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Author Katie Mettner

Another Thing We have To Stop Doing As The Indie Writing Community

A few months back I wrote a post about the two things we have to stop doing as a writing community. Those two things were free book days and anthologies at .99. If you want to read that post, you can find it here. Since I wrote that post, I've found another thing we have to stop doing in the Indie community. If you are on Twitter or get email newsletters from other authors, you may already know what I'm talking about.

If that image makes you think 'wow, that's lots of books' then you're on the right track. I'm talking about the massive ebook giveaways that are going on. Now, I'm not talking about the giveaways where 50 authors toss in an ebook and there are 50 winners for a blog hop, Instagram hop etc. I've been part of those giveaways and have found success in giving away one book for a follow, like etc. The book always gets read by the winner and we both got something out of the deal. 

No, what I'm talking about are the ebook giveaways that I've seen a lot recently where there are 30, 50, I even saw several 90+ ebook giveaway where one winner will get all the books. Let me repeat that, ONE READER GETS ALL 90 BOOKS! Why? How does that help anyone? You just gave away a book that's going to end up in a 'slush pile' on someone's kindle, with a low chance of it being read. If I won 90 books the first thing that goes through my mind is, "Where do I even start?" Maybe your book will get read. Wouldn't that be great? Sure, the holder of those 90 books will read one or two. Then they'll get tired of paranormal romance or whatever the genre is, and pick something else off their kindle to read. Will they go back to those 90 books? Maybe, someday, but how long until your book gets read? A day? A week? A month? A year? Never? 

You're thinking, WAIT, it didn't cost me anything to throw that book into the giveaway, even IF it's never read. So it's worth the small chance that it is read and I gain a new reader. But, you're wrong. It did cost more than an ebook mobi that you already had on your kindle. It cost me, you, your other author friends, and authors you don't even know. Why? The answer is easy. When you give away 90 books to one person, you're talking away 90 book sales from you, your author friends, and other authors you don't know. In my small corner of the world, I've seen at least a dozen of these giveaways in the last month, so if we use 50 books as an average for each one, that's 600 sales that were lost in the Indie community. Of course, that is simplifying things a bit because I'm not going to see ALL of these giveaways that are going on,. That said, I want you to look at the successful authors out there who are signed with the big publishers, or even the most successful bestselling Indie authors. What you don't see as part of their arsenal of promotion are free books, UNLESS they give one away to a reader as a gift, to surprise a follower etc. As an Indie author myself, I'm not against free books. I'm against free books that don't move us anywhere as a writing community. We must stop for a moment and think hard before we set up or agree to participate in these events. Why? Because if we don't value our work, I can PROMISE you, readers won't either. 

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