If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I’ve been tweeting up a storm about the fact that my newest play, Daddy Issues, is available for free from January 9th until Friday the 13th. Normally, mere mortals small publishers such as myself don’t get the option to make their book free on Amazon’s Kindle platform, that’s only for the big publishers, but I was given the opportunity to do a promotional giveaway for up to 5 days as a thank you for enrolling my book in Kindle select.

And because I am, after all, Hillary The Whine Seller and not some other person, I am going to market the ever loving HELL out of the book for the five days that this promotion lasts. As you would expect. (Don’t worry. I’ll be stealthy about it. As I do.)

But for those that may be wondering why I am giving the fruits of my hard work away instead of selling it, I wanted to give you some insights into what someone like me gains from giving my book away for five days instead of selling it for actual money.

  • Exposure. Because, let’s be honest, even though I already have a popular play (*cough The Love of Three Oranges cough*) the average person hasn’t heard of me. So giving my play away is a great way to get it into the hands of people who may otherwise never have checked out my work. And if they like what they got for free from me this time, they’re more likely to check out what I have to sell next time. Not to mention that, with a play, I mainly just want to get it in people’s hands and get them to read it. Sales of the play are only part of how I profit… I make the rest of my money by licensing productions. I’m happy to give copies away if it means more productions in the future.
  • An excuse to market. Once a book has been out for a while, sometimes you just want an excuse to make it newsworthy again so that you can send out press releases, do a big marketing push and generally push your wares on your followers for a legitimate reason instead of trying to get them excited about content that’s been out a while. Making it free gives me a chance to talk about the book again, maybe do a blog tour, and get some more media coverage.
  • Courting reviews. Any author will tell you, it’s like pulling teeth trying to get someone to write a review of your book. The more copies of my work out there, the more likely some of those readers will take a moment to write a review of it on Amazon. Every review I get helps me to make future sales and the more copies out there, the more the law of averages works in my favor.
  • A boost in sales ranks. This is the real biggie. One of the unusual things about the Kindle marketplace is that free sales count just like real sales for money when it comes to sales rank. So, by offering my book for free, I have a chance to reach a sales rank I’d never be able to reach if I had to wait for that many paid sales. It gives me the chance to get on the bestseller lists and, while obviously I won’t be making bestseller money, that increased sales rank will bring me more readers. Not to mention that a big kick in the sales rank like this will help the book in search placement long after the promotional period is over.

I’ll be blogging about this process in greater detail once it’s over so I can share actual numbers but for now… I have to ask a favor. Even if you aren’t particularly interested in my play, I’d greatly appreciate your “buying” a free copy anyway even if you never plan to read it or at least passing the link on to your friends or followers. The more of these free sales I have, the more it helps me, not to mention that I really worked hard on this play and I’m proud of it and I like to think you’ll like it. (Warning: It may make you cry. Sorry.)

Don’t have a Kindle? Here’s how to read your free copy on your computer, cell phone or tablet.