Freado – a review

Through my marketing explorations, I’ve discovered a website or two that claims to help you to promote your book. One such place is It looks snazzy and shiny. It will host a book giveaway for you. You can use part of their services for free, but you gotta pay for the really good ones. I’ve been a member there for a while now, but with this quest I realized I had to up the anty to get things going.

It’s got a lot of stuff, does this website. You can build games, crossword puzzles, join the forum, add a widget to your Facebook page. When it comes to online presence, this website is a boost and a half for your book. Believe me, you want an online presence for your book. Big name authors get that online presence a lot easier than us little guys. Their fans talk about them all over the place, where we gotta talk about ourselves. I’ll have to get into online presence for my third marketing quest post, though.

So I bit the bullet and paid a membership fee for The Life of Death‘s promotion with Freado. The comic market is pretty darn fierce as it is, so I figured if Freado was as good as they make themselves out to be I would see some results.  I didn’t buy the ultimate premo package, only the middle.

I got things like the ability to set up a landing page widget for my book, an automatic tweeter to tweet about my book for me ever so much amount of time, something to get Facebook Likes with, Forum access, Amazon alerts to monitor my sales status, a hosted book giveaway, my book being shoved in reading users’ faces, and the ability to get reciprocal book reviews. A lot of these came with the free package. All of these except for the widgets and the being shoved part I probably could have done myself. But, I thought, it will show my book to potential readers! And a giveaway is always good pr.

I’m offering 15 books.Only 3 people have asked for the giveaway and there’s only three days left. Meanwhile on Amazon, where I enrolled The Life of Death with KDP select, the book is for free until the 5th. It has had 40 downloads where it had only 1 by a long-time loyal fan before the promotion started. So essentially with Freado I’m paying money to try to give my book away for free, and that’s failing.

I don’t have a Facebook online presence, but even if I did the widgets would be pointless. People don’t normally go to your Facebook page. They go to their Facebook feed.

Twitter is also not necessarily that good of a marketing platform, simply because it’s oversaturated with people screaming for you to look at them.  How is anyone going to see your tiny little tweet past all that mess? I know I miss out on a lot. I’ve not seen a change in my book statuses because of Twitter.

And my blog here? Someone reads it, I’m sure, but not enough people do for the Freado widget to make much of a difference.

To Freado’s benefit, though, I also put a book giveaway widget on the Heavenly Bride page and no one has asked for it there either. Unless those three people were coming to me from Heavenly Bride – how’s that for a kick in the self esteem?

The only good thing I can see coming out of it is the ability to get reciprocal reviews on your own time. (Because joining a group is a time killer. If you work like me that will never fly.)

So I’m going to have to give Freado only three stars. It’s a social marketing platform that helps you to centralize how you’re marketing your book. It offers some shiny tools, but unless you already have a large online presence that’s not going to make much of a difference. And if you already have a large online presence, you probably don’t need the shiny tools. You would only need to mention what’s going on. Gotta love irony.

Yep. Three stars.

Getting People to Read Your Book for Free (Step 2, book marketing)

I promised it and here it is – the next book marketing article. As I go through the motions I realize that I’m doing some things out of order, being as I’m learning as I go, but things are as they are. And today I’m going to talk about the book giveaway.

Now, in this case the book giveaway is more than saying to people “hey, by the way, would you like a free book?” There were preparation steps to it, and I’m learning that when it comes to marketing your book some steps overlap into other areas.

So here I am, marketing Frank Crowe, the Dam Builder Who Changed the Face of the Earth. After handling the Press release, it came time for the book giveaway. I could choose to offer the book as a free ebook or I could choose to give it away in traditional dead tree format. I decided to do both in order to reach a wider range of potential readers – and because this book is a historical fiction (smaller audience) the wider I reach the better.

My client chose to start this book out in the KDP select program, so as far as ebooks go it’s only available through Amazon. So the first thing I did when the book was approved was set a give away time and date through the dashboard. That done I now could move on to the physical give away.

First, I had to prepare the book for physical print – and I chose print on demand through Createspace. There are a lot of places I could have chosen for this service – I use Lulu for my own – but Createspace is attached to Amazon so that’s where it went. The book was formatted and ready to go.

While I was at it, I bought an ISBN for the book because it was getting published under my client’s name. I’m not sure what went wrong with that – Createspace rejected the ISBN claiming it wasn’t under the right name. I checked and it was, and I probably could have contacted them to fix things but chose instead to use Createspace’s free ISBN. I’ll save the purchased ISBN for one of my own projects, being as I make limited print runs of my own stuff to distribute myself.

So physical file to get book uploaded… I ordered a sample copy… and while waiting for that I got busy. I went to, added the book with its ISBN to their database, and listed the giveaway. I gave it a long time for people to enter and did my best to write up a snazzy tagline for the contest. Snazzy is very important here.

The giveaway got approved and I had to get busy even more. Here’s where things got tricksy. I have to advertise the giveaway right? Where do you do that? Well your blog is an excellent place to start, and our client’s blog is tied to his Facebook and his twitter so he only has to promote once. There also needed to be a promo video for the book itself to get people to want to notice it.

A book promo commercial is a very special thing. There’s a debate on whether it makes a difference or not. Personally I think they do. They can be of the author answering a question about their book or just a straight full on commercial like you’d see on public TV, when it existed. They should never be no more than two minutes, and one minute long is perfect.

It took me two weeks to find the footage and put the commercial together.

So a commercial was made: this took me a long long time to do and it probably should have happened right up there before step one of my marketing adventure. But it’s made, on Youtube, and linked into my client’s goodreads account. One thing down. More to go.

Next, I looked for places to advertise he was having a giveaway. There are a few places out there – mostly book blogs – that will tell their readers “hey, there is this free book!” But in exchange you  normally have to put their widget on your website. I personally intensely dislike that, so in my case those places have been skipped and I’m shopping for other outlets. In the meantime I did check out Goodreads’ advertising program, which will let you spend as little as $1 a day to promote your book on their website. It lets you link the ad to your book giveaway if they’re hosting it, and in this case they are. So my client’s good money was sizeably spent on that and the advertising campaign has begun.

There’s also – also worth the money spent on it.

And now? Well there was an error on the back cover so  have to put in that correction and order the books to be given away. And look for other places to announce the giveaway to. It won’t be much longer until the giveaway ends so I’d better get a move on.

After this the next step? Encouraging reader reviews and input. This ties into your online author presence. This is a tough one I haven’t gotten the grasp of yet. More next time.