I went to Costco yesterday and gorged on free samples of extra cheesy Nacho Doritos, frozen maple sausage and tart orange vanilla Vitamin water. This Thursday, my new novel, Rattlesnake Wedding, will be available for a free download for one day only. Is my book like an extra cheesy Dorito? Will a free sample lead to further sales?
Did I mention that I did NOT buy any of the products I sampled? I actually had forgotten what I had sampled by the time I made it to the parking lot and had to remember where I had parked.
I have a theory that if you have to strain to remember where you parked, you will forget one childhood memory, but that's another story.
Costco is a marketing juggernaut, but we are all still finding our way on the internet with book sales. My publisher and amazon are going to let people download the book for free on their kindles. Amazon lets you download the kindle app for free to your computer or mobile device. So technically, you can obtain both a kindle and a download in less time than waiting in the checkout line at Costco. Unlike the producs, I ingested, the book download will remain on your device so you can read it at your leisure.
Hell, the lines were so long at Costco yesterday, you could have downloaded the kindle app, downloaded the book and made it to page twenty before you had to show your Costco card.
The issue is whether someone who gets a free sample will recommend it to their friends who will plop down $5.99 for a download, or $14.99 for an actual book. I don't know the answer to that yet.
I pride myself on being able to to convince people to buy my book at bookstores. I could probably sit at Costco in a booth next to the Dorito's guy and give out free chapters.