The Trials Of An Indie Author: Giveaways, Events, Oh My!
When I talked about making connections (piece found here), I mentioned giveaways and events that would help you get noticed in the indie world. One of the things I have learnt both as a writer and a spoonie, is that sometimes you have to say no (a piece about this found here) because you can't afford to stretch yourself too thin (piece found here). However, if you want to get noticed when you're a new name in the sea of thousands on Facebook, Amazon and Goodreads, you'll need to make sure that you say yes to as many of these types of events as you can possibly manage.
It's said that to make money, you have to spend money, and along with events come giveaways. It may seem like a weird idea to be offering up free copies of your book to winners when you're trying to get people to buy them, but the fact of the matter is, if they like what they read and leave a review, then that can lead to other readers taking a chance on a new writer. You don't have to be new to the scene to want or need to take part in these kinds of things because it can help you at ANY stage of your career. Whether you've written a series and wanted to entice new readers by doing a giveaway or taking part in an event and offering up the first book as a prized, doing events with a number of other authors, indie or otherwise, can help you get the news out about your upcoming release. They are a great opportunity to make friends, connections and encourage new readers.
The other good thing about events that bring a whole group of authors together is that you may find that the next time they're looking for someone to donate or join them in an event, you come to mind because of your previous connection. Connections are a good thing, and I've talked about them before, but along with being fellow authors, you're around people who may be interested in reading your work and then recommending you to their own followers.
In the past three months, I have been asked to take part in three separate events, with a fourth coming in a few weeks. These help me to connect with other writers, and also to promote myself and my newest releases. If you can learn to work the events to your advantage, they can result in sales, good friends and reviews. Reviews will enable you to sell your image to other readers without it costing you anything.
You don't even need to put on an event to do a giveaway, you can do flash giveaways on your page that will result in sending out a swag pack to a chosen winner. You'd be surprised how many people are happy to receive things such as signed bookmarks, key-rings and other little prizes that will promote your work. You can also do a giveaway in conjunction with a smaller group of authors. Rafflecoptor is a great resource as it will list all the prizes, log every entry and even choose your winner for you so that there are no chances of judge favouritism. These can be to celebrate a new release or even a milestone number of followers on your blog or Facebook.
Overall, with good connections and taking part in both events and giveaways, these can lead to sales, your name being noticed and reviews of your work that will promote you to other people of your chosen target age. Your mileage may, of course, vary.
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