Thursday, April 5, 2012

Free

I promise, this A to Z Challenge post will be somewhat useful in terms of writing. (G post, however, will not be. It will still be fun, but it has nothing to do with writing - or Red Vs Blue. You've been warned.)

Anyways, as you may or may not know, I wrote a short story called Influence of Love. It's a small thing, 5,000 words-ish. I wrote it because I heard a lot of authors who were doing well say that giving a freebie out is a good way to let readers sample your work. It seemed like good advice and I had been trying to write a bunch of short stories to publish for free. I just didn't have enough ideas, so I took one and expanded on it. Then I sent it out to a few beta readers (I admit, it didn't get as much polishing as Being Human, but I think it got enough) and made a simple cover myself. Once I figured it was done (enough, since we all know as writers our books are never really done) I published it on Smashwords.

Holy downloads Batman! I had almost 400 downloads in the first day. But it never seemed to translate into any sales. I put a sample of Being Human at the end with links to buy like the authors had suggested, but my sales remained the same. I wondered if I should put it on Amazon as well but I was hesitant because Amazon doesn't let indie authors list stories for free. It would have to be 99cents and I'd have to get them to lower it. I really didn't want anyone paying 99cents for a 5K story. Especially when I meant it to be free.


I finally decided to go for it and it took about two weeks before Amazon dropped the price to free. (Note, when reporting lower price, use the B&N link if you can. Apparently, Amazon hates Smashwords or something.) My first day Influence of Love was free, I saw a little under two hundred downloads. Nothing as big as Smashwords, but my little story reached #40 in Short Stories. I took a screen shot. I was proud. When I posted Influence of Love to Amazon I didn't expect much in terms of sales. I figured it'd take some time. People love free stuff and often download all they can and then never read half of the free stories they got. I'm guilty of that myself.


But, I am pleased to announce that having my short on Amazon seems to be working. Most of my sales seem to come at the end of the month and the beginning I see very little. Already, I have sales and last month's sales were higher. I still have to watch a bit to see if my sales keep climbing and compare to downloads of my short. So far though, I think I made the right choice and it's working in my favor.

Bookmark incentive. Guess what my G post will be about and out of the guesses I'll pick one person to send a bookmark too. Or, if you guess right, I'll send a bookmark. I'll give you a hint. It's not about Green Day (I know shocking) and it scares me.

3 comments:

  1. Ooo, I have heard rumors of such advice, but never proof that it worked. Good to hear it does!

    G...G...giraffes? Not that they're very scary.

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  2. That's very interesting. This sort of info is hard to come by so I hope you'll let us know how things progress.

    cheers,
    mood
    Moody Writing
    @mooderino
    The Funnily Enough

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  3. This is very interesting. I'm in between projects right now, and someone else mentioned the prospect of a short story. Hmmm...

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