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.

Scribd Review

The fellows at Scribd stopped their busy schedules and answered my pleas. Hoozah! The problem isn’t solved, but I know someone is there… and hoping they don’t just dump me like a hot potato. (Hey, it’s happened before.) So this is my impression so far on as a marketing/distribution resource for authors.

1.  It used to be you’d go there and find a lot of copyrighted material in places it didn’t belong They’ve cleaned that up with a vengeance and made their website a lot more streamlined. I can’t say if it’s easier to explore than before, but it’s nicer to look at.

2. They now cater to big publishers – a plus for the avid reader and mainstream lover – so that the featured slots are full of books by the big guys. I stopped and looked at one or two: they were all samples. If you want to buy them you’re taken to an external link. For people shopping for that next book, this can be both good and bad – good for the big guys. Bad for the little guy who may not be noticed due to the reader being taken away from Scribd or just couldn’t see anything past the big guy ads.

3. Scribd allows independent authors to sell their books on their site. This is good good good. They pay you either by Paypal or by check. (I personally prefer the check.) And I have noticed since uploading Black Wolf, Silver Fox there are quite a few reads on it. If nothing else, it’s excellent exposure. No complaints there.

4. When you upload your book, you have the option to apply for it to be featured on the front page. This is wonderful. The downside is I can’t find any way to apply for it after you’ve finalized your information and moved on. So either you take the chance and apply right then or you never do, best I can tell.

So weighing the pros and cons, I’d say if you can get your email confirmed Scribd is an excellent resource and urge you to check it out. And if you can’t get your email confirmed, you can always do like the big guys and upload a sample that will take your reader to an external link.

Now me: I prefer to give my reader the option to purchase the whole book right then and there. Samples that lead people away, in my  mind, just aren’t very kosher and should be avoided when the situation is correct for it.

Moving along in my marketing journey….