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Why You Should Give Away (Some) Books for Free
Written by
Maria Murnane
November 2014
Written by
Maria Murnane
November 2014

We've all heard the saying "you need to spend money to make money." The same applies to book marketing. Giving away books now can help you sell books later.

Gifting physical and electronic copies of your book should be part of your marketing strategy

Offering a free copy of your book can crack open some doors that otherwise might remained closed. For example, you might send a copy to:

  • A prolific reviewer on Amazon (one who reviews a lot of books in your genre)
  • A book blogger (similar to the above criteria)
  • The manager of a book club
  • An author you admire

The above people are in a position to help you, but if all you do is ask them to read your book, you will probably (albeit inadvertently) rub them the wrong way. However, if you reach out to them with a friendly note and offer to send them a copy of your book, how could they possibly be offended? Of course, they might decline, but they might accept. Book marketing is a numbers game. You have to contact a lot of people, because the majority of them are going to shoot you down. But not everyone will. The key is not to give up. Knock on enough doors, and eventually someone will give you a chance.

You also can send out a digital eBook. You can buy just one digital version and lend it out, which is what author Nikos Vlachos recently did for me. The important thing is to make it as easy as possible for people to say yes to you. You never know what might happen when you do. I bet Nikos didn't think he'd end up in one of my blog posts, but here he is!


Maria Murnane is the best-selling author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, Chocolate for Two, Cassidy Lane, and Katwalk. She also provides consulting services to aspiring and published authors. Learn more at

This blog post originally appeared on Reprinted with permission. © 2014 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

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