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Why self-published authors should consider giving their first novel away for free

ME2007VigilJul 4, 2018, 4:20:11 PM

It's been over a month since I self-published my novel, Red Eden: Homeworld Bound. This ain't my first rodeo, so I know from past experience that it's very difficult to convince potential readers to pay hard-earned money for a book written by an unknown author.

Nevertheless, I decided to try some marketing on Minds to see if I could generate any sales. Maybe this time around, my story is interesting enough to generate actual sales, plus I've learnt a few things about how and how not to promote my book (for one – I should include an actual link to my Amazon page!).

After one month, I'm happy to say that I got more sales now than in my previous attempts. I sold one copy! (To this person – thank you so much, and thank you also for upvoting my content on minds. Your support is much appreciated).

Not long ago, I came across a blog by a successful self-published author, Hugh Howey. In his blog, he explains the Power of Free. Basically, the biggest challenge NEW creators face isn't having one's work copied and distributed for free – it's not being discovered! You can read the full blog by clicking this link: http://www.hughhowey.com/writing-insights-part-four-publishing-your-book/

The way I see it, I'd rather be read and make no money than make no money AND not be read. I spent two years working on my novel. In the first year, I wrote a couple of different versions, and I've completely changed the storyline. I spent a year writing and editing the current version. It was basically a full time job in addition to my actual job. After going through all that work, at the very least, I want people to read it otherwise it would all be for nothing. This is why I'm removing all barriers standing in the way of those who might be interested in reading my novel. I'm setting the price to ZERO.

I know that a lot of authors might baulk at the idea of giving their work away for free. Creators in general detest it when people copy their work and distribute it for free. The way I see it, when people start pirating your work, that's a compliment. It means your work is good enough that people find it worthwhile to copy. If I ever reach that stage, it means I've finally made it.

If you're interested in my novel, here's a synopsis:

In the year 2085, Enon Truss, Father of Mars, led our ancestors to the red planet in pursuit of liberty. One hundred years after the Exodus, Martian satellites detected multiple nuclear detonations across the homeworld. For the first time since dawn of the twentieth century, Earth fell into total radio silence.

But on Mars, our ancestors endured. They thrived.

Today, two hundred years after the Exodus, our population is eleven million strong and growing. We stand ready to retake our homeworld. In preparation for our journey across deep space, we have sent drones to monitor Earth. To our surprise, we have discovered that human society has re-emerged from the ashes of nuclear war. These societies are in the earliest stages of development. It is as if time has been set back five thousand years.

My name is Jack Hanlon, and I'll be joining the First Expedition. Our mission: to rebuild human civilization and lead humanity to the stars.

You can download Red Eden: Homeworld Bound for free at the following e-book retailers: Apple iBooks, 24symbols, Barnes&Noble, kobo, Playster, Scribd, tolino, and eventually OverDrive and bibliotheca, 

or by clicking the universal link:  https://www.books2read.com/u/31xl7W

If you've read my novel and you wish to support me, you can purchase my book at Amazon


It's only $2.99 for the ebook and $8.99 for the hardcopy. My profit margin for the hardcopy is $1, which is less than half compared to the ebook. Still, I think $8.99 is a really high price to pay, so I reduced my profit margin in order to reduce the barrier to purchase. Please also leave a review on Amazon, on wherever you downloaded my novel for free, and on GoodReads. This more than anything would help me out.

Thank you for reading!

Cheers ;)

Michael E. Vigil