Friday, March 16, 2012

Desperation or guidance?

Last weekend I tried a marketing experiment. As I have noted here and elsewhere I have very little time to do the things I need to do when it comes to getting my work out there and moving. In a move that was either sheer desperation, or Divine guidance I took a chance and put my novella The Last Raid up for free. That's right it was free, the cost was nada, zip, zilch or zero. At first I was just amazed as the copies went flying off Amazon and onto computers, Kindles, iPads, and smart phones around the world. Some went to the UK a few went to Germany, and one even went to France. The title spent most of the weekend at either the number 1 or 2 spots on the free list. But what did it all mean in the long run? Since the promotion ended Tuesday morning my story has made a steady climb up the charts and has spent the majority of the time in the top ten titles on the Kindle Westerns list and on the Westerns list for all books. So it has been ranking right up near the top of the list that includes all paperbacks, hardbacks, and Kindle books. I have jokingly said that you can now call me a bestselling author. The surprise of it all is that I really am a bestselling western author. As for the question of desperation or guidance, I'm going with guidance. Along the way I have had a lot of help and the biggest help of all is my wife Polly, without her encouragement none of this would have happened.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


It has been a wild week, fighting with the paperwork to get back into the U.S. from Quebec. Dealing with rude customs officials at the Port of Baltimore. Spending time with a friend and fellow writer Robert Bidinotto and seeing the movie Act of Valor, which was amazing. It also included taking a chance and making use of an Amazon kindle promotion program which allows me to offer free downloads of one of my published pieces. So I chose to make The Last Raid available for free. The offer started at midnight on Friday and will end at midnight on Monday. The response has been wonderful with over 6000 downloads (at the time of this writing) in the U.S. and more in UK, Germany and France. Now if it will turn into paid sales or not is another question. The story has been at the top of the best seller (is it really a best seller if it is free?) list for Westerns since Friday afternoon spending the majority of that time in the number one slot. When counting all of the free downloads available it climbed as high as number 42. The big hope is that this kind of exposure will get the attention of those who buy e-books and they will not only buy this work but others that are available. Only time will tell how it will all come out. I have two days left to promote my work for free and have set it up to make the short story Welcome Home available to coincide with a Face Book event Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day. It was written as a tribute to those veterans I served with who had been in Vietnam so it fits with the whole idea behind the event.