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Thread: Do free short story tie-ins work as a marketing tool? (post links to yours)


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Permlink Replies: 11 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Sep 12, 2011 6:59 PM Last Post By: agclaymore
agclaymore

Posts: 291
Registered: 09/11/11
Do free short story tie-ins work as a marketing tool? (post links to yours)
Posted: Sep 10, 2011 7:54 PM
 
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I have been working on a full length novel that will come out during the Christmas season. I was trying to think of a way to generate interest before hand so it would take off when everyone is looking to load up books on their new Kindles.

I heard that Moses Siregar III had done this and got a lot of downloads.

I was thinking of a 5 to 10 thousand word short that gives the back story of one of my characters without giving away too much of the overall plot.

Has anyone else tried this or thought of it?

If you have one of your own, feel free to post it here.

Message was edited by: agclaymore
politeia

Posts: 1,081
Registered: 07/16/11
Re: Do free short story tie-ins work as a marketing tool?
Posted: Sep 10, 2011 9:59 PM   in response to: agclaymore in response to: agclaymore
 
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I haven't tried it, but I've seen plenty of people doing something like that. I think it's a great idea, not just as a marketing idea, but also as a way of keeping your ideas about your book fresh and alive. It gives you a way to think about your story and characters from a different angle than the main book uses. I would think it feels very liberating.

I've been having fun writing interviews with my characters with something similar in mind. Sure, it might help sell books. But even if it doesn't, it is really interesting to give characters a way to speak outside of the constraints of the story line of the book.

Jacques
http://ronin1999.blogspot.com/
deckert61

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Registered: 02/04/11
Re: Do free short story tie-ins work as a marketing tool?
Posted: Sep 10, 2011 10:09 PM   in response to: agclaymore in response to: agclaymore
 
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I tried a similar experiment on Smashwords. I'd written a YA murder mystery novel, so I wrote a short collection of you-solve-it one page mysteries involving the main character, and plugged the murder mystery at the end. I set the collection free with coupon for the month of July. I didn't get any sales on my novel from Smashwords, although there was a slight uptick in sample downloads about a month later. It's possible that some of the Kindle sales of the novel might have tied in with the freebie on Smashwords, but I have no way of knowing.

Of course the trouble with a freebie is that you can't set the price at free on Kindle. You have to set it free elsewhere and point that out to Amazon, hoping they match the free price.
lealia28

Posts: 319
Registered: 08/18/11
Re: Do free short story tie-ins work as a marketing tool?
Posted: Sep 10, 2011 10:17 PM   in response to: agclaymore in response to: agclaymore
 
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I bought The New World by Patrick Ness for free. I loved it and quickly purchased his Chaos Walking trilogy all because of the free short story. I should go write a review...

S. L. Wallace
Price of a Bounty
loudquietgirl

Posts: 45
Registered: 08/14/11
Re: Do free short story tie-ins work as a marketing tool?
Posted: Sep 11, 2011 12:40 AM   in response to: agclaymore in response to: agclaymore
 
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I can't say in general, but it's worked on me. I downloaded a story from an author, and I loved the story so much I bought his book and I'm still buying his books! (In fact I'm a little behind, he's had a few new releases that I want toread.)
lealia28

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Registered: 08/18/11
Re: Do free short story tie-ins work as a marketing tool?
Posted: Sep 11, 2011 12:43 AM   in response to: loudquietgirl in response to: loudquietgirl
 
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Well, what are the titles? Please share!
loudquietgirl

Posts: 45
Registered: 08/14/11
Re: Do free short story tie-ins work as a marketing tool?
Posted: Sep 11, 2011 1:21 AM   in response to: lealia28 in response to: lealia28
 
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This author. Joseph Robert lewis. Check out his books. He's also got stuff for writers. :)
do204614

Posts: 233
Registered: 08/03/11
Re: Do free short story tie-ins work as a marketing tool?
Posted: Sep 11, 2011 3:18 AM   in response to: agclaymore in response to: agclaymore
 
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Hi agclaymore,

Your strategy might work very well if the price of the novel is not too high (it seems to me that people who surf around for free stories are not willing to pay much even for a full-length novel).

Another important point: make sure your story is really a full story with a proper ending. If the readers feel they have been cheated into reading something that looks like a sample of your book, they┬┤ll hate you and give you a million one-star reviews. This happened to someone on Smashwords.

Dorte H
The Cosy Knave
lealia28

Posts: 319
Registered: 08/18/11
Re: Do free short story tie-ins work as a marketing tool?
Posted: Sep 11, 2011 6:41 AM   in response to: loudquietgirl in response to: loudquietgirl
 
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Thanks, Loudquietgirl! His site has intrigued me.
agclaymore

Posts: 291
Registered: 09/11/11
Re: Do free short story tie-ins work as a marketing tool?
Posted: Sep 12, 2011 7:30 AM   in response to: do204614 in response to: do204614
 
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Hi Dorte,

I would release the novel at 2.99.

I hadn't realized the dangers involved in the short story tie in world. Do you know the name of the author who got flamed? I would like to have a look at the story and see what it was that got so many readers angry.

Thanks for the warning.
diamondlifestyle

Posts: 4,193
Registered: 07/02/11
Re: Do free short story tie-ins work as a marketing tool?
Posted: Sep 12, 2011 8:16 AM   in response to: agclaymore in response to: agclaymore
 
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I think what makes readers angry is when people publish what they market to look like a stand alone story, and it turns out to be an excerpt from a book, or doesn't make sense until you actually read the book. Make sure your story is stand alone. Of course it should tie in with your series, but fully introduce each characte and scene: don't presume that the reader knows what's going on. Make sure the story has a plot of its own, with a proper beginning, middle and end. As long as you do that, you should be fine.

Kate
agclaymore

Posts: 291
Registered: 09/11/11
Re: Do free short story tie-ins work as a marketing tool?
Posted: Sep 12, 2011 12:16 PM   in response to: diamondlifestyle in response to: diamondlifestyle
 
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Ah, that makes sense. I had planned to use similar cover art and clearly identify it as a short story presenting the back story of one of the main characters of the upcoming novel. It should be able to stand alone - An SAS officer is released from captivity in Afghanistan to find that the world has changed completely while he spent the previous fifteen months locked in an endless succession of small rooms.

I may also present a second short story introducing Dr. Jan Colbert, a professor at Oxford. I plan for her to play a pivotal role and, time permitting, I would like to introduce her for free as well.

Thanks for the good advice Kate!
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