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Gail Z. Martin
  • Charlotte, NC
  • United States
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Dark Fantasy--Love it, hate it or live it?
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Started this discussion. Last reply by Skeeze Whitlow Aug 18, 2009.


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Something About Me and My Book:
Do free sample downloads hurt or help a new book?
My belief is that, now more than ever, free sample downloads help to sell readers on your book, especially if they haven’t gotten to know you yet as an author. Readers today are pinching pennies just like everyone else, and before they pay good money for a book by an author they haven’t read before, they want to know whether or not they’ll like it. They want to read a sample—and often, a bigger sample than the few pages they might see on Amazon.
Sampling is a time-tested successful marketing technique. Food kiosks at the mall offer you a bite of their best dish because they know that if you like one bite, you’ll come back for the whole platter. Retailers and service providers offer free samples for the same reason. A free sample overcomes resistance and makes it risk-free to give something new a try.
A growing number of authors don’t just stop with free excerpts; they offer the whole book for free, and report that doing so helps, rather than hurts, sales. Scott Sigler and Cory Doctorow are among the loudest proponents, but many other authors have also commented on the effect.
In my own experience, not only does offering free sample excerpts of my own books boost readership and sales, but when I offer (with permission of the authors) special online events with free samples from my author friends’ books, the whole online event gains more visibility and everyone wins with more web traffic. Check out my Days of the Dead blog tour that’s going on right now, and you’ll see seven different sample excerpts of my own books, plus samples from 13 participating authors. Everyone wins!
What do you think about free excerpts and sample downloads? I’d love to hear.
Thanks for reading this post—it’s part of my week-long Days of the Dead blog tour, so please catch the rest of my posts, contests, giveaways and goodies at and my other partner sites. You’ll also find free downloads from my books, as well as freebies from some of my author friends as Trick-or-Treat favors. Download Vampires Inc. by Rick Taubold & Chris R. Hosey (Trick-or-Treat goody #9\free\vampireinc.pdf ) plus a preview chapter of my new book, The Sworn
Upcoming 2010/2011 Dark Lady's Chosen Book Tour Dates:
October 17-19: October Carolina Renaissance Festival
October 25 - 31: Days of the Dead Blog Tour
December 4: Barnes & Noble, Carolina Place mall
December 11: Books A Million, Concord Mills
January 14 – 17, 2011: Arisia, Boston, MA
January 21-23, 2011: Chattacon, Chattanooga, TN

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Gail Z. Martin's Blog

News about the Chronicles of the Necromancer series from Gail Z Martin

I was just at StellarCon in High Point. It’s a great con with a lot of opportunities to really talk with people. Spent time with friends James Maxey, Ed Schubert, Rich Sigfrit, Mur Lafftery, Davey Beauchamp, Tony Ruggiero and others. But don’t take my word for it—watch the vlog!

Next weekend, I’m at LunaCon in Hyde Park, NY.

Just got my invitation to return to the Carolina Renaissance Festival in October. Still working out the… Continue

Posted on March 18, 2009 at 4:43pm

Find out what's new

I have established blogs on MySpace at and on with my profile page. Please check there for all of the news, or subscribe to my newsletter at … Continue

Posted on September 13, 2007 at 10:01am

Comment Wall (28 comments)

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At 2:52pm on December 8, 2011, Fernando Sobenes said…

Hello Gail. My name is Fernando Sobenes and I want to invite you to read the prologue and the first two chapters of my novel: "The Evil Visitor" in my blog The Evil Visitor

Also you can watch the book trailer.

Best regards,


At 12:14pm on August 3, 2011, Author Aleja Bennett said…
At 7:44pm on October 5, 2009, Charles Lightwalker said…
Welcome to the group, do you want to do a link exchange? Charles
At 4:26pm on October 2, 2009, John Cmint said…
Hi Gail,

Congratulations on your fantasy series, The Chronicles of The Necromancer with The Summoner and The Blood King. I just wanted to mention to you a website I built called It's for authors to promote their book. You do so by posting your book's first chapter, giving readers a peek into your book. The site is free and the list of books is growing, so please check it out. :) BTW, good luck with your books!

p.s. You can also check out this blog post on the Already Published Ning Network, I explain how to post your book. You can also learn more about the website there.

At 8:16pm on September 9, 2009, Chris A. Jackson said…
I still stare at the cover of Scimitar Moon, and I thank you every time I do... You're the best!
At 6:27pm on May 31, 2009, Barbara J Henry said…
Hello Gail,
Thanks so much for wanting to be my friend. I gladly accept.
Continued success to oyu.

Barbara Henry
At 1:31am on May 31, 2009, Sandra said…
Hello Gail,

Thank you for the friendship! I am glad to meet so many wonderful authors here including you! You started early with your writing career, I am impressed! :))

Best wishes,
At 1:30am on May 31, 2009, V said…
Hi, I thank you for your friendship!:)
Nice to meet you.:)
At 7:53pm on May 30, 2009, Carlos Merriweather said…
Thank you for being a friend...
At 7:52pm on May 30, 2009, SJ said…
Hi Gail,
Thanks for the invite. Delighted to have you as a friend!

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