Why am I asking? Because me and my little publishing house, we give things away. Why would Marble City Publishing do that? To maximise readership for our authors and to reward readers for staying with us. This is nothing new, of course. Mail lists have been a mainstay of marketing ever since Baldrick started pushing Mrs Miggins' pies through letterboxes (ref. Blackadder for non-cognoscenti). Staying in touch with people is essential for a new book release.
The virtual cafés of the writing world are abuzz with methods to successfully build a mail list. Independent authors with prodigious output are presenting subscribers with such offerings as starter libraries of free novels. Phrases such as Reader Magnets abound. Online courses are being sold for hundreds of bucks to share the secret sauce of building an author's list. In this modern digital free-for-all of e-book marketing, however, Marble City Publishing is faced with a quandary.
Authors who are in a financial position or state-of-mind to give away some of their writing babies are doing something specific - they are building a brand around their author name. Reader finishes book, enjoys book and wants more from same author. That's how it works. Reader doesn't finish book, enjoy book and then want more from same publisher. Reader doesn't care who published the book. The target audience for a publisher's brand is not readers. A publisher's brand audience is the book distribution chain and current or aspiring authors. But that's not the audience that a micro-publisher, such as Marble City, wants to address. We want to reach readers. We could build mail lists for our individual authors but, unless that author is blazing a trail of quarterly or biannual releases as per the new generation of energetic indie authors, they won't have frequent enough new releases to maintain reader / subscriber interest.
(in progress) another Kindle Paperwhite. But is that what a reader wants, really really wants? How about a $100 (or local equivalent currency) Amazon gift card? Or something else altogether? A year's Amazon Prime Membership? A gadget that goes whizzbang? A crate of red wine? A deluxe beer belly pack? A hive of honeybees for an African village? A vacuum cleaner? The samurai sword with which Ruby disposed of his first zombie? Would the nature of the prize determine the type of person who would enter and hope to win? Decisions, decisions. Help, please! What would you, as a reader, like the chance of winning?
In the meantime, here are some zombies.
|Ruby's upcoming novel|