How to Win Fans and Influence Readers: An Author Does It Right



I saw some reviews of a recent book that looked of interest to me — urban fantasy, paranormal, dragons, oh yeah. Noting it was the second in a series, I researched the first one. Read lots of reviews in various places, looked very good. When I realized it was self-pubbed, I was a bit concerned, I’ve had some bad experiences with the quality of self-pubbed books. But only a few reviews mentioned minor writing problems, and the author has a number of previous books so I hope learned the importance of paying for professional editing and proofing.

So I decided to buy it — and then, horrors, discovered it was only available on Amazon. I’m an ePub, not Kindle, user. And I choose not to shop at Amazon for anything. So I emailed the author to ask where the book could be purchased as ePub. She very nicely responded that because she’d placed it in KDP Select/Kindle Unlimited, that meant that for at least ninety days it would be exclusive to Amazon. And then said ” I understand if you don’t want to shop at Amazon though. Please accept these free epub versions of the series to enjoy.”  That’s right, she sent me epubs of both books, for free!

This author now has a fan in me. Even if the stories don’t end up being what I enjoy (but I’m sure they will), I will still recommend the books and author to everyone I know. If they do in future become available in other formats elsewhere, I’ll buy them so that the Ms. Aaron gets her royalties. An author who cares about her readers and sees the value of making sure they can get her books deserves our support. No, that doesn’t mean authors should give away free copies of their books at the drop of a hat; authors do need to earn income. But if a reader can’t get a book, they will be disappointed or possibly angry. If an author decides on an ebook promotion or release strategy that means the book is not easily available to some segment of the readership,  the author should indeed figure out the best way to deal with those readers without alienating them — because the best promotion for a book (and future books) is a happy customer. Kudos, Ms. Aaron.

(BTW, I’ve read the first five pages of the first book – I’m hooked. I forgive the one grammar error and one homonym error I found.)


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