Do we TRULY support each other? -  L.A. Tripp
I've been in a conversation with a couple of fellow indie authors about this issue.

They are wondering, and maybe even scared, to use their free promo days that Amazon gives to us for participating in their Select program.

So, why would these authors be afraid to use something a book GIANT is giving to us?

The sad reality is, they feel like we're damned if we do and damned if we don't. Why? Because there are a ton of fellow indie authors that will tear you to shreds because you want to give a copy of your book away for promotional reasons.

Here's a dose of reality that those NEGATIVE indie authors either miss or choose not to see. Free promos work in EVERY field. I don't care if a laundromat gives away one load of laundry to lure people in, a supermarket gives away some small item to lure business in, or a car dealer gives away a free detail job or some service to lure people in. The end result is the same, regardless of the industry. The business GIVES AWAY something to HOPE FOR DOLLARS in return.

And you know what else? It...WORKS. If freebies didn't work, brick and mortar businesses would not continue doing it. Hell, even internet based businesses do it. David DeAngelo, who works in the dating and seduction field, or pick up artist field, frequently gives away great tidbits. You know what else? He makes more than anyone else in that field. To the tune of $20 million dollars each year. So again, bottom line, freebies WORK.

Now, many indie authors will tear you to shreds if they so much as HEAR that you want to run a free day promo. They will preach to you that you're devaluing all of our collective works. If that doesn't convince you not to do a free day, then you're just scum who can't write a lick to save your life.

Seriously, this is what we call SUPPORTING each other? I think not.

Who cares if you personally HATE the free days. You know what, the other author is not giving YOUR book away. Unless of course you have asked them to. They are trying to promote THEIR book. So lay off and learn how to actually show another human being some honest-to-God support.

Drop the jealousy you're feeling and show a fellow indie true support.

Here's another reality check. I've talked before about Pixel of Ink and ENT and how they are currently the only viable venues to really get your book noticed on a free day. Well...that's not exactly true. It is, but it isn't. The reality is, there are enough authors within the indie community that SAY they will do ANYTHING to support their fellow indies. Well, if all of these indie authors would put their mouse where their mouth is, we'd see a lot more ACTUAL support.

What do I mean? I don't mean you have to go out and spend your hard earned dollars, buying every book that your fellow authors publish. Not at all. And some of you just ignored that last line. You have no idea what I said.


Got it?

Let's try this again.

When a fellow indie author has a free promo day, there are enough of us indie authors in all of our communities that we can raise up each indie author on their particular free promo day. That means you simply DOWNLOAD A FREE COPY. Is that REALLY so hard?

I don't care if you only have a PC, a Mac, don't have a Kindle, do have a Kindle, only have a Nook, what ever. It doesn't matter. Period. If you have a PC, download the app for Kindle for PC. If you have a Mac, same thing. If you only have a Nook...I'm sure you have a computer as well. SURELY you see where I'm going without me spelling out EVERY detail.

Ok, now that we're on the same page's the next step.

When a fellow indie has their book up for a free promo day....DOWNLOAD a FREE copy! 

"But I already have it" you say.

Awesome for your support! Now....DELETE IT AND DOWNLOAD ANOTHER.

Or, if Kindle won't let you do that, download it to a different device, like a different computer. In other words, there is SOME way that you can download another FREE copy. We're just too damn lazy to help others, it seems.

"But I don't download what I won't read. Period."

Well, that tells me and the rest of the community that you DON'T truly support your fellow indies. I personally do download TONS of books I probably won't ever read. Seriously, what does it COST ME? Nothing, other than a few seconds to make a click.

Then, there are other authors who simply hate the guts of some fellow indies. Yeah, that's really supporting your community too. GROW UP.

Look, here's the bottom line. The reason why Pixel and ENT are SO effective is simply their reach. They have the ability to reach THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of people, individual readers. It takes THOUSANDS of downloads for each book to pop the number one spot in your particular genre.

Thing is, if your book does NOT hit the number one spot, it won't stay afloat as long after the free day. If it doesn't at least crack the Top 10, your free day was wasted.

Here's another part of this reality check. There are enough authors in our communities as a whole to get each individual fellow indie author SEVERAL thousand downloads on EACH of our free days.

So, to recap, drop your hatred, grow up, click a book even if you don't like it (just hit delete), and help that fellow author to hit that coveted number one spot. It hasn't cost you a single penny to show support. Yet, by that author hitting number one, THEY will now have the opportunity to have TONS of new, fresh eyes seeing their work. IF their work has merit, it may hold the Top 10 for a while, while gaining actual paid sales that YOU are paying nothing for. You simply clicked your mouse. If their book does not have merit, it will soon vanish into the ether, therefore not hurting you or your book anyway.

So again...WHY is it SO hard to show TRUE support to your fellow indie author???

C'mon. AS A COMMUNITY WE ARE STRONG. Divided, we fall.
6/2/2012 13:23:44

You know, I never thought about downloading free ebooks as a way to show support for my fellow authors. I think it's because I always assumed that *purchasing* the book (if I wanted to read it, anyway) would be more beneficial to them. But you bring up an interesting point: the more times the book is downloaded, whether for free or for money, the higher it's rated at Amazon. Thanks for bringing this up! Now... to go schedule a couple of free days. ;)

L.A. Tripp
6/2/2012 13:41:16

Glad I could help :)

6/2/2012 13:59:17

Great post!! I completely agree with your points. If I see someone has a free promo, I almost always download the book (especially if it interests me!). It's so important for indie authors to stick together and make connections, because it's us against the big publishers. And the fact that self published books can even make bestseller lists on Amazon is a testament to how strong we are. My one point to make is in regards to ranking on Amazon...I think Amazon has *yet again* changed their algorithms, because after my free promo for my second book yesterday, I noticed that once it went back to free, it's paid rank was a few thousand lower than it had been before the free promo. This was not the case the last time I did a promo a few weeks ago (then, it shot my first book up in the paid ranks, I think in part to the free downloads...). So I don't know if the free promo helps with the ranks anymore. What it does do, however, is get your book on "Customers who bought this, also bought..." lists, which is crucial as well.

L.A. Tripp
6/2/2012 14:21:15

Yeah, I've also heard they've once again changed their algorithms. But, regardless of that, the only way our books will get bought by fresh readers is if we keep our books in front of people. The only way to do that is to keep the books on the list. And yes, the Also Bought can help as well.

6/2/2012 21:05:01

I only have one computer and no kindle. I use the kindle reader on Google chrome and I can't delete from there. But I try to let everyone know about free books.

L.A. Tripp
6/4/2012 11:14:37

It's awesome that you make sure you share free books with others. That definitely helps.

The point is, about the different readers, there's a Kindle app for just about everything now. I used to not have a Kindle, but I had a smart phone and had a Kindle app on it. There's a Kindle app for smart phones, for Mac, for PC, etc. If you're only using the Cloud to read, you could also try the Kindle app for Mac or PC, depending on what you have. Then you can help even more authors ;)

6/3/2012 01:09:58

Gracias for taking the time to so eloquently explain and express such a poignant point of view for a truly great and worthy cause and support of we the Indie Authors. We have enough non Indie Authors tearing is down, not willing to accept that our published works are just if not more worthy of the same success as they have, because Indie Authors have to truly fight to be recognized. So we truly strive to release the best of our creative works, which make a dynamite and worthy product to read. Gracias again for stepping up and speaking out so that we the Author and our readers can understand the benefit of supporting all Indie Authors, sonrisa...

L.A. Tripp
6/4/2012 11:20:22

I'd never claim to be eloquent. Or elegant for that matter.

I'm also not jealous of other indie authors...unless of course they outsell me by selling a book a day, haha. So please, spread the word and let's get this message out.


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