name and series.

Here's another great way to get your name out there, thank you, Lois Winston, for this great idea. Bake, Love, Write is a compilation of dessert recipes with authors' advice on love and writing, 105 authors in all. Lois Winston is donating the proceeds to a worthy cause. The eBook is for sale for 99 cents, that's less than a penny a recipe! My recipe is easy, cheap and delicious soda cracker pie. Again, I often find myself buying just this type of book because I love to cook, love inexpensive dessert cookbooks and love finding other authors to read. Plus, with 105 authors, there's oodles of cross-marketing going on!

There's a lot of controversy about whether to ever have anything free, even promo cookbooks. The detractors say that being free only means that you are giving away content to people who may never read it, much less review it. However, I think there is a place for free, especially if it's a certain sort of free book. I've downloaded free short stories about a series and then gone on to buy books from the series. With my promotional cookbooks, I have found that after they're free that I do get reviews, perhaps because a cookbook is something that people do read after downloading. Plus, if you have a lot of downloads of your free book, Amazon will heavily promote it once it's no longer free. So, here's one of my cookbooks that introduces my Starke Dead cozy mystery series, Starke Deadly Delicious, and it's FREE today, October 8th!

So dear readers, what do you think? Do you do the same with these promotions? Or not? Do you think they work? Or not? Let us know in the comments!


Jolie said...

Those are interesting ideas. I don't have an opinion one way or the other though because I haven't offered anything up free yet. Thanks for sharing.

Lois Winston said...

Conda, thanks so much for promoting the cookbook!

Conda Douglas said...

Most welcome, Lois! And many thanks to you for your hard work on making the cookbook a reality. I always love how authors support and help each other!

J.Q. Rose said...

When I was in the freelance writing business, I had a strict code not to write anything for free--broke it by writing several press releases for non-profits. Now in fiction writing, in order to get your foot in the door as you said, freebies are just part of the advertising budget or the cost of doing business. Great post. BTW, I loved Stark Naked Dead and especially the title!! hee hee

Conda Douglas said...

You said it, JQ, freebies and great deals are now cheap advertising.

And thank you for the compliment about the post and Starke Naked Dead!Next up, Starke Raving Dead.

Rose Anderson said...

I just bought it, Conda. I can't believe you have a recipe (and photo)of Slumgullion. My husband's grandmother used to make that and he could never explain what it was. One of those great mysteries solved. lol

Conda Douglas said...

Thank you, Jolie and having something that is a promo item is to be considered as one way to market. It's all about people finding you as an author!

Conda Douglas said...

Rose, that's great about the slumguillion! I've had to explain it many times myself, and now I can send people to my cookbook too! (And try the slumguillion salad, it's delicious, if I do say so myself.)