A Funny Thing Happens When You Give Away Books

open books

I don’t, as a rule, advocate doing all your work for free. Nothing chafes me more than people who reach out to me, asking me to guest blog for this or provide content for that, and for payment, they have this wonderful thing called “exposure” instead of cash.

‘Cause that buys a whole lot of groceries, let me tell you. I pay my mortgage in “exposure” all the time.

But there are times when it pays to do some stuff for free, and the trick is weighing that very, very carefully. I have free short stories on my blog so that people can get a feel for my writing style, and of course, you can read the first 20% of any of my novels for free at Amazon and Smashwords. But every once in a while, I like to run a free promo on one of my novels.

Go figure, it’s always followed by a bump in sales – especially for the very book I just gave away. Sure, I technically lost money giving my book away, but I also introduced my book to a lot of readers who may never have found it floating in the vast Amazon ocean. It’s a gamble I’m willing to take every so often, and so far, it’s been a good one.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I need to see how many “exposures” it takes to buy a donut.

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