I’m excited to welcome Felicity Henson from Instafreebie to chat about how you can download free books in genres you like and easily find new authors who are just right for you. Did you know that marking a newsletter you signed up for as Spam can hurt the author? Have you ever wanted to reach out to an author but didn’t know if you could? Wondering how to find the authors that are just right for you? Read on for Felicity’s advice!
Discover and Engage with New Authors
By Felicity Henson
Instafreebie, the leading platform in author discovery, is a starting place to find new books and authors you love! Instafreebie features free books (and group giveaways) and new authors in genre-specific categories every weekday, making it easy for readers to discover books in the genres they like. However, the real benefit of Instafreebie lies in the potential of readers building relationships with authors they care about after they’ve read a free book. This is how to start taking those first steps!
Download Books You’ll Actually Read
There are a lot of free books out there. It can be tempting, but don’t download every single one. Claim books you think you’ll enjoy, and have the time to read. You don’t want to drown in more books and author newsletters than you can keep track of! This way you’ll be able to decide whether you like their content and emails, and won’t have to unsubscribe simply to keep your inbox clean. Authors will appreciate this too. They put a lot of hard work and thought into creating their content, and it can be frustrating for them when a lot of people download their book with no intention of reading it.
Join Author Mailing Lists
Some free book giveaways ask you to join the author’s mailing list in order to download their book. If this is the case, make sure that the book is one you want and will read before downloading it. If you sign up to a lot of mailing lists you don’t care about, it will frustrate you and clutter up your inbox. It will also hurt authors, who pay more money for each subscriber they have.
Some authors won’t require you to join their mailing list in order to download their books, but will give you the option. If you plan on reading the book, consider joining their mailing list. If you end up loving the book, you’ll be able to keep up a relationship with the author, find out what new things they’re doing, where to get the rest of their works, and how you can give them feedback. They might also become a place to find new authors and books you’ll love! If you join the mailing list and end up not wanting to hear from the author, you can always unsubscribe later.
For authors, every unsubscribe comes with a question. Why? Did the reader unsubscribe because they didn’t like their book? Was it because the reader didn’t like the amount of emails they received? Was it because the reader never intended to read those emails in the first place? Authors’ livelihoods depend on their engagement with readers. Give them a chance before unsubscribing by reading their content and learning if it’s for you or not. If you try what they’ve written and decide it’s just not for you, then it’s a good idea to unsubscribe from their list. You should also unsubscribe if you don’t like the author’s email habits – if they send emails too frequently or you don’t like the content they’re sending you. However, if you do choose to unsubscribe, give feedback as to why you are. Usually there’s a poll when you unsubscribe where you can explain. This way the author will learn and improve their email practices.
Pro Tip: Take a couple seconds to fill out the post-unsubscribe polls to help authors improve their email practices
What It Means to Mark as Spam
Marking an email as spam is not the same thing as unsubscribing from an email list. When an author is marked as spam, it hurts their credibility, and often results in their email service blocking them from sending any emails. When you download a book and give your email address, you’re signing up to get emails from the author. Spam emails are emails sent to you without your agreement. Since you agreed to receive emails from the author when you downloaded their book, these emails aren’t spam. If you want to unsubscribe from an author’s email list, you can usually find a button to unsubscribe either at the top or the bottom of the emails they send you. If you can’t find the unsubscribe button, email the author and ask for their help. They can remove you from their list.
Engage With Authors
The more connected an author is to engaged readers, the more encouraged and successful they’ll feel, and they’ll reciprocate by writing more and more content that you’ll get to read.
Authors you engage with are more likely to feel encouraged and write more content you’ll get to read
If you’re on an author’s mailing list, read their emails! Authors will give you information on how to get more freebies (if they’re offering any), how to find the rest of their books, and recommendations for other books you should read. They might also tell you about their life and ask you about yours.
Don’t be afraid to engage with authors you like. Authors want to hear what you have to say, even – especially – if you haven’t interacted with them before. Do you have an answer to a question the author asked? Respond to their email and tell them! Did the author send out a poll looking for information about readers? You’d really be helping the author by responding, and they’ll remember you fondly for it. Do you want to do something more for the author and are willing to put in a little effort? Leave a review of the book on Amazon or Goodreads and look into joining the author’s street team, if they have one. Street teams are groups of readers that help the author grow, usually by leaving reviews or promoting the book to the other people they know (often in exchange for free content!). Street teams can also be a way to meet readers who are interested in the same books, so you can meet new friends while you’re at it.
Authors want to hear what you have to say, even – especially – if you haven’t interacted with them before.
Even if you’re not responding to a question or joining a street team, don’t hesitate to shoot an author an email if you have something you want to tell them. They’ll always appreciate it, and might even respond. You could become friends with your favorite writer, someone you respect and admire.
So if you’ve downloaded a bunch of free books and are wondering what the next step is, try reading emails from authors and start interacting with them. Authors love to hear from you and by giving feedback and reviews, you can even influence their next work! Start finding new authors today by joining the Instafreebie community.
Instafreebie was created in 2014 with a mission to accelerate great stories and big ideas. As the book world’s leading platform for exclusive access to sneak peeks, advance previews, and special giveaways, we live our mission every day and give readers a chance to SEE IT FIRST™.
For our author partners, See It First means an instant connection to engaged fans in our rapidly growing reader community. Instafreebie builds the trusted and lasting connection to the right readers–the ones authors knew were there all along