Why would an author ever give away a book? A whole book, that took months, maybe years, to write? It's a big question today, as publishers and authors both struggle to find readers in an online world that's increasingly made up of free content.
I've become one of those authors, by making available, via my website, a free download of a book that I wrote prior to selling my first novel.
Now, I'm no fan of self-publishing, mainly because most self-published books lack editorial oversight. I would never put something out there that I didn't feel was representative of my best writing.
This novel was special; it was the novel that resulted in my signing with my agent. It made the publishing rounds, came close, the editor couldn't get the marketing committee behind it - you know the story. So I put it aside, hoping to see it published some day, then wrote CONFESSIONS OF SUPER MOM.
Now, several years later, I find that I'm no longer willing to wait for "some day." I see an opportunity here. I have a good novel. An online presence. Some "street cred," as I've had two books published traditionally, by one of the major houses.
I see a future made up of people reading online. I don't believe this sounds the death knell of bookstores and physical books; right now, I believe the two - traditional publishing and bookselling and reading, and the online version - can exist hand in hand.
I do believe, though - and this is from personal experience - that today's traditional publishing model relies very heavily upon the author having a platform or a built-in readership. And that's where my online presences comes into play.
So far, I've had close to 1000 downloads of this eBook. Lots of fan letters. Lots of people then saying they want to read my other books - the traditionally published ones.
Lots of people asking me when my next book is coming out.
All I can see, in this scenario, is a win-win. I had the content. I wanted to share it with the world. I do not believe I have hurt my chances of seeing it published, traditionally, some day. In fact, I believe I may be helping those chances.
And now I have 1000 new fans, and counting.
Isn't that a platform? A built-in readership?
I think so, anyway.
And that's why this author is giving it away for free.
(To preview and download JUMBLE PIE, my free eBook, please visit http://www.melanielynnehauser.com/JumblePie)