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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Smart Side of #business ~ Side Stories { #amwriting #novel #romance #novellas #marketing }

It's been a very long week and a half. I've had some family complications, some out of town company {that stayed longer than planned} and some other things come up. Yes, real life can effect us all. No matter how organized we want to be. Last week, I'd done all my posts in advance to keep on track, but then somewhere along the way, the ball got dropped this week with all the other pulls and demands of each day.

I hope you'll forgive me for a change in direction this week as well as a missed post yesterday. I am, after all, human and trying to do the best I can and share what I can. Publisher Comparisons part 3 will be back next week as will Agent Resources part 3 and Part 1 on Indie Publishing.

Today I want to talk a little about what I like to call *Side Stories.* These are generally shorts or novella sizes in length and can be stand alone {used as enticers , parts of anthologies, free newsletter reads, or free blog reads.

I'm really working on a few of these myself. I think they are well worth it, in the end.

Why? Read on ~

As a stand alone novella or short story ~ This can be something you release on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. It should be free or no  more than 99 Cents. It's purpose is to introduce readers to your series or book with a side story on a main character or a top secondary character. This can give background on them or tell their story from where the book or series ended. It can even pick up somewhere in the middle, maybe an extended version of a part of the book that was cut out. As a marketing technique, this gives current readers a bit more insight into your characters. For new readers, they may take the chance on a free or 99 cent read and end up loving your work and therefore reading more in the series.

As part of an anthology ~ Anthologies are great even though they generally aren't a big profit for the authors. Here's why: You are bringing a number of authors, with varying reader platforms, into one book sale. This means that those who don't know you are likely to pick up the anthology based on another author being part of it. In this, they'll generally read all the stories ~ perhaps gaining you a new reader. Don't shrug off anthology opportunities. Check out the other names that will be participating and check out their readership. Sometimes, it's even worth a free anthology just to gain those new potential readers.

As a newsletter read ~ This helps people get your news. A free monthly bit of a read is enticing enough for a number of readers to sign up for your newsletter. This also gives them an easy and free way to get to know your writing style and some of your characters. As another factor, you're also able to share some other news and events that they may have missed had they not wanted the free read.

As a blog free read ~ Followers, Subscribers, Email Subscribers, and so on. You do need these. Yes, the main part is how many stop to read. So numbers, as I've mentioned, aren't super important. But if you're offering a free read, they won't want to miss it. So you'll get the readers and the numbers because they'll want to come back for each installment. Again, this gives them a free opportunity to get to know you and your work.

Point to mention ~ While everyone seems to want to toss a promo out in their free reads, please be careful of this. If the story is 30 pages long and is followed by 10 pages of promo - it's going to turn off readers. All the same, in a blog post or newsletter - if you tryp up 1000-2000 words for the installment of the read and follow it by 3+ book promos, it's a turn off. Most often a simple ~ If you're interested in finding out more about my books, please visit my website {and then direct link to your book information page} ~ is so much more effective. It's not pushy. It's not needy. It's not seeking something in return. It's just allowing them to make the choice of further investigating.

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