I'm thrilled to announce that I'm finally to this stage in the self-publishing process: Not only is my book ready, available through wide distribution (including libraries and bookstores and through my own website), but now I get to work on the cherry on top.
The freebies. Specifically, the digital freebies, which are cheap and easy ways to incentivize readers to, well . . . do whatever you'd like. I've seen digital freebies used to inspire readers to preorder a copy of a soon-to-be-released title, as prizes exchanged for honest Goodreads and Amazon reviews, as a "free" addition to any purchase made directly through an author's website, and even as a cheap download available at all times to anybody.
I have long watched in awe as authors (especially indie authors, who have vastly more control over this sort of marketing technique) cultivate creative and fun ways in which to use digital freebies to their advantage, and one thing idea I've really loved is that of what many people are coming to call a "companion guide" to a published work. (One of the best examples I've seen of this is from our very own, Brittany Wang, who has hers available through her website for only two dollars! Even if you're not interested in checking out the companion guide, I still suggest you explore her website and her book — she's such an amazing example of what it looks like to self-publish the "right" way!)
What this is, basically, is a digital PDF download that includes behind-the-scenes information on the book it's a "companion" to. So, for example, I'm working on this for When Stars Burn Out, and I've included details such as: my publication journey, the prologue's real meaning, the cast of characters (my favorites and least favorites to write), etc.
As a reader, I love this stuff. As an author, I love it even more. It gives me the ability to share a lot about what really went into writing the book that most people never get to learn about — and profit off of that hard behind-the-scenes work. (By the way, I still struggle with saying the word "profit" without cringing. It's still so hard for me to look at my creative writing for what it really is: a business, and not some bizarre charity in which I awkwardly thank people who've read my work and think quietly to myself, "I hope they don't tell anybody else about it. I am so mortified." But that is a blog post for another day!)
Anyway, like I said: I am currently putting together my own "companion guide" that will give readers a peek behind the scenes of writing When Stars Burn Out — so, if you've got any requests or suggestions, drop a comment below or DM me! :)