June 05, 2008

Does Giving Away A Draft Copy Of A Book Help You Sell More Books?

You can't throw a rock in the book blogosphere without hitting a pundit telling you to give away your book prior to releasing it, in an effort to build momentum for the release of the book. Heck, Suzy Orman and Oprah gave away versions of Ms. Orman's already-published book, and it worked! So the strategy HAS to work!

Recall that I attempted this strategy with Hillstrom's Multichannel Secrets. I freely gave away a copy of the draft version of the book to anybody who asked for a copy.

I am here to tell you that the strategy created buzz. It created anticipation. It got folks talking about the book. I gave away a boatload of free draft copies of the book.

One month into the release of the book, I have metrics that tell me whether the strategy worked.

To date, I gave away nearly three times as many books as I sold.

Imagine if I had done this with the money a publisher invests in a new book? Self-publishing allows you to trade-off popular strategies with financial rewards.

The internet is filled with success stories, filled with interesting hypotheses. It isn't always filled with acknowledgement of failure. In my case, the strategy of giving away draft versions of a book to help sell the book failed miserably. The next book will have a very different marketing plan!

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.