If I made my book free for 4 days, who would download it?
It's time more of you read WHO BUILT THE HUMANS?
Big shiny book filled with existentialist sci-fi and dark comedy.
When I started my instagram account back in 2018 (don’t click on that it’s rubbish, I need to do some tidying), its name was TheStephanieGlitch. It has now evolved and is basically a meme page, because original posts about books get no engagement. There’s no point making them for someone like me, who can’t afford to financially promote them, but memes make people laugh and laughing makes people happy so the entertainer that lives in my brain has decided it’s a meme page now. I am slowly evolving into a comedian anyway (got a gig in Spring 2023 where I plan to tell jokes about time machines, and writing an erotic comedy about a spaceship for the Edinburgh Fringe) so it all works.
Anyway, my original plan was to take a novel I had written at university two years prior, THE STEPHANIE GLITCH, and to self-publish it. I was going to singlehandedly create not just my own publishing company, but my own mini-industry. Stephanie was going to be my ticket out of the benefits office and into a small and comfortable house.
I started by founding Halfplanet Press.
Halfplanet Press would publish magazines, comics, novels, and poetry by people who were otherwise overlooked. I had a small list of friends and colleagues who had bad experiences in publishing. Some of them felt they were pressured to “Come out” to presses in order to secure a contract, others felt that their identities were being leveraged as advertising materials. I developed a little network of people who, like me, wanted to be known for their creative work, not their personal lives.
A few things changed along the way. I had a weird few years. As far as I can remember, the title for WHO BUILT THE HUMANS? appeared to me when I was sat in bed one night, wondering where my life was going. It is an atheist’s twist on that central creationist question, an irreverent jab at the concept of creation itself. It isn’t who made us, but who built us? If we were consciously created, we must be artificial. This implies there are more ‘real’ forms out there, perhaps humans who are more… human.
So, existentialist comedy with a dark side. That should be fun to advertise.
Spoiler alert: It isn’t.
Some stuff happened in my personal life, a few years passed, covid happened, and I missed out on a book launch because when the venue reopened it had forgotten all about me. It’s not interesting, so let’s skip to the interesting part.
A free book!
I want to make WBTH free for a few days. I have a few free days built up (Amazon allows 4 per book every 90 days) and I want more people to see the book. I also need more reviews to get through BookBub, which I’ll explain below. But first, a poll.
I want a Bookbub deal. It’s a rare thing to find. Many authors have to apply threee or more times to be successful, and the best metric for success is, ironically, success. If you’ve got more positive reviews on Amazon than the other guy, Bookbub knows you are a better investment of that powerful newsletter they have. There are 1,330,000+ readers on their Science Fiction newsletter alone.
But there’s one problem. I don’t have enough reviews yet.
Granted, they are all brilliant reviews, but I’ve heard bookbub needs to see a few more to know you’re a worthwhile investment. That’s fair. But how am I going to get reviews if I’m only moving one book a week?
Problem solved. Make WBTH free again for a while. Give my readers a nice free book and hopefully score some nice new reviews in the process.
So that is precisely what I’m doing. Because you’re all in multiple timezones I’m going to do a 4 day freebie weekend starting on a Friday here in the UK. It’s probably going to start on the 29th of October or the 5th of November.
I’m going to tie it into another freebie in the future as well. I like rewarding the people who write reviews. I’m thinking a free, exclusive story. We’ll work that out closer to the time.
So, what do you think?
I made this meme ages ago. Glad I’m finally doing the freebie.
I post nearly all of my reviews on Goodreads, so would that be acceptable as well?
I struggle to review on Amazon, since they seem to have this bizarre policy that you can't review products unless you've spent over a certain amount in the preceding two months, but I can do Goodreads. You'd be welcome to look at the reviews I've already posted there, to see if you like my reviewing style; you need only search my name there, or email me and ask me for a link.
Like you I'm a dedicated atheist, I'm a writer too, and your newsletters seem to indicate that we have a certain commonality in our sense of humour. I think Who Built the Humans would be an excellent read!