First, I love the book. Pure and simple. It's family, it's forgiveness, it's learning to trust and it's Christmas all rolled up into one. It's the Christmas season, and like many readers, I always stock up on Christmas themed books to read. I'm also a Hallmark Channel junky. In November I set my DVR to record all my favorite Hallmark Channel Christmas stories so I can enjoy them throughout the Christmas season.
I know I'm not the only one like this. So choosing between the 4 books I self published last September was not a hard one. If I'm going to give away a book, it may as well be one that readers like me will be drawn to.
The second reason I decided to give ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU away in most outlets had to do with marketing. Publishers pour a lot of money into marketing. I don't have that kind of cash on hand.
So that's what I did. I looked at what resources I had at my disposal, my books, and decided to use that to my advantage. Right now ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU is sitting on over 200,000 ereaders, cell phones, iPhones, laptops, etc. around the world. Most of the people who downloaded my book probably won't read it. I think that's fair to say. I buy books all the time and never read them for various reason. But some of the people who download the book for free will read it. If they like what they read, they may buy some of my other books. If not, they'll cross me off their list of authors to buy without having paid a cent for my book. Judging from the reviews I've received by email and at online bookstores, readers are pleased with what they've read and I couldn't be more thrilled!
Let's go back to those readers who have my book on their ereader and don't read it...today. Every time they turn on their ereader and browse through the books in their library, they'll see my book. They'll see my name. It's an impression. How do I know this? I'm a reader. Remember all those books I buy and don't read? I remember a lot of those authors names and books, even though I haven't read them, because I see the name and book title on my NOOK every time I turn it on. If they don't read the book today, maybe they'll read it next month or next year. I haven't lost my chance at winning these readers over until they delete the book from their elibrary.
You may be thinking that readers will expect a free book all the time. There are certainly some readers who comb websites for free books. But judging by the surge in sales on my other books, sales I'm sure I would not have had had I not chosen this marketing method to promote my books, I doubt it. In fact, on the few online bookstores that still list my book for 99 cents, sales for ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU have done wonderfully. Again, I'm not sure this surge in sales would have happened organically or not. But I'm happy with the way things turned out.
I haven't reinvented the wheel. Other authors have offered their books for free for a period of time in order to boost sales. Publishers do this all the time. Maybe they haven't done it for as long as I have. But that was my decision. And it's working for me. I'm happy that I have a simple and inexpensive way to promote myself and my work while giving readers a gift from me. Will I do this for the other books I currently have out? No. ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU is my gift to readers this year. Next year? Who knows.