We want to give a big thank you to author Ines Johnson who shared with us “How I Used Instafreebie to Grow My Fan Base”
This guest post was written for our old blog Books That Hook as part of our Writer’s Corner feature, where established authors share their thoughts about writing, marketing, selling fiction, and more.
We hope to continue that feature here, in order to continue to help writers of all experience levels. Without further ado, I give you…
HOW I USED INSTAFREEBIE TO
GROW MY FAN BASE
by Ines Johnson
In a never-ending quest to find new readers for your books, have you considered setting your books free?
It’s an age-old technique, that’s over a decade long. Independent and traditionally published authors have been setting their ebooks temporarily and permanently free in an effort to gain new readers. Amazon even has a separate category for the top downloaded Free eBooks.
I’ve set a few of my series starters permanently free (permafree) or temporarily free for a promotion to great effect. When I do this, I get a fantastic number of new readers buying the subsequent books in the series and signing up to my mailing list. For the price of a free ride, I gain new fans for future books at full price.
The problem with going free is in setting the books free across all retailers. Some platforms are simple to work with, like Kobo, and iBooks. Others, like Barnes and Noble and Amazon…not so much.
One solution to this that I’ve found is Instafreebie.
Instafreebie is a service that allows authors a platform to easily distribute free copies of their books to fans and new readers. Using this service, authors upload a copy of their book to the site as an epub, mobi, and/or pdf. Readers can click on the book and have it instantly delivered to their ereader with no hassle, muss, or fuss.
Authors can keep their book at the retail price on the retailers without having to go through the online stores, pleading and begging with them to set the book temporarily free by a certain date. With Instafreebie authors can set up giveaways to run for a specific time, or until a specific amount of books are given away, or only give books to selected people with a protected link. Instafreebie even allows authors to collect new readers’ email addresses in exchange for the free book.
That’s what sold me on the service!
A reader’s email address is worth more to me than the purchase of a single book. If I have a reader’s email address in my database, I can contact them with each future book that I write, as well as my backlist of books.
If any of this piques your interest, here are some tips to run a successful Instafreebie Giveaway Campaign.
1. Giveaway the first in a series.
I recommend against doing the second in a series with an aim to get readers to purchase the first book. That doesn’t always work and can tick off some readers.
Also, I would err against putting a short, sneak peek of a longer work up for free. The readers on Instafreebie are true readers, not the free seekers in Kindle Fire giveaways. Make it worth their while. One full-length novel or novella is a great bargain for a new, true fan.
Be sure to put the link to the second book in the Back Matter with a one-click worthy sneak peek.
2. Leverage your social media platforms to gain more downloads.
Tweet, pin, gram, and post about the book every day of your giveaway. Be sure to include #instafreebie. They often will repost, like, share or tweet your post and get you in front of more readers.
Make some cool graphics to share. Don’t just tweet your book cover. Use your tagline or snippets of dialogue. I found that posting my book trailers got me a lot of attention, interest, and clicks.
3. Join forces with other authors running a campaign.
There are forums on Instafreebie where authors in particular genres look for others who are running a campaign at the same time. You can also find groups on Facebook and Kboards looking for a few good authors to enlist in a campaign. Join with these authors, or others in your genre, and share the love to reach more readers.
About Ines Johnson
Ines Johnson is the author of the Moonkind series. Book two, Moonlight, released on January 10th, 2017.
She has written many other popular paranormal and fantasy stories. She currently has 117 reviews on Goodreads, with an impressive average rating of 4.07.
Blurb for Moonlight
You can never go home again… Viviane Veracruz is on her way home from university with a degree in one hand…and a baby in her belly. Desperate to escape the judgement of her family, she accepts a sexy stranger’s offer to pose as the father for a few days. The plan is for him to run off leaving her family none the wiser. But the longer Pierce Alcede stays, the more she can’t let him go. Home is where the heart is… Pierce Alcede has finally come to terms with the fact that he is a lone wolf, prone to roam the wilderness alone and never settle down with a family of his own. When he meets a pregnant woman in need, he thinks nothing of stepping in to take the brunt of her family’s ire. But somewhere between working on the Veracruz Ranch by day and climbing into Viviane’s bed at night, Pierce forgets to run away. Can a woman searching for a place to belong find a home with a man who lives to roam?
Ines writes books for strong women who suck at love. If you rocked out to the twisted triangle of Jem, Jericha, and Rio as a girl; if you were slayed by vampires with souls alongside Buffy; if you need your scandalous fix from Olivia Pope each week, then you’ll love her books! Aside from being a writer, professional reader, and teacher, Ines is a very bad Buddhist. She sits in sangha each week, and while others are meditating and getting their zen on, she’s contemplating how to use the teachings to strengthen her plots and character motivations