I'd love to know about others' experiences selling/giving-away their writing.

I met a full time novelist by being the first to review one of his books. He told me this:

...maybe a dozen people read XXXXXX after a year's worth of marketing effort trying to give the book away for free.

re: Audiobook – After 6 months of effort, paying actors for their services, I think I managed to sell (1) audiobook. Nope, not going there again.


Thanks for sharing that. Interesting. I don’t have the insights from experience, but I can make an educated guess: People (readers) have limited time and are easily distracted from ‘free’ content because they have no investment in it, whether money, by contract, barter exchange, whatever.

I’ve been on the reader/receiving end of free material and, unfortunately, I rarely follow through with consuming. Again, because of lack of time and investment.

Try exploring exchange scenarios.

@wion The point you make about not being invested in a written work you haven't "invested" in: paid for, is likely, right on the mark.

Of course, it brings up the question of how does one convince readers to part with their time, and money, for an unknown work?

I've spent countless hours sifting through free stuff. Although most of it is embarrassingly bad, I have found some works that are simply astonishing. Regardless, they will likely never go anywhere. So sad.


It’s an old game on the classic (publisher) side. They handle a lot of that and will find your developmental editor to work with before putting anything up for sale. The trick is to sell *them* on the story. And you probably could with yours. Escaping Russia (in love?) by small sailboat in big seas sounds like a seller. Honestly, that’s the way I would go on that. So learn how to write the proposal. ;)


I might be predicting incorrectly where you’re coming and going with all this, and if so just brush me off. But, if you ever finish a first draft manuscript, or a significant amount of one, I would be willing and *committed* to reading and reviewing it for you in the form of an editorial letter. My commitment would come by something in exchange, if not money then some form of written recognition/acknowledgement I could use later to benefit my own editing pursuits. That’a a barter. ;)


Btw, I’ve been in the Bering Sea many times in foul whether, at another time in life, so I can well appreciate the conditions you may have experienced, and the kind of fear/stress/excitement too.

That’s the kind of thing you want to look for in an editor, in fact, regardless who. Someone who shares interest or has experience in some way with what you’re writing about.

That’s all from me. I’m off to bed.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Writing Exchange

Writing Exchange is a small, focused community for poets, bloggers, and every kind of writer. This is a place to share your stories and #smallstories, talk about writing, and get to know other writers here. Learn more about us.