Dear readers, I’m blushing from head to tail from the response I’ve had concerning Ruin of late. Sales are increasing all the time, and I’m thrilled by how many people seem wired for the release of the sequel (Brink will be released this Spring, for anyone who’s trawling around looking for a release date).
I want to talk a little about a website called Noisetrade. You guys might have heard of it (if you’re not a member already, go ahead and sign up because it’s great), but if not then here’s a little bumpf: you sign up for free and get to trawl a catalogue of music and books. You can download as much content as you want for nothing. You hand over your email address and personal details (location etc.), and you can have a banquet.
Why the hell would anybody give away their stuff for free? Well, you’re giving away your details in exchange for the downloads. As such, the artist gains some insight into where their content is selling, what demographics, what times downloads slump and peak (i.e. they can learn when their particular audience is asleep or at work or trawling their emails), and they can also update their mailing lists and approach their customers later with future content.
Another great feature is the ability to donate a sum in exchange for the download (they call it ‘tipping’). Now, pirating is a big issue in the world of publishing and music production — we’ve all done it, there’s no way you could realistically avoid it in the modern world.
At the same time, people often simply don’t want to buy books. They’re words on a bit of paper (or pixels on a screen). Sometimes it’s just hard to justify paying money for… well, just words. Even avid readers can so easily be put off by a price tag.
I’m often confronted with this myself: I like the look of the book, I’m intrigued, I’m fairly sure I’ll enjoy it–but it’s not quite enough to make me fork over £7.99 that day.
Noisetrade, however, looks to be a remedy for both sides of the coin. People can download material for free without the guilt of piracy, nor do they have to pay a big lump of cash (and the author isn’t forced to constantly put their books on discount sale).
Now here’s the heartening bit: people who would usually either pirate something to get it for nothing, or wouldn’t pay the full price for the book, will tip some money to the artist. Human psychology at work: give somebody the choice to contribute to an artist they love, and they want to give over their money. Slap a price tag on a book, and immediately it’s just another commodity people grumble about paying for.
Some even end up paying the same price they would have paid for the book in a store, even if they wouldn’t have bought it if they had picked it up in store–merely because they had the choice.
I think this is a great model. A section of the market that I usually miss, either because people don’t like paying full price, or usually only ever trawl piracy websites, are being brought into the fold.
What a clever clogs idea!
Coincidentally, Ruin is being featured on the website this week. I’ve had a brilliant response thus far, and at one point I’ve already made it to 3rd most downloaded, and 1st most downloaded in sci-fi and fantasy.
For any readers out there, there’s still time to get it free. For fellow indie authors reading this, I recommend you get at least one of your books uploaded soon, because you’re missing out on a great way to get in touch with new readers.
The world of publishing is changing fast. Old ways are failing, and new ones are emerging to take their place. I’m excited to be trying this one on for size!
More on Brink: the manuscript is now with the editor, and I have a hefty overhaul planned. As soon as I’ve tightened the screws and made everything legible, I’ll be sending it out to beta-readers (I have some readers already lined up, but anybody who enjoyed Ruin who likes the idea of seeing the next story a little early and contributing to its development, by all means get in touch!), then it’ll be back to the editor–insert rest of boring publishing process here.
But in the meantime, there’ll be plenty of things to keep your appetites whetted. The cover reveal is approaching (it’s a STUNNER, I daresay even better than the masterpiece Levente Szabo put together for Ruin. You can also look forward to sneak peeks and extracts, and the chance to get discounts, advance copies, and even the chance to win the book for free!
The End was just the beginning, folks. The next step on the survivors’ epic journey is about to begin.