Recent quotes:

The Strategic Use of Book Giveaways

The giveaway is one of the more powerful tools in the new author’s arsenal because it’s a way to get attention when you may not have anything else going for you. There is no demand curve for you yet. And especially if you have no publisher backing you, then it’s important to provide social proof to potential readers, or have some way of indicating merit before they’ll invest time or money. (Thus the race for reviews, social media presences, etc—anything that indicates your work deserves attention.)

Amazon fosters a content glut to attract customers for other products

The problem, says Aaron Shepard, elaborating upon his “party’s over” blog post, is competition: There’s an enormous amount, given how easy it is to upload a book onto the Kindle. Even a niche that seems specialized—like soapmaking, the subject of a self-published book by Shepard’s wife, Anne Watson—faces dozens of competing Kindle titles. Meanwhile, Shepard says, Amazon has conditioned readers to pay next to nothing for books. “You need enough books to compensate for the lousy payoff. And of course, that’s a perpetual invitation to produce a lot at a lower level of quality. It’s a treadmill . . . What they [authors] generally don’t realize is that their treadmill is actually a generator, and it’s mostly for powering Amazon.” He explains: “Books have always been a loss leader for Amazon, a way to attract customers for more profitable items. So it suits Amazon very well to have an army of self-publishing authors, mostly working for pennies per hour, supplying Amazon with dirt-cheap content to keep customers coming to the site.”

How to hack your way to the top of any Amazon bestseller category with free and cheap books | Creativindie

The “Feel Good Myth” is only 21 pages! You could write it in a day or two! You don’t need to price aggressively with your main book. Instead, write a bunch of mini-books like this, or “long form essays’ with a nice cover and keep them at free or 99cents (they are different lists, so you really want content in both). Dominate the top of every category related to your niche. Get them to sign up to your optin by promising free stuff on your website. Use the strategy to grow your list and keep visibility high – use these little books to drive traffic and sales of your main book. Here’s a book I put out yesterday, without much fanfare, at #1 in the “Time Management” category (also pretty competitive). I’ll stay at #1 for the next few days, and then I’ll be #1 in the paid list after I switch to 99cents.