Hello author friends, writer friends, everyone. Welcome back to Author Journey. I know some of you may not be writers specifically, but you do have books that are helping your own businesses grow. If you're figuring out how to get that book in front of more people, in front of a wider audience, Instafreebie is a great platform to utilize.
*Insert triumphant music here*
Instafreebie is what I consider a no-brainer move to make when it comes to employing strategies for building your list and growing your fan base. It was created in 2014 with the sole purpose of getting author's stories out there to more readers. For authors, this is an opportunity to have instant access to some fairly voracious readers. For readers, they get sneak peeks, free books, and access to giveaways that help them discover your writing.
What's so brilliant about this process is the way your books are delivered to prospective readers.
And guess what happens when they enter their email address to grab your free book? That's right. You have another potential fan to add to your subscriber base.
Instafreebie gives you a platform that offers a very nice looking leadpage. You don't have to design it, tweak it, or monk with it in any way other than to simply give them the information they need to list your book. Once that's done you get a lead page or opt-in page that looks like this.
If you're a fan of YA romantic fantasy then please feel free to actually visit this instafreebie page and grab a free copy of My Fair Assassin here.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Okay, back to business. Do you notice the way the page is set up? It is required that folks enter their email address in order to claim their book. After all, where exactly would instafreebie send it to. Ya know? Plus they have the option to choose epub for nook, mobi for kindle, or pdf for their computer.
I really love the way this opt-in page is set up. I've nabbed over 2,700 emails at the time of this posting, and I've received lots of emails from these folks thanking me for the book, excited for the next book in the series.
In order to set up an account with Instafreebie just go to their website here. Once there you just click on the sign up button on the top right. That will take you to a page with different payment plans.
There is a free plan, but it doesn't offer you the option of building your list. In other words, the free plan simply allows your books to be delivered to people who are interested, but it doesn't require that people enter their email address.
I suppose if you only want to do giveaways or book teasers then this option is great, but if you really want to build your list, you need to get the next option which is the Plus plan. An added benefit to this is that Instafreebie can integrate your Mail Chimp account if you use that autoresponder service. If not, the emails that are collected will be stored in a CSV file for you to download and import. I go that route since I use Aweber.
The first month is free, and then it's $20 bucks a month after that. I found this to be completely worth it, considering the number of new and engaged readers I've found and added to my subscriber list in such a short time.
Once you choose the Plus plan you enter your information and click the Register button at the bottom. You'll enter in your contact and billing details and from there you'll be taken to your Instafreebie dashboard which looks like this…ahem…minus my books and author name, of course.
You're also given an option to do DRM. That's digital rights management. Instafreebie will put a watermark on your book to prevent it from being shared with people who didn't sign up for your mailing list. If your book is perma-free then I wouldn't do this. The goal is to get as many eyes on your book as possible, even if people don't get your book through Instafreebie. Word of mouth is a big deal.
Fifty Shades of Grey, folks! Need I say more?
If you plan on giving this giveaway an expiration date and the book isn't perma-free then you might consider this option. Authors feel differently about this. For me, it still wouldn't matter. I want people to have access to my books. I want to be discovered by new readers. It's as simple as that, but this decision is totally up to you.
HOW DO I SET UP A GIVEAWAY?
Once you get that information typed in, your book will show up on your dashboard. Click on it, and then click on the button that says New Giveaway. You'll have two options for building your giveaway.
I like the advanced version because I'm all about control and I like to see what all of my options are.
If this giveaway has an expiration date, make sure to enter that in as well as how many copies will be available. Since I'm never ending my giveaways I left those spaces blank. It doesn't make sense for my perma-free books to not be permanently available for everyone who comes to Instafreebie looking for some YA fantasy and romance.
The last two boxes on this page will already be checked. Leave them checked. You want people to be able to share your giveaway and you want it to be public on the internet. Unless you are working a different strategy, but believe me when I say these last two options are for your benefit.
Hit next and then make sure people are required to opt-in before they receive their free book. Otherwise, what's the point?
Enter a name for your mailing list. Example: C.J. Anaya's Awesome Newsletter. Make sure it is something people won't mind being added to. Then hit the button at the bottom.
I wouldn't do the password protected thing, but that is completely up to you since I have no idea how you want to utilize Instafreebie. Then you choose which format options will be available. Make sure they are all available. It widens your reach of readers.
Once that's done you'll be given a link to your giveaway. Make sure you go to that link so you can test it out and correct anything that needs correcting.
HOW DO I DRIVE TRAFFIC TO MY GIVEAWAY?
After that, it's all about driving people to that particular opt-in page. I've got some great suggestions for you on that front. It's all about Instafreebie Facebook groups. Here are a few groups to get you started.
These groups are great for cross-promoting Instafreebie giveaways. Generally a person will post about an Instafreebie promotion they are doing, looking for specific writers in specific genres to join them. The Instafreebie books will be listed on one webpage and then each author participating will share the Instafreebie promotion with their newsletter and on social media. You're basically sharing each others audiences, growing your reach, and finding new targeted leads for you subscriber list. It's very effective.
There are temporary cross-promotions and permanent ones. Here are some permanent listings you can be a part of. You'll find my books there too.
You can also go to these sites if you are interested in some free reading of your own. Make sure you share the sites with others as much as possible.
Please note that the sign up links can change as time passes. I will try to keep this updated, but if you find a link broken simply visit the Instafreebie Facebook groups and ask the members how you can sign up for specific promotions. Or you can contact the people running the promos on their websites. Super easy.
When you sign up to be in different promotions make sure you participate in promoting them. It's insanely rude to rely on others to promote the Instafreebie giveaway without any effort on your part. We all win when we all collaborate and promote each other. You'll most likely receive instructions via email from whoever is heading the campaign at the time. Be sure to respond and follow the instructions to get the most out of these promo periods.
It's always free to be in these promos. So it makes absolutely no sense to not take part in them.
WHAT DO I DO WITH THE PEOPLE WHO OPT-IN?
As I mentioned before, you can either integrate Mail Chimp into your account or you can just download the CSV file provided and import those people into your autoresponder. I create an Instafreebie list on Aweber. Once I add the most current subscribers to that particular list, I generally like to send out an email explaining who I am, why they are receiving an email from me, and what to expect from me in the future. I also let them know that they can unsubscribe from my list with no hard feelings.
I highly recommend you do this simply because some people won't remember they signed up and won't remember who you are. I've uploaded a copy of this email for you to look over and get ideas. Copy and tweak it however you wish.
I truly hope this information helps you to exponentially grow your email list. I know the $20 investment may seem like a lot when you first get started, but it will be well worth it when your awesome fans start buying those books and developing a wonderful relationship with you. Some of my most favorite and fun-loving fans have come from my Instafreebie giveaways.
If you haven't grabbed that Instafreebie account yet you can get it here. The sooner you start the faster you build that mailing list.