My crack-dealer theory of eBook marketing, or how I started eating broccoli

By Steve Vernon

My belt is shrinking.

I don’t know how it is happening but every month that sucker seems to grow just a little snugger about my waistline. My wife tells me that I ought to eat more vegetables and fewer cheeseburgers. I don’t understand. I mean ketchup is a vegetable isn’t it? So is relish. Even mustard comes from a plant.

So a cheeseburger qualifies as vegetable.

If you squint.

My grandmother had that same idea about vegetables.

“Eat your broccoli,” she’d tell me.

“I don’t like broccoli.”

“Just try a bite of it. See if you don’t like it.”

That’s why I like to write series for Kobo. I like the idea of legions of hungry Kobo readers out there lining up behind my rows of e-books like so many hungry Pac-Men and Pac-Women – munching and crunching on each new release.

Like potato chips.

Which ought to qualify as vegetables, as well.

Funny thing is my grandmother was right.

Sometimes, if you try a bite of something, you really like it.

Like broccoli – which is highly addictive – especially when it is steamed lightly and smeared in butter and salt. You eat one bite of those tangy little green-blossom-broccoli-trees – and you will discover that those weird little vegetable trees are nothing more than bite-sized organic potato chips in disguise and you will start buzzing through them like you are some kind of a wild veggie-crazed green-giant-possessed holistic tree-minator.

Which is why – whenever I release a new series on Kobo – I make certain that the first volume/episode/book of the series is absolutely free!

That’s right. That first bite of broccoli is on me.

(Well, heck – most of what I eat generally winds up on me – whether it is tucked beneath my rapidly-shrinking beltline or smeared upon my rapidly-increasing t-shirt)

I call this my Crack Dealer Theory of E-Book Marketing (patent pending).

You think about a crack dealer holding out that first vial of crack.

“You try this,” he’ll tell you. “See if you don’t like it.”

You try it and you’ll soon find out that crack is highly addictive.

Just like broccoli.

Which is why I want to let all of you Kobo readers and writers know – if you are writing and/or reading a series of any length – that first release really ought to be free.

Free and dangling beneath the lips and nostrils and eyeballs of a legion of budding potential fans, drenched and drizzling in salt and butter.

(Future Kobo e-reading devices will all need to be guaranteed against salt and butter exposure.)

So why aren’t more Kobo series releases with the first volume free?

Oh contraire…

Which shows you just how bilingually cultured I am.

Take a look here!

That’s thirty-six Kobo Series novels – each of them beginning with a free first volume – most likely drenched in low-sodium salt and e-butter.

Two of those book series are mine and I’d be proud and pleased if you would go and pick up a copy of Revenent – (the first volume in the Tatterdemon stand-alone trilogy) or Flash Virus: Episode One – (the first episode in a continuing series of e-books). I won’t be held responsible if you suddenly feel the urge to max your credit card, re-mortgage your house, or sell your first-born pussycat to raise the funds needed to follow up on the rest of the series.

I’m funny like that.

But the heck of it is – you won’t have to max your credit card. You can pick up Revenent for absolutely free – and then, if you want to – you can pick up the complete Tatterdemon Omnibus Collection for a mere $6.99.

Or – if you are more interested in sci-fi than you might pick up Flash Virus: Episode One for FREE and then, if you want to – you can pick up the Flash Virus Omnibus Collection, the first five episodes, for a mere $6.99 – or $4.99 if you pre-order before June 7, 2013.

(And if you liked the first five episodes, you can even pick up the sixth: Flash Virus: Episode Six — Bigfoot’s Story, which just went live on the 31st.)

What you’ve just read was the first episode of my new Kobo blog series which is tentatively called EATING YOUR BROCCOLI, until I come up with a better name for it.

Episode 2 – which will be released here on the Kobo Writing Life Blog – will tell you how to keep writing when you feel like the words have all dried up.

I know.

That’s way too safe of a topic but I’m new at this whole blog column phenomenon.

There’s another tip for you, by the way. You throw in a multi-syllable word like phenomenon – which has at least four or five syllables in it, depending on how you hold your mouth – and folks are going think you’re a whole lot more intelligent than you really are.

It’s true.

Ask any lawyer.

Until next month – eat your broccoli.

*************

About the author

steve vernonSteve Vernon is Canadian author who writes horror, science-fiction, YA, and even a children’s picture book.  He lives with his wife and cat in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Check out his blog: Yours In Storytelling.

Check out his books on Kobo.

Comments

  1. Excellent article.

  2. I am shaking from withdrawal already.

  3. Well I came here for edification and by heaven I’ve been edified. Roll on the next one when you get me to start writing again and using big words.

  4. After reading your brocolli /crack dealer theory I was inspired to leave the safety of my normal genre of paranormal romance and I added your ebook “Revenant” to my kobo ereader. Im only one chapter in and im hooked.

    • Thanks, Tina. All kidding aside – this is what we writers live for. Oh sure, the glory and splendor of having your name on the cover of one out of about a billion and a half e-books is marvelous. Oh sure, the money and luxury that my book sales afford me are pretty cool too.

      Hey, pennies are money too – and that mud hole in my backyard looks an AWFUL lot like a built-in swimming pool if you squint real hard while you’re drunk…

      But – all kidding aside, for real – we writers yearn to be read. A book is nothing more than a whole bunch of words stacked one on top of the other until somebody starts reading it. I appreciate your kind words and I truly hope you enjoy that read.

      I’ll even send you a pack of Ginsu knives…

    • You act fast and I’ll throw in a Slap-Chop with those Ginsu Knives!

      • could i get a broom with that too? Ive seemed to have left mine buried in a field..

    • Sure, sweep me off my feet!!!

  5. Okay, you hooked me. But I still think broccoli needs a creamy cheese sauce to make it edible. However, because you begged nicely, I will check out your book even though it’s minus said cheesy cream sauce.

  6. Free books rule & hollandaise works, too. Just keep it off your Kobo. Tastes much better on your broccoli. :-)

Trackbacks

  1. […] My crack-dealer theory of eBook marketing, or how I started eating broccoli. […]

  2. […] (For more info on WHY I would choose to make the first book free read my Crack Dealer Theory of E-book Marketing.) […]

  3. […] Vernon presents My crack-dealer theory of eBook marketing, or how I started eating broccoli posted at Kobo Writing Life, saying, “My first entry in a monthly series of “How-to, […]

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