Free As A Sales Tool – Interview with Indie Writer Lizzy Ford

I am always interested in fresh approaches and new ideas. The whole concept of “free as a sales tool” is fascinating to me.

I’ve seen people use a number of different approaches, but what is most common is to make a short story free, or sometimes the first book in a series free, in the hope that you will lure readers in.

Lizzy Ford has a very different approach, and she kindly agreed to answer my questions. After reading this interview, I’m sure you will have some yourself, and Lizzy has agreed to drop by later, so please leave them in the comments.

***

Hi Lizzy. You have quite a few books out at the moment, why don’t you start off by telling us about them. 

Sure!  I have two series started and a couple of single-titles.

The Damian series (Damian’s Oracle and Damian’s Assassin) is a YA/paranormal romance series.  It’s been my most popular, though my worst written.  Ha!

They’re going under revision this summer for re-release prior to the third book, Damian’s Immortal, being released in December.  The Damian series highlights the present day battle between the White and Black gods of Slavic mythology.

The Gods are fighting for the fate of humanity while trying to find Naturals, humans with extraordinary talents, who can help them.  Enter the third god, the Grey God, whose appearance throws everyone for a loop, and a handful of Naturals with the ability to change the course of the war, and you’ve got a fun, quick-paced series!

The Rhyn Trilogy is also a YA/paranormal romance series that I launched in May and had the benefit of being hacked apart by my editor.  The reviews, so far, are awesome, and I think this series will surpass the Damian series soon in terms of popularity.

The first book, Katie’s Hellion, features a young woman named Katie and her immortal mate, Rhyn, an immortal outcast from the immortal society because he can’t control his power.  They meet, discover they’re destined to be together and have a hard time understanding the world the other came from.  The trilogy is focused on their growth as a couple while they also struggle with their newfound responsibilities to the immortal world.

My single titles include: The Warlord’s Secret (YA/fantasy romance released in April) and Maddy’s Oasis (contemporary western romance), which will be released in two weeks.  I also have a short story entitled Mind Cafe out that’s also undergoing revision.  People like that one for some reason.

And why did you decide to self-publish?

I couldn’t get an agent or editor or publisher to give me the time of day.  I tried off and on for ten years (and hundreds of rejections or no-responses.)

Was it an easy decision? Was there anything you were worried about?

It was a difficult decision in that the e-pub/self-pub world was new to me and because I believed what I’d always been told about self-pub: only writers who weren’t good enough for a real publisher did it. I feared the issue of not being seen as legitimate.

Sometimes we worry about stupid things like that.  I realized at long last that my end goal was to get my books into the hands of readers.  Period.

What have been the highlights for you so far?

Feedback from my readers.  They’re fantastic, fun, and I’ve learned so much from their feedback.  I never expected there to be such wonderful interaction with my readers!

Every writer is different, so I would like to hear a little about your process. Do you race through drafts, adding layers and details as you go? Or do you plan everything out meticulously, so when you are finished a chapter it’s pretty much done?

I write multiple projects at once, the downfall of an overactive mind and MTV-generation attention span.  It depends on the project.  Some of them I write in layers, if I don’t like a character and need to go back, and some of them I write start to finish, if I’ve come to terms with who my characters are.

Many of my stories are like movies in my head, but I can’t keep up with them as much as I try, and they’re always changing and morphing into something else.  I never plan, outline, or otherwise structure my writing until it’s all written, then I go back and harmonize details.

I’m one of those people who can’t color in the lines, so I have a problem with structure (and, um, sometimes authority.  Ha!)

What about editing? Is that a slow process for you, or just a matter of cleaning up?

I edit as I go, then I normally do two full-length revisions that’ll take a weekend.  Finally, I send it to my editor!  I hired a freelance fiction editor in April to help me evolve my writing and polish my books.

Tell us a little about your website Guerrilla Wordfare, you have a few things going on there.

I started the site as both a platform for me to launch my writing career and also as a forum for sharing self-pub and writing tips with other indies.

Everyone asks me about the visual: the house with a line through it and my awesome pink camouflage.  It’s simply meant to signify that we don’t need the publishing house to be successful writers; we can do it ourselves by using technology, lessons learned from the publishing industry, and creative internet marketing/selling techniques, i.e. guerrilla publishing tactics.

You mentioned your readers earlier, and you seem to have a great dialogue going with your readers on your website. How did you first reach out to them? How did they find you? 

I think they found me.  Hahaha!  I don’t know how it started.  I post a link to my website everywhere I am online, and I invite people to drop by and leave comments. People did, and I just respond to them.

I noticed that your books are available for free on your website. I’m very interested with this strategy. What was your thinking? Has it had any effect?

All my books are free everywhere but Amazon.  If I could make them free on Amazon, I would!

In learning about what made the difference between a writer with long term financial stability and one without, I found those who are stable financially had two things going for them: a huge readership and a huge backlist.

We (we = my husband and I!) did some more research and gave it a lot of thought as to how to build both readership and backlist fast in order to set up a foundation for my transition to becoming a full-time writer.

I’m a prolific writer; I have something like 65 projects I want to write or have started.  So we decided on my 12-12 Challenge, where I’m releasing 12 books in 2011, all for free.

People laugh, but it’s worked well.  We post my books on no less than a dozen different free sites for people to download and average about 13,000 downloads of my books a month.  That’s potentially 13,000 readers a month who are learning my name and where to find me.

On Amazon, where my books are .99, I averaged 30-40 sales a month up until May, where we hit 468, and we’re on track in June to exceed 600.  I should be over 1,000 reviews and ratings by now from all the different sites, which also helps me track what works best where and refine my target audience.

The difference between even 600 and 13,000 is, well, insane.  I’d rather have my books in the hands of 13,000 people.  I actively tell people to read my books for free – then buy them if they like them.  This tactic seems to be catching on.

In December, my marketing strategy will shift.  We’re looking at a subscription service for 2012 where readers will receive 6-9 books in 2012 for a set price.  We’ll also stop releasing books for free as of December.

From there, we have a few more ideas, to include a trial Book-on-Demand, where the readers will vote what kind of book they want me to write and will get to pick things like the setting, characters, genre, etc., and I’ll write it for them.  The possibilities are endless when it comes to marketing, selling, and generally building an engaged readership.

What are your plans for the future?

For now, I’ll keep my day job until I pay off all my debt then transition into full-time-writerhood, hopefully in late 2012!

As for 2011 plans, here’s my line-up:

June: Maddy’s Oasis, contemporary western romance novella; Mind Café (literary fiction, short story; revised/edited for re-release)

July: Kiera’s Moon, contemporary sci-fi/fantasy romance

August: Katie’s Hope (Book Two, Rhyn Trilogy)

September: Damian’s Oracle (revised/edited for re-release); Rebel Heart, futuristic romance

October: A Demon’s Desire; contemporary paranormal romance

November: Damian’s Assassin (revised/edited for re-release); Special paperback trilogy release of: Damian’s Oracle, Damian’s Assassin, and Damian’s Immortal

December: Damian’s Immortal (ebook version)

I’ve got one more book I want to release in December, but I’m not sure I’ll have the time. If I can, I’ll launch another trilogy in December.

Looking back, what advice do you wish you were given before you started? Is there anything you would have done differently?

I didn’t hire a book editor until book 3, and the difference between books 1 and 2 and books 3 and 4 was just astounding.  I thought I was a good writer and had good grammar, until my editor returned my first manuscript.  There wasn’t just red on every page, there was red on nearly every line!  In hindsight, I would’ve hired her before I released my first two books.

Do you have any tips for anyone who is considering self-publishing, or just starting out?

1. Don’t underestimate the importance of professional covers and editing.  Conquer these, and you’ll find people stop comparing you to other self-pubbed authors and start comparing you to NYT authors. A good book editor isn’t cheap, but it’s the best investment you can make starting out.

2. Join a writers’ support group, but be selective about which one.  The group David and I belong to is filled with supportive professionals, and they’re wonderful.  I’ve been a member of other groups that were basically pyramid scams for a few writers who were trying to get everyone to buy their books.  Avoid those!

3. Interact with your readers and other writers.  As far as our world has come with technology, the human touch still counts.

4. Time spent on things other than writing = words lost forever.  Automate your online presence as much as you can (via RSS feeds, etc.), and prioritize the rest.

5. Write now, money later.  Focus on the craft, not the cash.  Indie publishing is a marathon, not a sprint.

***

I would like to thank Lizzy for taking the time to answer my questions in such detail. I will be watching her progress with great interest over the next year as she transitions from free work to charging for her content. It’s an innovative (and brave) approach and I wish her all the best.

You can check out her work (for free) by clicking any of the links above, and you can find information all of her books on her website.

If anyone is curious about the group that Lizzy was referring to, it’s called Indie Writers Unite! It’s Facebook group where anyone is free to join, where we share marketing ideas, arrange author interviews and blog tours, and offer each other advice and support.

As I mentioned at the top, if you have any questions for Lizzy about this or anything else, please leave them in the comments and she will be along later.

About David Gaughran

David Gaughran is Irish, living in Prague, and the author of Mercenary, A Storm Hits Valparaiso, Let's Get Digital, Let's Get Visible, and this here blog.
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41 Responses to Free As A Sales Tool – Interview with Indie Writer Lizzy Ford

  1. JJ Toner says:

    This is fascinating, mesmerizing even. My mind boggles at the thought of having 65 writing projects on the go at the same time. The amount of words Lizzy must produce in a day. And she’s holding down a day job as well! If I write 1,000 words that’s a good day for me. It takes me most of the morning just to catch up on twitter, facebook, goodreads and my blog. How do you do it?

    Like

    • Lizzy Ford says:

      Hi JJ! I do a lot of my writing on weekends and then focus on weekdays on the online maintenance aspect. I’m very, very lucky to have a patient husband. We discussed my goals for 2011 before I set out on doing them. We agreed one year of this kind of hell would be hard but would get me where I need to be so I can transition to becoming a fulltime writer. He’s really supportive – I couldn’t do a lot of what I do without him. On weekends – yeah, I’m a shut in. Haha! 🙂

      Like

  2. Wow! Lizzy. Prolific doesn’t even begin to cover it. I think we need a new word! lol

    I second that IWU is a great place for indie authors. Very supportive, lovely people.

    Like

    • Lizzy Ford says:

      Hello fellow IWUer!! My editor calls me an alien and my hubby says I’m a freak of nature. The funny thing is that I can write like a demon but get so flustered going through a drive-thru restaurant, I sometimes refuse to do it. We all have our strengths … and some of us are easily defeated by a hamburger and fries … ha!

      Like

  3. Katina says:

    I loved this interview, and it helped to confirm my sentiments towards building a readership. I too played with the idea of giving my first book for free (for the sake of building a fan base), and other writers were saying, “No! You can just GIVE away your book! You worked hard on it.” But in the end I may revisit this strategy since it worked so well for Lizzy. I don’t see anything wrong with being generous. When a product is good, readers will have no problem paying for the second round….heck, even drug dealers give you the first hit on “the house” lol!

    Like

    • I think “free” has to be part of an overall strategy. If it’s your only work, and your not sure when the next one will be out, that can be tougher.

      For any strategy to work though, you still have to have the basics in place, most importantly good writing. Judging by Lizzy’s readers comments, she has that down. If crack wasn’t addictive, there would be no point giving it away for free!

      Dave

      Like

      • Katina says:

        Exactly David.

        In my case I’m also writing a series. I’m not sure I would have considered “free” anything if I wrote a stand-alone piece, but since I knew I was going to generate more titles, it did cross my mind. Also I want to get the books out at a rate of every 6 weeks…no not exactly one a month, but still that’s quick. I’d like to think that my writing style is somewhat addictive (lol) but only the readers can be the judge of that. Each piece in the series ends with a cliffhanger — my version of crack, haha.

        One writer told me (yesterday as a matter of fact) to try the Goodreads giveaways as one of the methods to give the book free. He said, he saw a sharp spike in the amount of people who added his book on the their to-read lists. I’m going to figure out how that functions with e-books. Have you (or Lizzy) tried the Goodreads avenue, or book blogger’s giveaways? It’s the path I’m considering now.

        Like

      • I have only experimented with “free” on a small scale up to now. I have had limited giveaways of “review” copies on various forums, and a couple of competitions, and sometimes with a book blogger review or a guest post. They definitely generated interest and reviews (and sales), but I was concerned with cannibalizing my own sales, so I try not to do it too often.

        I will be trying “free” on a bigger scale at the end of the month. My next e-book “Let’s Get Digital” will be available as a free PDF on this blog, while I charge $2.99 for all the other formats elsewhere. I’m hoping that people who find it useful will either donate or buy one of my other titles, or spring for the Kindle version. Time will tell!

        Goodreads giveaways are restricted to print books for the moment, although that may change as the e-book market grows. Authors who have done them are extremely positive about it, but as I said, it’s print only.

        LibraryThing is one I hear a lot about on Kindle Boards as a great tool for free e-book giveaways. You limit the number you are giving away to, say, 50, then people apply for the free book. Mostly these giveaways are vastly oversubscribed, and the idea is that not only will you get reviews, but all the people that aren’t randomly picked for a free book may then purchase it themselves. I haven’t tried it personally because you have to pay for membership of LibraryThing, but it is something I will explore after I release my novel later in the summer.

        Like

    • Lizzy Ford says:

      Oh, dear, I might’ve hosed up the comment thing. It’s acting funny ….

      Yes, Katina and David – free is a strategy. At the end of the day, the most important aspect of any marketing strategy is to determine what will work best for you and your long term writing goals. It can be hard to give away something that cost so much in terms of time and effort. At the same time, we also have an unprecedented ability to control our products and design (as well as measure the impact of) creative marketing strategies. If something doesn’t work, we can change it. If one free book (or short story) drives people to your other books, then try it. If you have one book in you to write, and free isn’t the best option, experiment with other strategies. DON’T FEAR FAILURE!

      As for Goodreads – yes, that’s been an incredible experience as far as driving interest. I was surprised. I have one running right now for Katie’s Hellion and have something crazy like 521 people interested. As a result, I saw was 89 people have marked K’s Hellion as to-read on Goodreads (with I think 10 having finished reading it), which is double the amount of people who have marked my January book as to-read. I did one for The Warlord’s Secret, too, and had quite a few people mark the book as to-read on Goodreads. With this giveaway comes a small spotlight – – and the potential that the people signing up are also just randomly signing up and will leave you 1 star reviews, because they’re reading outside their normal genre. (I got a stinging one the other day. Ha!)

      David – I’d be interested to hear how the Librarything giveaways go! I’m forced to be creative, because I’m poor, so I haven’t tried anything where I had to pay yet … ha!

      Like

      • Carradee says:

        Have you tried Project Wonderful? (Like ebay for ad space, and you can get free slots.)

        My own “free” is 1 short story for free (which actually seems to get the most downloads from Smashwords), and then 1 novel is undergoing serialization (to be finished July 7th).

        The short story is very short, and I originally wrote it for a challenge on a forum that had public access, so it already counted as published. The novel I’m selling in e-book form; I’m working on the print book version. I’ve given a few free copies to reviewers and folks who helped me produce it, but I’ve started participating in giveaways, like that HUGE indie giveaway over on CoffeMugged that goes from June 15–July 31 2011. 🙂 When the print version’s ready, I plan to do a GoodReads giveaway, too.

        I don’t plan to do another serial novel, myself. That may change in the future. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll release any more free short stories; if I do, the title(s) will be short, ≤2500 words.

        On organization, I find it helps to have a folder devoted to all fiction. Within that folder, have a folder for each world. From there, well, I write with Scrivener, so 1 project per book.

        Like

  4. declanconner says:

    I have to admit that I thought long and hard about giving my books away free. I keep hoping Amazon will email to say I have been selected for a free promotion and make the decision for me. I interviewed Jo Ellis for my Book Buzz page on my blog. I was amazed that she had over 100,000 downloads in a few months on Amazon for her one book. Jo is a prolific writer and her strategy was to charge for her sequel once she had gained a readership. It will be interesting to find out if this strategy has worked for her. As soon as I finish here, I will go and check out the rankings of her second book.

    My only misgiving is, just how many of the readers actually read something when they have downloaded it free.

    Like

    • I’d be interested to hear how she is doing too, I must check that out.

      There is no way to tell if someone has actually read your book – but I think that’s true whether it’s free or 99c too. You can lead the horse to water…

      You have a large selection of short stories. After they have been on sale for a bit, and there is one which is not doing as well as the others, you can always make that free as a “lead in” to the rest. There are ways of doing it on Amazon too.

      Like

    • Lizzy Ford says:

      I’ll look her up, too! I love to see what successful strategies others are using. I’ve watched a few people to see what’s worked … The whole pricing the introductory book cheaply then raising the prices for sequels has benefited many indies. And Amazon is one powerful beast. I didn’t realize just how big the market was until one of my books went free: two weeks free on Amazon for one book equated to a month free on all the other sites combined for all my books. It was crazy …

      Like

    • Lizzy Ford says:

      If this posts twice, I apologize. I think my computer is the issue …

      I’ll check out Jo Ellis, too! I love learning from others what’s worked for them. The strategy of pricing the first book cheaply then raising the price for others in the series has worked well for quite a few indies. And Amazon is a beast. I had no idea how large the ebook market was until one of my books went free on Amazon. I had more downloads of that one book in two weeks than I had of all my other books on all the other free ebook sites combined. It was crazy – and an eye opener!

      Like

  5. josephinewade says:

    I don’t know if Lizzie is still answering questions — I’m jumping in late — but I was wondering how do you keep track of all your WIPs. Do you write using word or do you use a writing program that has a filing method that works for you?

    I admire your your plan of action and your resolve to see it through. It is really impressive.

    Like

    • You’re not too late, she will be along later!

      Like

    • Lizzy Ford says:

      My filing system gives my husband a headache. He’s an IT guy, so he’s organized with that kind of thing. My WIPs: lined up like little MS word ducks on a removeable drive I can take with me wherever I go. I have an odd habit of naming them with one word descriptors that jog my memory so I can scan through them to see what I want to work on. The book I just released is titled ‘metro’ on my computer, because one of the first scenes is on the subway. I have ones named ‘alien’ ‘castle’ ‘evil’ ‘drake’ ‘demon’ … I know, it’s a barbarian’s filing system! Ha!

      I’ll be honest – the reason I challenged myself to this was basically penance rather than resolve! I spent 10 years saying I’d be a writer some day. This past winter, I looked back and realized I’d be in the same spot in another 10 years if I didn’t take this seriously. I decided that wasn’t an option, talked it over with my hubby, and we dedicated this year to helping me build the foundation. Not going to waste another 10 years waiting to be a writer – going to make it happen!

      Like

      • josephinewade says:

        Thanks Lizzy. My filing system is just as obscure, however my memory is um… creative so sometimes I forget which file I put some of my WIPs.
        Good luck with your writing and I hope you hit it out of the park!

        Like

  6. Jim Bronyaur says:

    Free? What? Are you kidding me? FREE? You can’t… you just can’t give things away for free… no way… what do you think this is?

    haha!🙂 I’ll stop, sorry.

    Free is scary. When I saw the title of this post I thought it was going to be crazy… and while it is crazy, it’s crazy in a GOOD way. There’s two important things happening here with Lizzy… (1) she’s gaining a following and (2) she’s working on her craft!

    Getting books written and available is obviously one of the most important things a writer can do, right? Yup. The free part of it… that’s just crazy. But again, in a good way.

    I don’t know if I’d ever be able to give an entire book away…
    I’ve thought about it… tinkered here and there… and it may happen someday… but I’ve tried something…

    For my upcoming novel release, I’ve given away a part of it. Almost 10,000 words of it. Made it a free download through my site. It’s done pretty well… more than I thought would be downloaded AND AND AND the best part? People actually wrote me asking for more! They wanted to know when the book was coming out to buy it! Score, right? 🙂

    I love free but I also love when author’s who give away things also charge for them… why? Because as a writer I know the struggles… I’d rather pay the $1 or $5 to read the book…

    I can’t wait to stop back and see Lizzy’s responses to this discussion here!

    -Jim

    Like

    • Lizzy Ford says:

      Awesome, Jim! It’s all about strategies and what works for you. I’ll never tell anyone to give away all their books for free – if anything, our decision was based on quite a few factors. As long as you have a plan going in and are adaptable – you really can’t go wrong with the path you choose. I love your path – get them hooked and they’ll gladly pay for the rest! It’s a wonderful feeling when people are as invested in your creation as you are. 🙂 And yes, I’ve learned so much the past few months, some of them harder lessons to learn than others! Ha! It’s been neat to hear those who read my first novel and my latest then comment on how my craft is getting better – – it means my hard work (and my editor!) are paying off.

      Like

      • Jim Bronyaur says:

        Thanks for responding Lizzy!🙂

        It’s almost fun to go back and read something older just to see how you’ve grown. Shows all those hours are paying off. It’s tough to see sometimes – if you’re lifting weights, you know you’re stronger when you lift more weights. But as writers, we keep pouring out words. It’s nice to stop and look back and compare to see how we’ve improved.

        -Jim

        Like

  7. That is an amazing thought and strategy! I love it. I never thought about doing that. Now if I could only get my brain to stop producing epics and start doing singles and short stories…

    Like

    • Lizzy Ford says:

      Aha – you brought up a great point! One of my indie colleagues is writing a fantasy but chose to break it down into three separate installments of something like 40-50K words each. The great thing about an epic is the richness of the world – lots of folks take the path of writing complementary short stories about secondary characters or simply set in that world and give those away for free to drum up interest for the epic. There are options …🙂

      Like

      • Jim Bronyaur says:

        Don’t mind me butting in here on this one… haha… but I agree – break longer pieces down! I haev a 109,000 word MS I’ve been sitting on for a while now because I wasn’t sure what to do with it. It was already part one of a three book story… then I realized why not split it down the middle… 55,000 words a piece and have two books?

        (Amazing when those lightbulbs go off!)

        -Jim

        Like

      • There are so many exciting options with e-books, as length is no longer as restricted by printing costs.

        We’re definitely seeing a trend towards shorter novels. I’ve seen some quite long ones too. We are seeing short stories published on their own – virtually impossible in print – and a bit of a resurgence of the novella – one of the forms that became neglected in recent years.

        On top of that, there are some people experimenting with serials. Why not? It worked for Dickens. It works on the radio. It works on TV. It could easily work for e-books.

        Like

  8. Lizzy Ford says:

    @ David – THANK YOU for the awesome opportunity! I enjoyed reading all the comments and appreciate people taking the time to read and provide feedback!! 🙂

    @declanconner – so sorry -my computer is spazzing. I tried to post directly in response to your comment.
    If this posts twice, I apologize. I think my computer is the issue …

    I’ll check out Jo Ellis, too! I love learning from others what’s worked for them. The strategy of pricing the first book cheaply then raising the price for others in the series has worked well for quite a few indies. And Amazon is a beast. I had no idea how large the ebook market was until one of my books went free on Amazon. I had more downloads of that one book in two weeks than I had of all my other books on all the other free ebook sites combined. It was crazy – and an eye opener!

    Like

  9. Pingback: Exploding Myths & Destroying Minds | David Gaughran

  10. JJ Toner says:

    Jim, I had that thought too. My “masterpiece” is 106,000 words. I’ve had a look at splitting it into three, 35,000 words in each part, but couldn’t see how to make each part a discrete novel in its own right. It might work as two books, though…….

    Like

    • My baby is 100k, but after this next rewrite it may get longer.

      I’m certainly thinking about splitting it. But I was also thinking, why not sell both versions? The two parts, plus an omnibus edition? $2.99 for each part, $4.99 for the omnibus. More virtual shelf space, more ways for readers to find you, and more options for the reader.

      Like

  11. JJ Toner says:

    But each part must make sense as a book in its own right. That’s the problem.

    Like

    • Yes, that’s the trickiest bit by far.

      I think there is a natural break around the middle of my book that wouldn’t require too much adjusting, but I can’t be sure until I re-read.

      Like

      • josephinewade says:

        It’s funny because some novels have a Book 1 and a Book 2 within their pages. — now you could literally make them into two separate books with only the cost of covers. Or a budding Tolkien could keep his huge trilogy a single release without the book breaks. It sort of boggles the mind when you think of all the new possible ways information can be packaged and presented.

        I know a lot of people find this change into the new printing age scary, but I think it is as exciting as hell!

        Like

  12. Iain Rowan says:

    David, you can do a giveaway to reviewers at LibraryThing without being a paid member – I’ve just completed a giveaway for my short story collection there this week.

    Like

    • Oh really? That’s great. How did the giveaway go? I must check that out ASAP. How many did you give away? Did you get a good response?

      Like

    • My books aren’t in their library, so I don’t see how I can become an “author”. Is there a way around that?

      Like

      • Iain Rowan says:

        Checked back with what I did. You have to be logged in as a member (not a paid member, just an ordinary one). Then go to:

        http://www.librarything.com/addbooks

        and search on your name. Your books will come up and you can then add them just by clicking the link to them. (I’ve checked, and yours do come up, but I thought you might want to try the process yourself, so I haven’t added them).

        You then click to claim ownership of the books, and in a day or so, if I remember rightly, you will be listed as the author.

        My giveaway finished on Tuesday, and I was pleased with it. I offered up 50 copies, and had 125 requests for it. It’s a collection of short crime fiction, so not everyone’s cup of tea in length or genre, so I’m pleased with that. Sent out an email this week with Smashwords coupon for the winners.

        Well worth a go. Hope this is a help.

        Like

      • Iain,

        Thank you very much for this. I must have been trying to add my books in the wrong place. This worked a treat. I applied for “author” status too. I think I will do a giveaway of 50 copies of one title, then 50 copies of the next after that.

        How much time did you allow for the giveaway sign-up period? A couple of weeks?

        It would be cool if you let us know how this works out for you (in terms of reviews or sales) – that was great to get 125 requests.

        Dave

        Like

  13. Iain Rowan says:

    Glad to be of help. I gave it a couple of weeks, and it will be interesting to see how it pans out in terms of reviews…although I guess it may be 2-3 months before I really know. Funnily enough, although many of the Smashword coupon codes have now been used, there has been a real surge of downloads of the Smashwords free sample too. Not sure if that is connected to the giveaway (the unsuccessful people?) but it is something of a coincidence.

    Will gladly update on how it all pans out, and I hope yours goes well!

    Like

  14. thanks for sharing, this is an interesting concept, and it seems to be working.

    Like

  15. Pingback: Stone Cottage on a Hill » Blog Archive » IWU Blog Tour – Lizzy Ford

  16. otherWise says:

    Cool interview! Learned a lot from her and she totally deserves all this recognition since her books are just awesome!😀

    Like

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