Thursday, February 24, 2011

C. J. West's E-Book Gamble





 Last fall I moderated the e-books panel at Bouchercon in San Francisco. I had dabbled in e-books before then, but my research for the panel convinced me to dive into the fray. My change of heart began when I went to my local Barnes & Noble and shopped for books from the six authors on my panel. Only one of those authors was represented on the shelves.

The authors were all multi-published and had careers spanning several books each. All seven of us (including me) had books available for download in seconds. Getting our books from B&N would take days at best. It was then I understood that e-books level the playing field for lesser-known authors and give us an inexpensive way to reach readers globally.

My books were already available at most e-book stores thanks to Amazon and Smashwords, but they weren’t selling because readers didn’t know about them. Inspired by friends who had been selling very well on Kindle and Nook, I engaged readers on forums and boosted my sales.

Before Christmas I decided that the key to selling more books was to get more readers to read my books. Sounds like a catch-22, but one of the great things about e-books is that they don’t require the expense of printing and shipping. When Amazon created the Kindle, they gave authors a platform to deliver their books. That platform works whether the customer is buying the book from Amazon or receiving it from the author’s website free.

There are now millions of readers walking around with Kindles and my goal is to give my latest book, THE END OF MARKING TIME to as many of them as I can. Many industry experts say that giving away books is a bad idea, but so far my results have been encouraging.

Since the week before Christmas I have given away 1,535 copies of THE END OF MARKING TIME. I encourage readers to forward the book to anyone they like. Some have sent it to 20 or more readers. Some have made the book available for download and shared hundreds of copies.

Sounds crazy, but it is working. I have received 94 reviews on Amazon which means people are reading and enjoying the book. Even more surprising, THE END OF MARKING TIME is my bestselling book. Hard to believe because it is free from my website, but after I began offering the book free my sales multiplied six fold. Sales for my other books are increasing as well, totaling just shy of 2,000 e-book sales this January alone.

So far my gamble is paying off. You can help me by visiting www.22wb.com, requesting your free copy of THE END OF MARKING TIME, and sharing it with your friends!

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CJ West is the author of 5 thrillers. His latest, The End of Marking Time has been called “a modern 1984 meets Prison Break.” CJ interviews thriller authors monthly on Blog Talk Radio and hosts The Indie Author Book Group. His first novel, Sin & Vengeance is in development for feature film by Beantown Productions, LLC. (http://www.sinandvengeance.com)

The End of Marking Time on Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/End-Marking-Time-ebook/dp/B003P9XAXW/

2 comments:

CJ West said...

Hi Marilyn,

Thanks for hosting me today!

I hope youre readers will stop in and pick up their free copy of The End of Marking Time.

CJ

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Thanks for visiting, CJ, will let people know about the free book.