I’ve got a post up on Derek’s blog and he was kind enough to trade me one for here. Go check out his blog to read my drivel after you’ve read him here.
John and I (and a dozen other indie authors) have been collaborating on a science fiction and fantasy anthology titled Twelve Worlds. It will be available very soon for $2.99. It has fourteen different stories by different authors just starting out in the epublishing arena. It’s a great way for you to find great new worlds to explore. Plus, author royalties go the Reading is Fundamental charity.
While working on Twelve Worlds, John suggested that we swap excerpts for our novels in hopes of cross-pollinating our readership. Before I agreed, I read John’s novel, Hard Day’s Knight, to make sure that our genres were compatible. After all, my gritty, action-packed cyberpunk novel wouldn’t fit too well at the end of a Victorian romance or courtroom drama. I really enjoyed HDK, and I decided that John’s sarcastic, action-packed paranormal detective stories are a great accompaniment for Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance. I think that our styles complement each other nicely, and apparently so do our readers. We now show up on each other’s Customer Also Bought lists on Amazon.
Unfortunately, there is no way to know how many sales we are creating for each other. We can only hypothesize. I’m selling around 40 copies of Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance per day. Every one of those purchases also gets the excerpt from John’s novel. Since John’s excerpt is such a great hook into his world, I have to believe that at least a few of my readers also buy his book. Even if it’s only 5%, that’s still an extra 60 books a month for John. I’ve been seeing my numbers increase since we traded excerpts, so I’m guessing I also get an extra few a day from John’s readership.
Another great thing is that I’m also showing up on the Also Bought list for John’s other ebooks. My excerpt is in Back in Black, but my books also show up on the pages for Hard Day’s Knight and The Chosen. John’s books are also showing up on my other ebook page. So, even though our excerpts appear only in one other book, we’re both getting exposure on multiple book pages. What this tells me is that authors with multiple titles are very valuable for the excerpt trading strategy.
The Also Bought lists are a great advertising tool. Actually, the Also Bought lists are prime advertising real estate. But there’s no way for writers to show up on those lists except by selling our books to the same audience. Fortunately, trading excerpts is a great way to do that. Any additional exposure is a godsend for us small indies. For no cost at all I’m getting advertised on John’s Amazon book pages, and he’s getting advertised on mine! Win win!
What this means for me
I will continue to trade excerpts with authors writing in genres compatible with mine. I see no reason not to include multiple excerpts in the back of my novels. Maybe 3? So, if anyone else would like to trade excerpts, give me a shout and let’s talk about it.
What this means for you
If you’re an aspiring author, I recommend that you locate other authors to trade excerpts. There is absolutely no downside to it. At the very worst, you spend an hour or so adding their excerpt to your book and you get no additional sales. At best, you get free advertising in the other author’s book AND on their book pages AND you sell more books.