One of my authors recently drew my attention to StoryOrigin, which is a fairly new company offering authors lots of promotional tools. The services are all free right now too, so definitely worth finding out more.
I asked the founder, Evan Gow a few questions.
1. Tell us about StoryOrigin
StoryOrigin is a marketing tool and community of authors that work together to build their mailing lists, find reviewers, and increase their sales / page reads.
2. How can authors use StoryOrigin? There's a huge variety of other ways authors use StoryOrigin. Below are just a few of the highlights, but believe it or not, there's even more you can do with StoryOrigin.
Finding Newsletter Swaps: Newsletter swaps allow you to reach a new audience with your book by another author in your genre sharing it with their readers. If you're not familiar with newsletter swaps, a basic example is this: I agree to include a link to your book in my next newsletter and you agree to include a link to my book in your next newsletter.
Finding Group Promos: Group promos are another type of cross-promotion that allow your book to get in front of a new audience. Instead of a 1-to-1 swap though, a group of authors will all list their books on a single landing page on StoryOrigin, and then all of the authors will include a suggestion in the newsletter for their readers to check out that landing page.
Building Your Mailing List: You can put your reader magnet - a free book / story that you use to entice readers to signup to your mailing list - on StoryOrigin and cross-promote it through newsletter swaps and group promotions, or include a link to it in the back of your book.
Finding Reviewers: When you create Review Copy on StoryOrigin, readers can apply to get a free download of the book when they say where they would be willing to leave reviews of the book. You can then promote the review copy application link to the mailing list you build through StoryOrigin or cross-promote it in newsletter swaps and group promos.
Delivering eBook Files: If you need a way for readers to get a download of your eBook on their preferred reading device, StoryOrigin has you covered. StoryOrigin provides a seamless delivery mechanism for readers to download your book and provides customer support if your readers run into any issues.
3. What are the benefits of these services to authors?
StoryOrigin becomes your command central and saves you time when building your mailing list, finding reviewers, and increasing sales / page reads.
4. How much does it cost?
Right now, StoryOrigin is completely free as I am still working out what the pricing model will be.
My goal with pricing figuring out the pricing model is to make sure that you can see a return on investment regardless of whether you're just starting out or already have a huge audience, so it will certainly be an affordable product. Right now, my main goal is to make StoryOrigin a best-in-class product for each single step of the book marketing process.
5. Can you give a few real-life examples of how authors are successfully using your services?
I recently heard from K. A. Parkinson that she hit USA Today Bestseller status by taking part in a box set with other authors.
Getting onto the USA Today Bestseller list is fairly difficult as you generally need to sell >5,000 books (or box sets in this case) through Amazon and >500 on other platforms in less than a week!
Since I knew she used StoryOrigin before, I emailed her and asked her: "Do you feel StoryOrigin played a pivotal role in this?"
Her response: "Honestly, I would have to say yes. We were required to set up a HUGE amount of newsletter swaps and the convenience of [StoryOrigin] was such a stress reliever! I used it all the time, and even got other people in our box set to use it as well. I got to where I wasn’t using Facebook groups at all to find the swaps I needed—too much work!"
There are also lots of stories of authors growing the mailing lists by over a thousand subscribers in their first month on StoryOrigin or getting thousands of page reads in Kindle Unlimited from group promos.
6. Do you have more services planned for authors?
I'm definitely planning on continuing to expand StoryOrigin's capabilities in the future, but at the moment, I really focused on honing StoryOrigin's current features and making them all work together seamlessly, so that authors can spend less time on marketing and more time on writing.