Many authors are discovering the benefits of giving their work away for free. Is this a good idea? Jon has some thoughts…
Excellent post! Spot on and forward-thinking. My favorite point: If you’re in this, be in it for the long-haul. Relegate some work as freebies. Think longterm and gain allegiance along the way. The ebook angle, as a supportive element to HC sales, is also spot on. Thanks Jon.
Thanks JZ — we like to tell people “It’s about building a career, not writing a book.” The longer term you think, the more success you’ll find.
Wonderful post, Jon! What we give away is the seed we plant for a harvest later. Reminds me of the Scripture verse in Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Thanks again for another great video post!
I give extracts away as appetisers before the main course at http://www.facebook.com/AllanGrahamBooks
I would never give my work away as a freebie for Amazon and the other big boys to make a killing with their E-Readers. I put a lot of time and effort into my work and I am not prepared to devalue it, plus I prefer real paper books. I like the texture, the smell, the old friend on the bookshelf that you can dip into again.
When I enter and click on the I Want the eBook tab it says “You are already registered.” However, no eBook results! How can I get the eBook then?
Great talk. Thanks. I have been giving my book away a lot and its good to hear that. For me and my illustrator its like sharing our love for what we do
Jon, I agree wholeheartedly. I think in particular if you are trying to gain exposure and build an audience, then of course put some samples out there and show it to the world. Get feedback and refine your craft. Of course don’t be exploited, but I think there is so much incredible talent that doesn’t have a platform yet and you’ll never know if it’s any good unless you start to put it out there. By all means I agree that you need to sell the majority of your work, but like any other business, free samples are very effective in getting attention.
This is something I have been think about for some time. I am planning to launch a website in September to showcase a large amount of classic and original short stories for kids, free of charge and am seeking author submissions – see http://www.shortkidstories.com. I am currently working on an incentive for authors to submit their work, as I do feel I’d like to give something in return. That will be up on the site quite soon, I’ll going to offer some free eBooks on how to create, format and publish children’s eBooks on Amazon Kindle to everyone who submits at least one story.
I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think it’s your classic win-win situation – parents and kids get great stories to read and authors get exposure and a promotional platform.
I can’t believe I came across this video at the very moment I am seeking content for the new site! Thanks again for the thoughtful insight.
There is definitely a place for writing for free. I’ve written quite a few articles for the local community newspaper over the last decade, and it has not only furnished me with published articles I can keep for my CV, but has helped me become mutter known. Another benefit is the valuable practise in writing to satisfy an author.
This assumes that what people are giving away is always quality work. I’m sure there are many writers whose work is not quite ready, who are giving it away, and seeing no return. This has to be frustrating to them. It has become so easy to publish digitally, that almost anything can get out there, and writers have to be careful that what they do put out is excellent polished work. Not everyone is going to be a Doctorow and have people want to buy the physical book after downloading a free story. So while giving it away for free can be a good model, it is only good in conjunction with great writing, and a real plan.
Excellent vlog, I think you have convinced me. I’ll have to try it out and see what it brings.
You have convinced me, my beautiful toddler book will now be available free this weekend:
Writing for Children: Should You Give Your Work Away? http://t.co/4ydPmcR9xG
Writing for Children: Should You Give Your Work Away? | Write4Kids! http://t.co/3tNtKgXDEu via @write4kids
Excellent point, Tracey! More now than ever, craft is king. With word-of-mouth and virality becoming the primary forces of hitmaking, it’s vital to create content worthy of being talked about.
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