Why should authors give books away for free? Plus the “Where Women Rule” Giveaway with reviews and recommendations

Where Women Rule

Where Women Rule Free Book Giveaway

Another day, another giveaway…some of you may be wondering why I join all these giveaways.  The debate of whether giving books away is good or bad for business rages on between authors, with some saying it devalues our work and drives down the market, and others (like me) arguing that it attracts readers we otherwise wouldn’t have.  I get why authors are reluctant to give their books away for free, but for me, the fact remains that when I do free promos like the one I ran earlier this week, I suddenly shoot up 250-280k places (not a typo–a couple days ago I went from about #300,000 to about #16,800) in my Amazon Author rankings, and sell books.  For money.  When I don’t do free giveaways, I don’t sell books for money.  I’ve run this experiment numerous times and every time come up with the same result, which is more than can be said for many studies published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals.

And as for these Instafreebie/BookFunnel giveaways, they’re a great way–for me, the only way–to build your mailing list, which again, to put it in the bluntest terms, allows you to sell your books.  For money.  I’ll probably do a post at some point about how to get set up with BookFunnel/Instafreebie, although it’s ridiculously easy so if you’re thinking about doing it, just go ahead and do it now, but in the meantime, I’m promoting the latest giveaway I’m participating in (because that’s part of the deal: with these giveaways: everyone helps promote them).

The Where Women Rule  giveaway is a bit of a mixed bag, genre-wise: it’s mainly fantasy but with some contemporary chick lit and historical fiction thrown in.  The primary criteria is that the main character is a woman.  This brings up all sorts of interesting questions about why this is a good marketing tactic, which it seems to be: the most successful giveaways I’ve done so far have been these female-focused ones.  Some might criticize them as being discriminatory, some might laud them as giving female characters more prominence than they might otherwise receive, but the fact remains that women are the majority of fiction readers, while “women’s fiction” with female characters remains weirdly ghetto-ized.

When I do these giveaways I like to snap up a few freebies myself, of course, and read and review them.  So here are some review-ettes of some of the books and previews available in the Where Women Rule giveaway:

Clara by Suzanna J. Linton

Clara.jpg

Sometimes you just want to read a quick-moving story of romance and magic. If that’s the case, then “Clara” might be the book for you.

“Clara” follows the title character from when she is sold into slavery as a child by her supposed parents to her rise as a Seer who is crucial to the sinister plans of the usurping wizard Marduk, even as she may be falling in love with the rebel general Emmerich, who tried to save her as a child…

This is a fun, easy-reading, sword-and-sorcery type of fantasy, only with a young woman as the protagonist and a bit of a love triangle as part of the plot. The worldbuilding is fairly standard medieval Europe, although with intriguing hints at a sort of feminine version of Christianity that we can hope will be developed with more detail in the sequel, and the overall storyline is fairly standard too–young foundling goes through troubles before rising to power–but Clara is a pleasantly complex character. For fans of sword and sorcery, YA fantasy, and clean romantic fantasy.

Colors by Leah McClellan (preview)

Colors

Here’s a snippet of my longer review:

Autumn wants to paint, to love–to live her life. Unfortunately, her husband doesn’t agree. As her marriage falls apart, Autumn finds herself falling in love with a younger man. But can their relationship stand the test of time, or is he just Autumn’s rebound guy?

This is a lovely novel that falls somewhere between romance, “chick lit,” and an artistic coming-of-age story. 

If There Be Giants by Ellison Blackburn (Preview)

IF there be giants

Again, a snippet from the full review:

“If There Be Giants” is a fascinating addition to the speculative fiction genre. Set in the very near future–it actually begins in the present, and then carries on to about 2020–it follows an archeologist who has made a startling discovery on a dig in Britain. Buried next to a henge stone is giant humanoid skeleton that is either a few thousand or several million years old. Has Mallory discovered the missing link between humans and apes–or the mythological race of the Nephilim?

Intrigued?  You can get these and dozens more books, stories, and previews, in the giveaway here.

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