here. And I'm giving away a free press release at my new blog.
A little over a month ago, I did a post on RWA's new mobile app Novel Engagement (NE). I said I was waiting and watching and needed to do research. The truth is NE is still new, so I'm still watching, but at least for now this is not where I recommend you put your marketing dollars. Because, at least, in it's early stages NE has some problems.
You all know Tuesday is Romance Roundup here at Romance World. I collect titles that have either yet to be released or have only very recently released, and I post the most interesting among them. I rely on ARC sites to do this. I like Net Galley. I'm a moderator at IndieArcs.com so I've been using that one too. They have one thing in common: I can find books by category. I downloaded NE and had A LOT of books to sort through--some with scandalous covers and lucked out that my baby wasn't around. So I played with the app looking for ways to sort. I could sort by author. And there was this nifty little feature called "lists," that I just knew was going to help me. The problem is there were no lists. I would have had to create them. So I must sort through books, and I'm not going to do that when I'm not looking for something specific. So as a book blogger, this tool is inconvenient. It does not help me quickly connect with the next big thing which is what I want. As a reader, this is a problem, because with no good way to sort I have to see lots of things I don't want in hopes of finding something I do want.
And being able to search by author? Yeah. That's not helpful if you're the author. Why? Part of giving a book away is about discoverability. Readers don't take chances with an author they don't know. Part of an ARC is not just marketing one book, but marketing your brand, all of your books. If the only way for someone to quickly find your books is by knowing your name, the ARC isn't working. You're reaching already fans. Already fans are awesome. They support us in lots of ways. They should get a free book from time to time. The problem is to move your career along you need to be gaining new fans. And at some point, already fans will buy the book. So you're giving away a book to someone who probably would have bought it, and you're missing new readers too. This is not where you want to put your marketing dollars.
What's your take on novel engagement?
p.s.Karla Soulie won the Amazon Give Away.