Reading and Writing: Unforeseen Benefits of the Digital Age

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My novel “Lucky at Love” was published in 2006, prior to the release of the first Kindle. In 2011, purely on a lark, I upload it to KDP, Amazon’s ePublishing site. About a month later, KDP rolled out a new program that had benefits to both readers and writers. If a book was enrolled in the program, Amazon Prime Members would be able to take the book for free during its 90-day enrollment. There was a pool of funds which would be divided equally to all writers/publishers who participated during this timeframe based on the number of books “borrowed.” It also allowed authors/publishers to choose up to five days a month when they could offer their books for free to anyone.

At the time, I couldn’t see the advantage of giving books away for free to everyone. I was hoping to stimulate sales, not giveaways. But the benefit of exposing the book to a larger audience finally dawned on me February 13th, shortly before my commitment period expired. So I put “Lucky at Love” on free promotion starting February 14th and didn’t give it another thought.

Because I had grown tired of wasting valuable writing time in search of an agent, I decided to publish the three books I had written after Lucky on KDP. I hired an editor and formatter and away we went on a publishing marathon. It was somewhere in the beginning of this frenzied period that I happened to check my sales figures for Lucky. Instead of the one book I had bought and the one my sister had bought, I was now looking at over 27,000 free downloads of Lucky, followed by hundreds of sales. I was blown away.

Getting that quick education in the importance of freebies, I now have all six of my titles enrolled in KDP Select. It has proven to be a wonderful tool for increasing my readership – and making new friends, which will be the topic for my next post.

One last word on free eBooks before I go: http://ohfb.com/ (OneHundredFreeBooks.com). Ed and Cheri Crotty, along with their staff, hand-select titles for their blog three times daily. I had the good fortune of having “Spouse Trap” selected three weeks ago. It caused another one of those amazing lightning strikes, which I discovered after receiving an email from Cheri. Since then, I’ve joined the thousands of savvy readers who stay up to date with the best free and discounted books available on any given day. If you haven’t already, please check out their site. You’ll be glad you did!

Okay, I lied – I’ve got one more thing to say regarding freebies: my memoir, “Once Upon a Lyme… A Tale of Two Journeys,” is available for free today. Check it out – http://www.amazon.com/Once-Upon-Lyme-…

Until next time,

Cynthia

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