Should a Writer Give Away an Entire Novel?

Here is the deal:

You’ve been working on your novel for god knows how long? A year or two or maybe more? It takes time and guts to finish that job but you did it. Great! Congratulations! Now, you’re one many who did the same.

You know that your novel is good. You’re proud of it. That’s the best work you’ve ever done.

You sent some copies to your friends, relatives and they loved it. But wait, not just that they loved it; they read it in one sitting. 90% percent of people who read your novel reach back to you; they give you feedback; they are amazed; they can’t wait for the next one; they ask your permission to share your novel with their friends and relatives and you give them; they have all sorts of questions about your novel and your writing; they could never assume that such a talent lays in someone who they personally know – what a privilege; they respect you as a writer.

So, you decide to publish it. It’s going to be a hit! Da Vinci Code, eat my dust!

You try to find an agent but they don’t seem to share the opinions of your readers. Well, that’s because they judge your book by a query letter or a first chapter or first 10 pages or so. They are missing the good parts!

How can’t they understand that your book cannot fit into one genre? It’s a piece of literature; it has murders, historical events, young people, old people, a bit of mystery, and a bit of misery, a war, wait, two wars, politics, crime, just name it; it’s a piece of jewelry; a diamond; and nobody seems to know it.

Screw the agents!! You’re going to self-publish!

Nobody is reading it.

You’re going to enroll it in a KDP select, so the people who are paying for subscription can read it without any extra purchase.

Nobody is reading it.

You’re going to give it away for 5 days, you’re going to pay for Facebook ads and when people see that they can get a free novel, they will be thrilled.

Nobody is reading it.

So, your KDP select doesn’t work. Why don’t you just publish it on other platforms too? It can only be better. You go to draft2digital and publish your novel everywhere. Look, more platforms, more opportunities.

Nobody is reading it.

Well, fuck it! You need to promote it on social media. You open an account on all popular social media platforms and you share a post about your novel each day or even multiple times per day.

Nobody is reading it.

You’re still not losing hope because you know how good your novel is. You decide to email book reviewers and send the exclusive free copy of your novel. Some reply and thank you for the gift. Some say that they’re just too busy reading other people’s novels. Most don’t reply. In the end, you realize:

Nobody is reading it.

You’re still strong and you go all in. You decide that you’re going to blog and if people like your blogs, they’re going to buy your book. Guess what?

Nobody is reading it plus nobody is reading your blog.

You start to question whether anybody reads anything at all and then, you see all the reviews and fuss about other peoples novels you watch writers on YouTube making all this big money; there is hope. You’re still not losing your mind (or you just haven’t realized that) despite the fact that anyone else is doing much better than you.


Nobody is reading it plus nobody is reading your blog.

Alright, what’s gotta be done, is gonna be done; you’re going to give away your entire novel in exchange for an email address.

Nobody is reading it and nobody is reading your blog and nobody wants to give you their precious email address.

Now, you’re freaking out. There aren’t any other options left. What do you do?

You’re right. Write the damn second novel!

Wait, the question remains unanswered – should a writer giveaway an entire novel?

Of course, but please, skip all the steps in between; just give it straight after you’re rejected by all the agents and after you make sure that your mailing list has less than 10,000 subscribers.

Finally, when you give away your ebook, you can always leave the option for readers to buy a paperback if they like the book if they want to financially support you and keep a souvenir from you.

Giving away a paperback mi

I wish you happy writing.