Friday, November 14, 2014

Perma-Free: A way to sell more books‏

The Power of Free will give your book wings

It almost sounds like a magic formula, and in a way, it is kind of magical – by giving some of your work away for free, as an indie author you can sell a ton more books. Especially if you write series (or are willing to chop up a standalone novel and turn it into a serial). So how does it work and why would you give away books for free? Authors and translators, please read on for an in-depth explanation.

Once hooked, readers will want to read more

For people who have offered their books ‘perma-free’ (permanently free), the rewards have been plenty. Since there is no threshold for readers to sample your work, they download your book by the hundreds, even thousands, and if they are drawn into the story, they will happily buy the next book in the series, and the next, and so on. People who didn’t like it won’t buy your other books, and this ultimately gets your work in front of your target audience – the people who love your writing. Getting more visibility is the key: if nobody knows your book exists, nobody will buy it. Offering some titles for free will get a lot more eyeballs looking at your books, and that will pay off because you’ll have other, paid titles on offer as well.

If you are a self-published author with a series, the very best thing to do on Babelcube is to get one single translator to work on the entire series (or at least the first two books). This way, you can offer the first book for free and benefit from the ‘free hook’ into Book 2 – both you and the translator will make more money like this. It is a good idea to describe your other books at the end of each of your books, so readers can easily find them. Taking the step to give away your work for free might feel scary at first, but once you see the free downloads leading to follow-up sales, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t try it before.

Babelcube can make it happen without price-matching

Some of the indie authors out there are already actively doing it – getting Amazon to ‘sell’ their book for free indefinitely by offering it for free on competing channels such as Google Play or iTunes. If iTunes offers your book for free, Amazon.com will most likely price-match because they always want to be the cheapest. This is not guaranteed, however – and it’s getting increasingly hard to pull this off on other Amazon stores in Europe and other places. 

However, Babelcube eliminates your hassles from price-matching. Babelcube can get your book into most of the major channels at a sales price of $0.00. That’s right – including Amazon, the store that typically doesn’t allow authors to set the price of their books to free permanently. And that’s not just Amazon.com, but all the other stores too. Imagine what it could mean for your book if Amazon.it, which is still very much growing, suddenly featured your book in Italian for free, forever – no risk of being reverted back to paid because Amazon.it decided to stop price-matching. This could be very good news for your books—and the translator and author team.

It’s not too late to try this out, even if a translator is already working on your book

If you’d like to give this pricing strategy a try, why not contact your translator and suggest you release a standalone book in two or three parts, setting part one to free? Or maybe someone is currently working on the translation of your first book and you’d like to offer them the opportunity to work on the second book as well, mentioning the perma-free strategy. Translators will get much more involved in the marketing aspect of getting the book out there – they’ll know what they’re working towards.

Attract translators who want to join you on the perma-free journey

As an author, if you want to take advantage of a perma-free strategy, attract translators who wish to collaborate. On your book profiles at Babelcube, make it clear that you are looking for a translator who supports perma-free. You can also discuss the idea with all Babelcube translators you have used or contact you in the future.

Give your translated book wings today!