Shortly after I began writing I Unlove You, I had this genius idea to make it FREE … FOREVER. Not a three day promo. Not a short story that leads to the main book. Not the first book in the series, either. Oh no, I mused about the idea of making a standalone novel I’d end up spending two years of my life on for FREE … FOREVER!!
I quickly pushed this stupid idea to one side because it was a damn stupid idea. But the thing is, I couldn’t shift it from my mind. I kept thinking about it. And the more I considered it, the less insane it started to sound. In fact, before long I began to see it as my greatest idea yet, and seen as we launched I Unlove You yesterday (for FREE .. FOREVER), I figure now is a good time to explain why this stupid idea manifested into one of my brightest.
In this Post you’ll uncover:
- WHY I’m making my latest novel FREE … FOREVER (despite spending two hard years working on it)
- WHO this novel is for (and why I’m inviting them on the entire writing & publishing journey – no holding back)
- HOW we’re doing this (a step-by-step guide into how we made I Unlove You Free, and the other elements that play a role)
But as important as how we did it is, you first need to appreciate WHY we’re doing this. Why this is no longer my book, but part of anyone who wishes to come along for the journey. I won’t lie, this entire forever free concept was borne out of frustration: the frustration of not selling enough books, the frustration of not making progress, the frustration of seemingly being unable to give my books away for free, let alone entice people to pay for them.
It didn’t remain this way for long, of course. Soon, I likened it to another part of my life I hold dear to my heart; music.
You see, for most of my young adulthood, the music industry fought against the internet, piracy, streaming, and a whole host more. Like publishing, the barrier to enter the music industry these days isn’t high. Just about anyone can share their art and their passion (like us authors can), which is wonderful, yet at the same time, dreadful.
Because all this really means is, you quickly become lost in a vast ether of white noise. Invisibility, quite frank, is our biggest enemy. And it is this where my frustrations lied, and it’s here where my forever free idea sparkled to life.
After all, music folk have given away their songs for a long time now. Some continue to fight it, and the record labels hate it, but the forward thinking individuals… they don’t whine about free and piracy and the seeming degraded value of their art…
They embrace it. They know if they can hook their listeners with their songs and provide a memorable experience – not just through their music, but their live shows, their limited edition offerings, the way they communicate and share their journey – bit-by-bit they’ll grow their following/tribe/community/whatever you wish to call it.
Today, music is about far more than the music. It involves everything that comes with it: the live shows, merch, online world, fan art, collaborations, youtube videos, partnership… If all you want to do is write and play music, good luck. If all you want to do is write books and take part in the odd signing session, good luck.
This post, and indeed everything we’re doing here, isn’t for you.
But I didn’t want to just write and sit on my hands. I love to play a role in my book’s entire journey (covers, marketing, printing, et al), and this is why I chose to self-publish my work in the first place. I want the freedom, and I want the freedom to craft a memorable relationship with you.
Giving away books for free isn’t new. Lots of authors and publishers do it, but in the way that I have planned… it’s rare.
It isn’t rare in the music world, though.
The true reason WHY I decided to make I Unlove You FREE … FOREVER is because I wish to transform the experience of reading into something far grander than the book itself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of this story. I believe it’s my best yet. It’s true to my heart and soul, and I poured everything of me into it.
But I want more. I wish to craft a memorable journey we can be part of together, and to do this I believe we need to smash down as many barriers as possible – just like my musical brethren have had to do with their songs.
For this to work, we need to reach lots of new people… people who have to take a chance on me and the book… work our way through the hoards of people who don’t wish to be part of this (because trust me, this isn’t for everyone), so we can hone in on those who do. This is what we talk about below, but before we get to the who, let’s first wrap up the why in a pretty little bow.
When I tell people I’ve made I Unlove You FREE … FOREVER they tend to squint their eyes and wonder why the hell I’d do such nonsense. I smile at them and say, “I intend to transform the experience of reading into something far grander than the book itself.”
This is the word to focus on. The experience of reading a book these days extends beyond the actual story. Yes, the story has to be good and immersive and tick all the boxes a good story needs to tick, but as readers… we want more. There’s too much noise and choice to accept otherwise, and so it’s the overall EXPERIENCE between you, me, us… that matters.
If you choose to read I Unlove You and Join this adventure we’re on, you’ll soon appreciate what I mean by this. From within the book, to your inbox, and social media, and one-on-one calls, and intimate communities where we get to chat, and the Unlove Store, and so much more… the entire reason this novel is FREE … FOREVER centres around the desire to craft a memorable and unique experience.
But I cannot stress enough how this experience isn’t for everyone, which is why we now turn our attentions to the all important WHO…
WHO THIS BOOK IS FOR – AND DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?
When I speak to fellow writers and editors, and those in the publishing industry, they often ask me, “Who’s your reader? What demographic do they fit into?”
They expect an answer like this: my reader is female, aged 16 – 35, and well educated.
WHAT THE HELL DOES THIS MEAN?!?
Don’t get me wrong, the vast majority of people who read my books do tend to be women, but I know plenty of guys who have too (and enjoyed them, might I add). Because I write New Adult and Coming-of-Age stories, it’s safe to presume lots of my readers do fit into that age bracket as well, but I know so many who are older and still relate to the characters and story.
As for the education part… I have no idea. Do you need a degree to read my books? Hell no!
But the thing that really riles me up about this is how it has me saying things like, my reader. You’re not my reader, you’re a human being who happens to enjoy books. You’re an awesome person who decided to read a book I wrote. I don’t wish to get to know you as a reader because I want to understand you as a person.
I happen to believe we’re friends-in-waiting, so when people ask me who I Unlove You is for, and what type of person will enjoy this Forever Free adventure we’re on, I say things like:
- Avid readers – people who love books and need them in their life
- People who desire more from the books they read – not just the story, but from the author too
- Human beings who value relationships, communication, and friendships
- Individuals who like books that tackle real issues, real people, and hardships that you can relate to yourself
I don’t care how old you are or whether you have a penis or not. I have no idea what type of reader you are, and I don’t really care. I do care what type of person you are, and to figure this out I believe I need to do a lot more than write a few novels. I need to befriend you. I need to involve you. I need to invite you into this and help you feel like you belong.
I think it’s this why the forever free idea started to make sense to me. I think this is why I couldn’t get it out of my head whilst I wrote I Unlove You’s first draft. The truth is, I’ve no idea how successful I’ll be as a writer, if I’ll ever win awards, or ever be able to live a life of freedom off of my books.
But I’ve begun to realise that this will only happen if I start to value people like you as more than readers. Beyond this, I realise it’ll bring so much joy into my life if I focus on friendship, transparency, honesty, and being part of a meaningful community.
This isn’t my community. I don’t even see this as me serving you or anything like that. I play my role in it just like you do, and together we’re part of something that matters. However big this happens to grow, or what happens in the future, I truly believe this will take me down a valuable path – one I hope brings value to you, too.
And with this new outlook and perspective on things, I quickly saw who wasn’t right for this book or journey we’re on:
- Mainstream readers who expect the same-old-same-old
- Those who wish to read a book and move on
- People who read, but don’t care for the message
- Individuals who only read today’s ‘cool‘ and popular books
At this moment in time, I have no definitive idea about what I’m doing. I don’t know whether this will work. I don’t know if anyone will give a damn or wish to be part of this. I have ideas, but what the hell do ideas mean if you don’t have anyone to share them with.
BUT I believe as the weeks and months tick on, I’ll learn more about you. I’ll learn more about us as a community, and what it is we need to do to bring value to it. I also appreciate that for this to work, we need to reach A LOT of people, because let’s face it, most people are mainstream readers who only want to read the same-old-same old.
Most folk do read a book and move on, and have no desire to interact with the author or be part of an awesome community.
And although I’m excited to offer I Unlove You to these people for FREE, and to invite them to be part of this, it isn’t these guys and gals I have my eye on. My focus is on finding and inviting those of you who are avid readers that expect more from the books you read; you awesome peeps who value friendship and communication and community.
Which type of person do you think you are? Which type of person would you like to be?
As someone with a marketing background and lots of books in me, I’m excited to learn how many books we need to giveaway in order to gather:
- 1,000 people who read the book
- 100 Amazon reviews
- 50 people who buy the paperback or something else form The Unlove You Store
- 1,000 Merry Misfit Members
- $10,000 in total income
- and a whole host of other things.
Just because this book is Forever Free doesn’t mean I have no hope in making money. I have bills to pay just like you, and the more I know in terms of the above, the easier it is to publish future books and ensure I take care of my family. I honestly believe the plans we have in store will help us understand those above metrics and help provide an ever more memorable journey.
BUT these aren’t the most important lessons I hope to learn. The above numbers and metrics are great, but above this I wish to better understand YOU as a person: who you are, what makes you tick, what worries you, who you love, why you love them, how you spend your day, and the rest…
You can’t measure such learnings, but I believe you learn more from them than anything you can ever measure. This is how friendships are borne, and this is how we’ll transform the reading of a single book into a memorable and meaningful experience.
So, you now understand why we’re doing this and who happens to be involved and invited. The time has come to show you HOW we’re doing it, and although this grand experience involves a lot of moving pieces, it all begins with I Unlove You being FREE … FOREVER.
And this is how we did it…
WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW HOW I DID ALL OF THIS?
If you’re a writer or curious reader, you may like to know HOW I did all of this. I’m happy to share the complete step-by-step process with you, but rather than add everything into this post, I created a separate PDF for you.
No need to sign up or add your email. Just click the button below and you’ll get instant access to it. Enjoy.
THIS IS WHY MY LATEST NOVEL IS FREE … FOREVER
Before you say anything, I know… this is a bloody long post.
But I hope you now appreciate why I Unlove You is FREE … FOREVER and how important the people involved are. I invite you to be part of this writing & publishing journey with us, because this isn’t about a single book, or any future book, for that matter. It’s about continuing to build a memorable and meaningful experience we can all be proud of.
Writing good books is a huge part of this. With your help and input, I know I’ll improve as a writer. With your help and involvement, I know we’ll reach more people – many of whom won’t be a good fit, but some will be. My question to you right now is, ARE YOU A GOOD FIT?
If you are, Download I Unlove You For FREE. From there, a whole journey of misfit adventures unravels before your eyes.
Finally, I hope you have a greater understanding of how we did this. Maybe you’re a writer yourself and wish to do something similar in the future. Or maybe you’re an avid reader who desires more from the books you read, and you’re keen to learn how books are published.
I’m an open book in this regard (pun intended), and as I grow as a writer, and as this community we’re involved in evolves, I’ll share more of what we do: How we do it, how you can too, but most important of all, why we do it and who we’re doing it for.
Without the why and the who, the how remains rather meaningless.
That’s it, these are reasons why I Unlove You is a Forever Free Novel. I hope this article clarifies a few questions that swarm your mind, and if you’ve yet to download I Unlove You and jumped into this epic adventure, I hope you’ll consider doing so. I also invite you to Join The Merry Misfits on Facebook, which is living proof of everything we’ve just talked about.
And if you have any questions, thoughts, feedback, or wish to chat… say hello to me on TWITTER or FACEBOOK. I look forward to chatting to you, my friend. Let’s do this together!
HAVE YOU GRABBED YOUR FREE COPY OF I UNLOVE YOU YET?
If you enjoy Coming-of-Age Novels that feature real moments you yourself can relate to, and love stories with a twist that leave you reaching for a tissue, you may like to introduce yourself to Aus & B.
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