In the spirit of scientific inquiry, I have set Firehearted free for the day. Some authors report increased sales for all their books after doing a free promo, so we’ll see if it works for me too. Plus, it will help get the word out about my books in general.
Speaking of getting the word out, I direct your attention to the right-hand section of the site, which now features a handy-dandy newsletter signup! If I’m going to release a book, or show up at a convention, you will know before the hoi polloi. I promise to only send email for important news and not share jam recipes or funny cat videos. Unless there is a demand for funny cat videos, in which case I will probably make that a separate list.
Stay tuned for upcoming short story releases this month, and news about the new books coming out mid-year!
Recently Amazon extended an invitation to authors using its KDP program to take part in the Kindle Free Library. It works like this: there is a monthly pot of money, to be divided among those who have their books downloaded, the book available in the library can’t be offered for sale anywhere but Amazon, and they want a 90 day minimum window for all this. This has caused a great deal of heated discussion in indie publishing circles, concisely summarized in this post by David Gaughran. I recommend reading it, and the comments, to get a sense of the range of opinions on this topic.
Mr. Gaughran makes some good points, among which is everyone’s circumstances are different. He has chosen not to participate. Others also have indicated hell will be lightly covered in frost before they will even consider it. Me, I signed up Firehearted without a blink. I don’t expect to get more than a few dollars, if any, from the monthly pot. That’s not the point. I’m a new writer and what I really want right now is reader eyeballs (no, not in a jar). In order to download my book from the Kindle library, a reader is basically saying I want that book for my one free monthly book. A compliment, no? That book is not available to them after the month is up, too–so if they like my writing, they have to PAY to buy the book. If they don’t know the book exists, though, I don’t make a sale. I want people to know my book exists. I’ll take a look near the end of the mandatory 90 day period, and if I think I’ve gotten all the promotional boost I can get, I’ll take it out of the library program.
Some of the more…emotional responses from indie writers seem to completely ignore the fact that you can remove your books from the Library just as easily as you put them in. It isn’t forever. People can still BUY your books while they are in the Library. I know this for a fact because three people have downloaded Firehearted from the Library, and over 20 people have *bought* it. Yes I’m losing out on Barnes & Noble sales, but I wasn’t getting that many on my first book so I took the risk. And again, it’s only for 90 days. Could the program be fine-tuned? Of course, and I’ll be really surprised if Amazon doesn’t. Yes, they are a business in search of a profit but there is no profit in driving their content creators away. There’s still an element of the Wild West in epublishing. People wanting stability and predictability should hibernate for a few years.
And now book #2 has gone live on Amazon. Only Amazon for now, as I am participating in the Kindle Free Library program, which requires a 90 day exclusive. Two people have already borrowed the book, so my cunning plan appears to be working! So, if you have a Kindle and Amazon Prime, you can download my book for free! Tell all your friends!
Firehearted is a more traditional epic fantasy (still no elves). It’s a bit darker and more violent than The Last Mage Guardian, just so you know. It is also responsible for me getting into dressage riding. I attended a panel at a convention years ago, on “Horses are not Bicycles”. I believe Catharine Asaro and Elizabeth Moon were present, and they made it clear that the generic fantasy trope of a horse that never bit, or kicked, or did anything other than stare blankly while the characters did things on them was purest hooey. I’m a scientist by training, so of course I had to find out for myself and took some intro riding lessons — and got hooked. I’m here to tell you, horses are NOT bicycles, and are much more fun for that reason. A bicycle will never give you big dewy mournful eyes at the sight of a carrot, because it has NEVER been fed. Ever. Horses will disagree with your plans for your mutual movement if they feel it is too much effort. When you can make it plain that fighting you is more effort than doing what you want, you are a true rider … and when you and the horse move as one, with the most subtle of hints, it is amazing beyond words.
I was quite prepared to wait for months to see sales start on The Last Mage Guardian, but you fixed that. Then you posted glowing reviews on Amazon and GoodReads, without any hints from me. I’m liking this self-publishing gig a LOT. You guys are the best!
UPDATE: To address The Thomas’ question, I am currently up to 9 sales at Barnes & Noble, and 54 on Amazon, and it’s only been up for 10 days. This may not seem like much but it is phenomenal for self-published ebooks with no prior publicity or fame.
My first book is now available for purchase at the Amazon Kindle store, and at Barnes & Noble. It’s been an interesting learning process, and I’m quite pleased with the way it has turned out.
More information about the book here.
I will be publishing another book in mid-December, so stay tuned for that!
One rocket is being fueled for takeoff, and the other is being loaded on that giant tracked vehicle that is the size of most buildings and moves at a top speed of “amble”. Current projections are that Book 1 will go live in a week or less, depending on how fast the proofreaders are. Book 2 is back from the editor, so there is hope to get that to proofreaders by the end of November.
(And I’m writing the first draft of book 6, so there are many delights in store!)
Greetings, and welcome to my website! I’ll be posting more when my books actually launch, and I’ll try to get more detail up before then. Future plans include an option to buy the ebooks directly without going through any of the big online stores, lists of music I listen to while I write, historical tidbits I filed the serial numbers off of to write my books, and a petting zoo. Maybe. If it doesn’t violate the rules with my hosting service.