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Web Publicity + Free = A Fighting Chance

Sci-fi author Scott Sigler uses podcasts, giveaways and grassroots Web marketing to build interest in his work. We’ve covered Sigler in the past, but his recent interview with The Independent illustrates the value lesser-known writers can derive from Web-based brand building and free distribution:

Sigler’s thinking — and this is the revolutionary bit — is that it’s worth making commercial sacrifices to secure a fan base, because fans will always want physical copies of the books, even if they’ve already heard an audio version for free.

“The only way to get people’s attention these days is to give them something for free,” Sigler says. “If someone walks into a bookstore, why would they pick up a Scott Sigler when there’s a Stephen King? They won’t. So I give my content away, give readers a chance to try it for free. And if they like my stuff, then guess what: they’ll go out and buy the book.”

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  • http://robertwalkeronline.com/welcome Robert Walker

    I don’t think there’s anything “revolutionary” about “making commercial sacrifices to secure a fan base.” In fact, that’s been a standard marketing strategy, for, well, ever.

    The only “new” thing going on here seems to be those in the book industry experimenting with different forms of content delivery (i.e., podcasts, free chapters online, etc.).

  • http://toc.oreilly.com/mac_slocum Mac Slocum

    @Robert: Good point regarding the “revolutionary” phrasing. Applying that word to what amounts to a grassroots campaign is a bit too breathless. I think it’s important to note that Sigler never defined his efforts that way — it’s simply a word that popped up in the original article.