Discovered this cool milestone today at Smashwords, an ebook distributor in the midst of their gi-normous summer giveaway. My ebooks have 1,000 “purchases” via Smashwords.
Now, most of these purchases have been free in giveaways. And people tend to hoard ebooks, unopened, after such sales. But at least a few have read my books. They post reviews; during future sales, they acquire later volumes in series; they bookmark me as an author they want to find again.
Nowadays I don’t care much about getting customers for my books but I most definitely want readers. Through the month of July, you can download any/all of my books from my page at Smashwords, in any/all ebook formats.
10 lords a-leaping, 1,000 readers hoarding…
Download it for free on Amazon on Wednesday July 25.
When rookie private eye Nica takes on a mysterious case, she enters a world of multiple dimensions called Frames, where buildings and lawn chairs can be sentient, a stray cat has great powers, books can be killers, and clouds can be spies. At home, Nica solves missing person cases; in the larger reality of the Frames, she gets swept into an escalating battle with stakes that could not be higher.
That describes the first novel in my FRAMES quartet.
Those who’ve read it will be happy to see that the new cover features Monk and Miles…
Download it for free on Amazon for one day only, Wednesday July 25.
A girl, a boy, a feral cat, pursuit by unhuman things… A 16-year-old girl keeps a diary about her formerly normal life, now twisted by horrible amazing events.
On Saturday, July 14, over on Amazon, you can get the first 3 novellas of the DDsE series, compiled into one ebook volume, DDsE: The Beginning.
DDsE is the diary of 16-year-old Ella … with occasional entries by the feral cat Grayfast. More generally, it is a young adult paranormal horror romance.
Learn more, read a sample, or get your free download of DDsE: The Beginning here.
(For those keeping score: DDsE started out as daily blog posts but most readers preferred to read it in longer compilations. Thus were the novellas born. DDsE will eventually consist of 9 novellas. All 9 should be done by the end of this year. I’m publishing the novellas individually over on Smashwords, where the first 6 are already available (and also free, through the end of July). I’m combining the novellas into fewer, longer books on Amazon. The second Amazon compilation (novellas 4, 5, 6) will publish in mid-September. You can pre-order DDsE: The Middle now.) (Ready for the DDsE publication quiz?)
Am I making this harder than it should be?
Leave it free or stop the freebie? That is the question.
A detailed recap of the situation so far: a couple days ago, I was surprised to discover that Amazon was offering my ebook, WAS IT A RAT I SAW, for free. It turns out this happened because Amazon will not be undersold, and Sony-US (also unbeknownst to me) was offering the book for free … That, in turn, happened because Sony-US did not update its price after a free promotion ended on Smashwords (which distributes to Sony-US). Sony-US has now updated its price, so Amazon has no reason to continue the free promotion.
If that recap is confusing and doesn’t seem worth the time to sort out, here is the bottom line: it is now up to me. Do I continue the free promotion on Amazon? Answer: I dunno. So: anyone with experience or opinion, please weigh in!
Here are my conflicting facts and questions:
- In a couple days, there have been more than 1000 free downloads (to me that seems like a lot)!
- Are these downloaders readers? reviewers? Or simply hoarders of free stuff?
- My first priority as a writer is to have people actually read my novels.
- My second priority is to get reviews on line.
- Third priority (yet still a priority!) is to have people purchase my novels.
- My “sales” ranking among the free ebooks has moved from infinity to measurable.
- The “sales” rankings seem quite sensitive to minor variations in totals. Mine now fluctuates between #200 and #400.
- How long might it take to break the Top 100 Free Ebooks list?
- Is there value in doing so?
What do you think about maintaining the freebie? I’m inclined to let it ride for a few more days and see what evolves. Is there a downside I’m not seeing?
P.S. To download your own free copy of WAS IT A RAT I SAW, start here.
P.P.S. Photo from michaelfruchter.com.
Cover art by Lars Huston.
The author is sometimes the last to know. Amazon currently offers my novel WAS IT A RAT I SAW for free. I don’t know how long the promotion will last. I don’t know how Amazon customers are even made aware of it, yet there are many downloads, so somebody is in this loop!
I have chosen to avoid snarky reactions about wanting to retain control. I am instead opting for This is an interesting turn of events. Wonder where it will all lead.
Anyway – if you had meant to get an e-copy during my recent Smashwords promotion, you might as well pop over to Amazon and get a copy there.
WAS IT A RAT I SAW is a psychological thriller involving split brain research, animal rights, and a love quadrangle. If you do read it, please post a review! (Let me know if you need guidance about how or where to post reviews.)