What do you lead with when you publish a book and broadcast news about it? What is the first line of your promotional copy? What leads on your website? How do you word your social media? If it’s “99 cents for a limited time,” you are choosing to market first to those who gravitate to cheap prices instead of those who want a great story. If it’s “FREE for a limited time,” you are catering to those who often want something for nothing.
You may argue with me, but hey, you decide what you think will grab the most attention of your customer base. If you start with price, then you think they make their choices with price. If you start with a story hook, then you cater to the reader who doesn’t let price dicate their reading choices.
There are other options:
-Begin with setting, like I often do with Edisto Beach, to grab tourists and beach readers.
-Begin with the author’s name, assuming you have a burgeoning platform of readers awaiting your next story.
-Begin with the genre: mystery, romance, sci-fi, young adult, etc.
But out of all of those, many authors, especially new ones, begin with the price. You might reconsider that choice.
If you lead with price, you also may turn aside the serious reader . . . that reader willing to pay the bigger price. These days, that price isn’t all that much, especially with ebooks. At the risk of stepping on the toes of many of my indie-published readers, you tell the world that income and price is your driving force for writing . . . not a legacy to the world of stories.
I came to this conclusion as I was going through so many emails, Facebook posts, and small press advertisements, deleting all the ones that began with FREE or 99 CENTS or REDUCED FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY. These days we are deluged with DEALS. So many deals, in fact, that the word has the potential to cheapen.
Instead, when I consider a book, I look for recommendations, blurb endorsements, taglines, and a great gotcha hook in my genre. I want to know what others think of the book. With my TBR stack numbering 50 not including what’s on my Kindle, and so many stories pushed out daily, I want to read a good one. Price may not grab a large number of people, but great word-of-mouth always will.
BIO – C. Hope Clark is editor of FundsforWriters.com and author of The Carolina Slade Mysteries and The Edisto Island Mysteries. www.chopeclark.com