All the conventional wisdom in the self-publishing market tells you that if you want people to read your book you’ve got to give it to them for free. So this week, I’m giving away “Jackson Speed: The Hero of El Teneria” for three days. September 25, 26 and 27 (Tuesday – Thursday) the book will be free to Kindle users or those who use a Kindle app on their smart phone or tablet or whatever.
I’m actually familiar with the idea of giving stuff away for free and getting people to read it. I mail out 12,500 copies of The Oconee Leader (my newspaper) to people each week and it arrives in their mailboxes free of charge every Thursday. With the newspaper, we sell advertising and that’s what allows me to pay my employees and feed my children. Giving the paper away for free (I thought) was pretty much a stroke of genius on my part, and ad sales have been pretty decent and it seems like the idea works because people are reading the paper.
But there are no ads on the pages of my novel, so I give it away for free and have to hope that people will read it, enjoy the book, tell their friends about it and then their friends will buy the book. Obviously, I didn’t write “Jackson Speed: The Hero of El Teneria” with the expectation that I’d make a lot of money. I’d like to make back what I put into it, and anything else I make off of it will go into my Thistle fund (the savings for one day traveling to Scotland to see Partick Thistle play … doesn’t everyone have a Thistle fund?). More importantly, I want people to read the book, and so I don’t mind giving it away in the hopes that people who read it will enjoy it and tell others to read it.
But at heart I’ve always been an entrepreneur, and I’m giving some serious thought to how I can rework some of my ideas and turn this whole novel writing thing into serious cash. What would happen if I started selling “product placement” ads in the Jackson Speed novels? They do it in the movies and no one questions the integrity of, oh – I don’t know – the Transformers movies.
So, when you start reading “Jackson Speed and the Blood Tubs,” (set in the first months of 1861) don’t be surprised if Speed is drinking a Budweiser while hanging out on the platform of the Calvert Street Depot and whistling “Dixie.” Or if Eliza orders a Coca-Cola in New York City and is furious to learn they only serve Pepsi (obviously, the product placement dollars are coming from Coke!) or if, when Speedy goes to Baltimore, he stays in a Holiday Inn Express.
And if you read it and decide to question the historical accuracy of my novels or the integrity of the author, you’ll have to save your complaints, I’ll be at Firhill enjoying a pie and Bovril and watching the Mighty Jags!
Anyway, my point is, go check out “Jackson Speed: The Hero of El Teneria” … free on Kindle Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week!