If you write books, whether fiction or nonfiction, I have a suggestion for you that will seem counterintuitive.

Let people read them for free.

I'm not talking about a chapter or two. I'm talking about the whole book. It's not crazy. Think about it for a moment.

Millions of people go to the movies. A few months later, many of those same people will buy the DVD of that movie when it is released. Why? They already know the movie is good and it is something they will want to experience again and share with others. Book lovers are the same way. If they have access to your book, say online, they can read as much as they want while deciding to buy it. What better way to sell your new book then to let people read it? Can you think of a better way to generate word of mouth referrals? And if you're an unknown writer, there is no better way to get people to try your book and generate interest.

Why do you think Barnes and Noble bookstores are so popular?

There are several ways to do this once you choose a suitable platform to showcase your work. The easiest and cheapest way to showcase your books is to have an author website. There are many places to set up a free website or places like http://www.issuu.com that will show your book for free. I have a friend who leased a small commercial space and set up a free reading room with nothing but his books! The only limit is your imagination.

If you really want to generate interest for your work you can do what I do. I want to get readers involved in my work as much as possible, and there's no better way to do that then to involve them in your work.

On my site, all of my books are free to read, but I take it a step further. I also let readers review my drafts. It's kind of scary to be honest, letting people view unpolished work, but it's also exciting. Readers give me their opinions on content, meaning, and tease me about spelling and grammar mistakes. It has turned out to be a lot of fun, and people are begging me to hurry up and finish my next draft so they can read it. As far as I'm concerned, as a writer, that's all I want. I know the rest will fall into place in time.

If you're still not convinced, take one of your older works and experiment with the concept. I think you'll be surprised at the reactions you get.

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