Sunday, March 18, 2012

Milk’s Just The Beginning…

As a long-time romantic, avid reader, and now published romance author, I’ve never liked the adage that encourages us to reject the cow for free milk.   On the one hand, I get it.  In marketing terms, a person can devalue a product by giving it away.  However, can you really devalue something that no one knows about?

If you searched the web right now, you’d find several authors giving away free books.

Here’s the thing.  Writers want readers to give our stories a try.  In fact, our characters live and breathe by this notion.  But give our stories away when we’re trying to make a living writing?  Does that make sense?

Writers, like most creative people, are a complex combination of innovative energy and debilitating insecurity.  We agonize that our words are not good enough.  Yet on some basic level, we believe readers will enjoy our stories.  When we give  them away, we aren’t devaluing our story, we’re shouting to the world that we have something of major value, something that if you just tried, you might love.  Love enough to read our other books.  Love enough to buy our other books. Love enough to keep reading and buying our books throughout the years. 

In a marketing article I just read, the author encouraged that: “When your product or service is superior to the competition you are going to need an effective way to get the word out and educate potential customers and clients.”

Put another way: “The world will not beat a path to your door for an insanely great mousetrap. In fact, the better your mousetrap, the more difficult it is to get people to embrace it because it is so different from what people are used to.”-- Guy Kawasaki

And as far as that old cow goes?  The cow has so much more to offer than free milk, and anyone who doesn’t recognize that is just plain short-sighted.

  1. A cow eats grass then produces manure, which fertilizes the grass
  2. The manure is used to fertilize fruits and vegetables
  3. The cow eats more grass, which has now been fertilized
  4. The cow produces milk and cream (in addition to…well, you know, but let’s focus on that milk), which makes ice cream…and enhances our coffee…and produces cheese and cakes and yogurt and… well, you get the picture

So really, why limit yourself to free milk when the cow is offering you so much more???

Today, you can download several of my books for free on Amazon. 

For a limited time, you can also download more awesome books at

Next time you see a cow, or an author self-promoting despite how painfully shy she is, give it or her some love!  They’ll appreciate it—as I appreciate all my wonderful supporters.  Thank you!

Please comment on this blog post to be entered into a $10 Amazon gift card giveaway.

Bio: Virna DePaul is a former criminal prosecutor and now national bestselling author of the Para-Ops Novels.  She also writes contemporary romantic suspense for Harlequin Romantic Suspense (It Started That Night, May 2012) and HQN (Shades Of Desire, June 2012).  Sign up for her mailing list for access to her monthly writing “cheat sheets” and reader contests.

Virna's latest release is Chosen By Sin, Book 3 in the Para-Ops Novels, which you can purchase in paperback (or download the e-book for free for a limited time) at Amazon.  Find out more at

Chosen By Sin:
The longest life isn’t always the happiest one…

Five years after the Second Civil War ends, humans and Otherborn—humanlike creatures with superhuman DNA—still struggle for peace. To ensure the continued rights of both, the FBI forms a Para-Ops team with a unique set of skills.

For now, werebeast Dex Hunt serves on the Para-Ops team, but his true purpose is to kill the werewolf leader he blames for his mother’s death. Biding his time, Dex keeps his emotional distance from his team members and anyone else he might care for, including a mysterious vampire he met in L.A.

As a doctor, vampire Jesmina Martin has dedicated her immortal life to healing others. As a scientific researcher, she’s trying to prolong life spans, in particular those of her adoptive dragon-shifter family and the werewolf who saved her as a child. Her greatest hope lies with Dex, a werebeast she believes can gift immortality to others.

Only Dex knows nothing about his gift or the fact Jesmina wants to harness it. After a passionate night together neither expects to see the other again. Weeks later, they are reunited in France and forced to acknowledge a fragile miracle—a new life struggling to survive. At the same time, they must stop a group of rebel shape-shifters hoping to unleash every demon in hell. But before Dex and Jesmina can save their child or the world, they must relinquish their secrets, face their fears, and open themselves to love.

***Virna's winner is Michele L.!!  Please email with your info! Thanks!!***


angel said...

I just finished chosen by sin and downloaded the free books. I cannot wait to read them! Thank you for the contest

Virna DePaul said...

Hi all, if the link for Wild For Him isn't working, it's:

Angel, thank you for downloading and hope you enjoy them! :)

Lil said...

Free books are a fabulous way for to try a new to me author. I have always leant on reading a couple of random excerpts of books to get a feel on what stories I want to purchase. It has been harder now that I read many ebooks. Have downloaded a few of the books from the site. Thanks so much!

little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

Crystal Blood said...

I love when writers give me a chance at a free book and get to know their readers. In all honesty, I've downloaded a lot of free books from authors and then proceeded to buy more of their work.

KhelseyJackson said...

I would love to read your books! Free books have introduce me many of my now favorites!!

Pretty Eyes said...

Love the Para-Ops series! Thanks for the other books.

prettyeyes at gmail dot com

Gail Nichols said...

Ms.DePaul,I downloaded your free books and love them. you are now one of my favorite authors:) Because good authors like you give us free books it allows those of us with limited funds a chance to try new authors and when we do get money we go out to purchase your books because we want to read

Virna DePaul said...

LilMar -- I hear you, I have a huge book-buying addiction and always have! Thanks for commenting!

Crystal Blood -- Hey, no wonder we're friends, right?? Good luck with the giveaway.

KhelseyJackson -- I hope you enjoy my books. Thanks!

Pretty Eyes -- Yay, so glad you enjoy the series. :) That means a lot to me!

Gail Nichols -- Thank you, thank you!! It's always scary putting myself out there, but it's worth it to connect with a reader who loves my stories. Thank you and good luck!!

Barbara E. said...

I love it when an author offers their short stories or novels for free. I've discovered quite a few new authors that are now auto buys for anything they write. And I usually share the freebies with my sister, who usually downloads everything available as soon as she reads their book. So I absolutely think it's a great strategy.

Leni said...

My introduction to free books has lead me to quite a few of my auto-buy authors. After reading the first book I end up trying to find out about the author for works in progress and older releases.
It is especially good for people that are new to ebooks, Ereaders and those wanting to try new genres.

Juliana's World said...

I love free e-books but unfortunately, I can't download those in Amazon because my country is in Indonesia. I like the synopsis. Btw, good luck for your books.

Dina said...

hi Virna, enjoyed your post today, thanks :)

Barbara said...

Thx for the freebies! I love downloading free books...I've found they're a great way to discover/sample new authors/series. Which in return...I usually become a huge fan and follow up to buy each new release!

barbbattaglia @

Debby said...

Your books look fabulous. I am adding them to my list.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Chrisbails said...

Definately downloading after I comment. You are a new author for me and always looking for new books to check out. Would love to win the gift card, so please choose me for the giveaway.

Juliana's World said...

Forgot to add my e-mail.

Julianaekin@yahoo. Com

Pat Cochran said...

Thanks for the downloads! Much
"Good Luck" with your writing!
BTW, I just signed up for your
newsletter. Look forward to
hearing from you!

Pat C.

marybelle said...

Free books are a fabulous way to discover authors new to me. I try, I like, I buy.

host said...

I have discovered several great authors through giveaways. For example, after reading one free S. Kenyon's book I bought all of them, and I am still her fateful reader. There are more examples but this is the biggest in relation to amount of books form one author I bought after reading just one :) I think these giveaways are very important for international readers that can only buy books in English (usually romance books aren't available in local language) and can't rent them in library to give a try to new authors.

host said...

Forgot to say THANK FOR DOWNLOADS :)

Michelle Bledsoe said...

With the free books being give away, especially by indie authors, I have found so many fabulous new authors. If they have written more than the one book that was given away, I always buy their other books. When the ereaders were first introduced, I thought no I don't want one, nothing will take the place of my print books. Now though I really love my ereader and through it have been able to read those new authors. I think the giving a free book is a wonderful idea to get an author out there to new readers.
Also thanks for the books.

Linda said...

I´m loving this freebie party and i´ve got a TBR list in my Kindle a mile long =D but i´m not complaining. The strange thing is that for each free book i usually end up buying two more, just to know how the series continues, so it must be a win-win for everyone.
Love the giveaway and i´m keeping my fingers crossed!
best wishes, Linda xo

Virna DePaul said...

Thank you to everyone for your supportive comments! I'm glad to hear you confirm free books have connected you to some favorite authors! Good luck with the giveaway! :)

Michele L. said...

Wow! Thanks for the free downloads Virna! I haven't read your books yet so this will give me a chance to read your books. Your books sounds fantastic! I love paranormal books and contemporary romance books! Win-Win situation! Thanks again! Congrats on your new book! It looks like a winner!