Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Benefit of Giving Away Free Books

© Marta Stephens 2009 all rights reserved

I often see questions pop up on blogs and online discussion about the benefits of giving books away. I like making a sale as much as the next person, but rather than looking at giving away free books as a lost sale, consider it part of your advertising/promotional campaign.

Here's proof that giving away a book can have a positive benefit. Last week, I received a Google Alert that my second novel "The Devil Can Wait" received a new review. Man, I LOVE getting those e-mails!

The link led to author James Goodman's blog . James was one of our first guest bloggers on Murder By 4 when we launched the site in 2008. Last February, when we had our first anniversary celebation, he won a copy of my book. Sure I missed that sale, but in return, I got a great review I wasn't expecting. And you never know, now that James is familiar with my writing, he might be interested in reading SILENCED CRY or some of my future books. The point is, I've given away numerous books and have benefitted from nearly all of them in the form of a review, a blog post, intereviews, and happy readers which translates into possible additional sales. At this point, it's all about networking.

In return and to show my appreciation, I've posted the link to James's blog in several of the sites I frequent. This is what a win/win situation looks like. A little cross promotion doesn't hurt anyone and isn't that the name of the game?

With permission, I'm posting his review here, but please do take a minute to stop by and give James a bit of blog traffic and check out his books!

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Book Review: The Devil Can Wait

By James Goodman

"I recently had the pleasure of reading The Devil Can Wait by Marta Stephens. This is a masterfully written tale that rides the border between hard boiled crime mystery and an all out thriller. Her pacing was impeccable and her plotting more so. From the first page her characters reach out, grab you and refuse to let go until the bitter end. She creates the story with such realism, one almost forgets it is a work of fiction. I highly recommend this book to one and all. If you have enjoyed reading any of my books, you will love The Devil Can Wait."
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Marta Stephens writes crime mystery/suspense. Her books are available online at familiar shops such as all the Amazons, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-a-Million, and Powells. Other locations include, but are not limited to those listed on her website.

Bronze Medal Finalist, 2009 IPPY Awards
Top Ten, 2008 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll (mystery)

SILENCED CRY (2007) Honorable Mention, 2008 New York Book Festival
Top Ten, 2007 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll (mystery)

Visit Sam Harper at


James Goodman said...

Thank you for this, Marta. And yes, after reading The Devil Can Wait, I've already put Silenced Cry on my list of books to buy. I'm looking forward to reading it.

This particular experience has definately led me to re-think my stance on giving away books. I couldn't agree more on it being a win/win situation.

s.w. vaughn said...

What a great experience! I'm finally going to have something in print now, so I can actually give books away. :-)

Marta Stephens said...

Hey James! And you know what else? I've made a new friend ... you! Love it.

SW, I can't wait for your books (see, plural) to be released into print. All the hard work, all the sweat and tears, got you there! Hmmm some damn good writing probably had a part in it too. :)

Sheila Deeth said...

Cool! Nice review, and helps me feel less guilty about the free books I sometimes get, as I always write reviews and frequently get hooked.

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Marta, I can't agree more. I've given away hundreds of books in the past four years - some for "thank you's," some for book reviews, some just because. In addition to seeding the market, it's also a big part of promotion, good will, and cementing friendships. Also - how can one give anything more personal and meaningful to a friend than one's heartfelt words? It's a grand gesture, and it feels really good, too. ;o)