Back in April one of the first things I did in preparation for promoting Last stand of old heroes, was to set up a Goodreads author profile over on Goodreads. It took several weeks to get it pretty much how I wanted it within the parameters allowed and indeed to this day it is still a work in progress, but it's pretty much there now and I'm happy with it.
Aside from all the usual facilities such as linking Blogs and forums for like minded writers/readers, one of the features they offer is the opportunity to run a free give away of your books. The idea is that people can enter the give away free of charge and hopefully win a free paper copy of your book. The number of copies you decide to give away and the countries from which you allow people to enter is completely up to you.
So what's in it for authors you might ask, when you're giving away books and having to fork out on postage? The short answer is publicity. I've now run two of these give aways, one for residents of GB and one just for people living in the US and Canada. The British give away attracted around 150 entrants if I remember correctly whilst the US/Canada one which actually finished this morning, attracted over 550 entries. Only one of those 550 won a free book, but 549 other people were made aware of the book, will have visited my author page and may well go ahead and purchase copies of my books any way, their interest having been piqued.
Certainly there is evidence that that is what happened after the British give away closed. Having just checked my Amazon ratings for the last month it is clear that sales for Destiny of the sword shot up, making my sales graph a lot more like a heart monitor rather than a downward ski slope. I am hoping the same thing will happen in the US market following this give away.
The other benefit of running these give aways is that hopefully the winners will take the time and trouble to rate and or leave a review of your book, which after all, are the life blood of any independent author.
I myself have entered some 30 give aways run by other authors and have checked out the authors' websites and purchased a couple of books after not winning the give away. I have also just been lucky enough to win one of the give aways which is a bonus!
I plan on doing more give aways over the coming weeks this time for some of my other books.
More info to follow...