The great freebie giveaway experiment

It is far too early to work out if it’was successful or not but last weekend I decided to give away my A Simpler Guide to Gmail, Second Edition book for free for one day only.

As you might have already guessed A Simpler Guide to Gmail is a non-fiction book about of all things, Gmail, not a romantic story set in 1920s New York (although it could be a great time travel tale given enough time and plot!) I’ve come to the conclusion that giveing  away non-fiction books may not be the best idea.

As I mentioned it is too early to make a decision whether it is a success but I did give away hundreds of books on Saturday. So much so that I bottled out around midnight UK time and cancelled the rest of the 24 hour promotion.

Now I’ve taken part in giveaways before, the last one was with Fantasy Island Book Publishing for my Children of the Elementi book. The value of giving away books on Amazon is that your customerscan lend those books to their friends using the Amazon system. Of course at the moment this is only true for the US but it will expand in time to other countries.

The market for non-fiction is smaller. That is why traditionally the books are more expensive. You wouldn’t begrudge someone a living from their talents would you? I would agree that non-fiction is not necessarily easier or harder to write. After all fiction book are all in the inagination, but historical novels do need a certain amount of research. Still the market is smaller.

Another thing I did not take into account inmy great experiment is that it appears normally, the freebies available are not all full-blown books. I didn’t realise this but a Saturday of downloading lots of books revealed that most of the books were teasers or promotional material for services. Oops. I gave away the Full Monty, the Real McCoy (too many cliches?) – the complete book. I seemed to have missed a trick there!

My only hope is that people who have downloaded it find it useful enough that they will think to review it or at least tag it. If receiving is not on their minds, my sevond hope is that they lend it to their froends – before April when I take it off the Kindle Select program. Gmail was my biggest seller on Barnes and Noble and you could argue that I was putting all my eggs into one basket by only selling it on Amazon.

Time will tell!

Add books to your Author Central Profile

I was asked by a friend how to add their books to their Amazon Author Profile. I thought possibly there may be others who may not know how to do this so I am giving back to the community with this blog post.

To add books to your Author Central profile (works on both .com and .co.uk sites):

  • Sign in to Author Central.
  • Click on Books
  • Go to the bottom of the page where it says Are we missing a book?
  • Click the yellow button which says add more books
  • A list of books will appear with your author name in it. There is a button under each book. If it yours and you haven’t clicked on it yet it will be yellow. Click on it.

If the book isn’t there check how your name is spelt on the book on your Amazon page. If it is different from the one in the search box on the Amazon Central Books page type in the variant spelling. You should be able to find all your books this way.