February 24, 2011

Question of the Day

Lately I've been spending a lot of time playing on the internet. Searching author websites and blogs, looking at how they're promoting themselves and their books. Not only have I seen a lot of great promotional ideas, but I've found a lot of new books and authors to add to my TBR list. Bonus!

One thing I did notice a lot of authors doing is offering free reads. I'm not talking shorts; unique or individual stories offered by the publisher, but a few pages offered only by the author. Specifically a free read that revisits characters from the author's published works. I've seen prequels, sequels, scenes that were deleted from the book before it went to press, and even hot little bits that appeared to be nothing but another look into the character's bedroom.

Which brings me to my question:

As readers, how do you feel about these types of 'freebies'? Love 'em? Hate 'em? Do you enjoy that peek at what is happening in the hero and heroine's life after their story ended? Or do you prefer to be left with your own imaginings about what happened after you closed the book?

I'd like to know. No judgments. No right or wrong answer. I'm simply on one of my fact finding missions. Will you share your thoughts with me?

Oh, and if you're an author, do you offer these types of free reads on your site? What type of feedback do you receive?


AJ Nuest said...

Hi Sarah,
I haven't been able to offer any free reads yet, because my first book didn't come out in e-book form, BUT I do know that offering free reads really boosts sales. I read one author's website that said after two of her books were featured as "free reads" through Amazon, sales on her other books skyrocketed. The response was so overwhelming, she decided to keep them as free reads for an additional month, after they came off the free reads list at Amazon. I think readers really appreciate when they can get something for free.

Maeve Greyson said...

I haven't "tried" the free reads option but seems to me it would connect you to your readers and give them a "taste" of your voice.

P.L. Parker said...

I have two free reads at TWRP, they are doing great. As to sequels, I never really considered doing one and then I got so many comments from readers wanting to know what happened to my people in Riley's Journey that I finally wrote a sequel. If the sequel does as well as Riley's, I already have the third (and final) story revolving around in my mind.

Sarah Grimm said...

@P.L. Parker That's great, P.L.! Thanks for sharing.

I commented on TWRP loop, saying I've never wanted to know what happened after the HEA, as I prefer my theory. I think it's the writer in me. By the end of the book, I've already written (in my head) what happens next. LOL

It's great to learn that I'm not the majority.


Kat Duncan said...

I offered a free "new" read from a self-pubbed historical and got so much feedback that I'm working on writing up free reads for my other books. I will definitely be doing more free reads, long, short, new, old, and everything else I can think of...

Sarah Grimm said...

@Kat Duncan Awesome! See how much I'm learning today? Thanks for sharing.


Alison Henderson said...

This is a fantstic topic, Sarah. I've never considered free reads because my first book has only been out three months, but it sounds like there are a lot of options for what an author can offer for free. I wonder if it works better to put something on your own website or Amazon. I'm not sure how to put something up on Amazon, but my husband might be able to figure it out.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Sarah, Did I tell you before that I love your blog, fancy and yet serious.

Anyway, I don't have time to read free reads. And I don't have time to write them. I dedicate every minute of my time to writing or promoting. I suppose if readers like my books they will buy them. Does a little five or ten pages really give an idea of how an author would write a full length book?

Mary Ricksen said...

As a reader I love them! They make me want more!
As an author I know they help with promotion! I just have to do it!

Anonymous said...

Sarah, Your blog is fantastic. Mine is so simple because I haven't taken the time to learn how to design it like you have. Great stuff and I look forward to guest posting there. Thanks for the invite and keep up the interesting questions and answers.