Once my book has been published (which I'm hoping will be later 2020), it might be easier since I'll have a tangible product to offer.
Beware of free products, they tend to attract people who like free products
Yes, they're useful, but it takes time to build a mailing list. You'll need to sign-up with an email service provider. There are many and they cost money, but some offer free at the beginning. I use Mailerlite which is free up to 1,000 subscribers. You'll then need to create the forms and put them in the back of any books you have and on your website and FB page so people can sign-up.How would I create one? Are they really useful?
Yes, they're useful, but it takes time to build a mailing list. You'll need to sign-up with an email service provider. There are many and they cost money, but some offer free at the beginning. I use Mailerlite which is free up to 1,000 subscribers. You'll then need to create the forms and put them in the back of any books you have and on your website and FB page so people can sign-up.
I recommend reading Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Labrecque.
This is a truth that hides another truth. The second truth being that—although many people will only come for the freebie—you'll still attract some serious readers who will go on to buy more books.
Free, in return for joining your email list, still works. Permafree also works—even if not as well as before. These are just two, of many, nets to cast
It makes sense that people who sign up to a list from the back of a book are the best because they enjoyed the story, but people who sign up on free promos can still become fans. I've seen it happen. The percentage may be lower, but it still has value.
I agree with all of this. And the reviews you get after giving a book away for free can be worse because the readers are less likely to be the right audience for the book. But despite all of that, I plan to keep on with my permafree short story (at least for now). I've found that I've done better with free books on retailers other than Amazon. On Amazon, the read through seems to be worse.I've done free promos as well. I think they can be used effectively, but they are double-edged swords. If a bunch of people download your free book, but they aren't fantasy readers, or they don't read your sub-genre of fantasy, it can confuse Amazon's algorithms. Furthermore, it pollutes your also-boughts, which can be some incredible information that tells you where and how to focus your advertising efforts.
I am always suspicious about giving a product you want to sell away for free. I tend to agree with the opinion that it decreases the perceived value of your product. If you give it away for free, it becomes associated with bargain bins, or the idea that it's selling so poorly that you have to give it away for free to get anyone to take it. Even if people do take it, there's a good chance it lands at the bottom of some pile and is forgotten because it's "just one of these free promo things" and not a book you chose to buy. And if they don't read it, they won't be telling others about it.
It can work with some products, but I think with books you really want to maintain the impression that you have something of great value that is very desirable. Even people who read a hundred books a year are looking for quality content, not cheap mass produced stuff. Books are always meant to be a sensual experience, not feeding a necesarry need.
How have you found advertising on Goodreads?Your plans are pretty simular to mine LadyErynn.
I'm doing my best to get word out on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. My novel I hope to have out early 2020 all being well and then I'll see about promoting more readily with an actual product.
I've been advertising on goodreads as well the usual social media channels (Twitter, Facebook etc)