Joanie is my new Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet.
I ♥ Her!
Why Joanie? Well, it’s a lot easier to ask my husband “Is Joanie in my purse, or plugged in upstairs?” than to refer to “it” as my Nook Tablet all the time. And, I must admit, it is a term of endearment!
I did not overload her with free or cheap books when I got her for Christmas. I’ve heard too many people remark on how they have hundreds of unread books on their e-readers. I want to limit myself to books I will actually find the time to read.
Today I finally started browsing the free books, looking in particular for kids’ books. My 4yo loves having Joanie read to her! (Yes, I’m more than a little jealous.) I found a few I liked, as well as SciFi classics like The Time Machine by H.G. Wells to download for free.
Then I looked at just how many books were in the “free” category.
Over one million, eight hundred thousand titles.
Now, as a writer, why would I ever put myself into this category? With so many titles to choose from, why would anyone choose my story? Wouldn’t I be just as likely to find readers who would pay one, three, or even five dollars or more for a story that’s well worth their money? Many of these titles were labeled as being from Smashwords. I admit, I’ve never browsed there, but I understand that the idea is basically that anyone can upload their work, no matter how bad.
The theory is that an author gives away some of their work in hopes that people will like it, and then buy the author’s future works.
Well, after today, I can’t say that doesn’t work.
I downloaded a half dozen free kids books. All were nice, but some had two or three long paragraphs on each page and a reader whose voice was less than pleasant.
And then we read a Touchybook.
As a general rule, I don’t do book reviews. But every once in a while I find a book or books that I like so much, I absolutely have to talk about them!
The Touchybooks were made for touchscreens. Each page’s picture had a few very simple moving parts, sort of like a GIF. We could touch various parts of the picture to trigger cute animations, like mice scampering across the screen. My 4yo loved it!
And that’s how I ended up switching my search from “free” books to Touchybook. That’s why I ended up buying a dozen more titles (Most are only a dollar or two) of the same kind.
Time to rethink everything I thought I knew about marketing strategy…
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