Don’t look so shocked. Everyone Googles themselves, including YOU!
I was having a scout around last night for references to SEETHINGS and a couple of newies popped up. One is a site that serves asexual content to people interested in that field and the other is a group of people who scour the internet for books they don’t have to pay for and then share that information secretly!
Back to the start:
SEETHINGS alludes to many things, asexuality is one of them. http://www.asexuality.org/ specializes in issues of this type. It is now listed (not of my doing) in their fiction catalogue. I thank them for going out there, finding SEETHINGS, taking it onboard and including it in their content.
The second group comes from an experiment I ran a very long time ago. While writing the final draft, I made a previous one available for download on my site. It wasn’t the whole book, just part of it. I remember telling my writing club in Dayboro about what I’d done and they freaked out. ‘Why give away all your hard earned work?’ They asked.
I must say, I was concerned too. I didn’t want one word to get out unless it was paid for in some way shape or form but, as the years went on, I’d heard more and more stories of authors spending hours and money on promoting their books only to come out with little to show for it, financially speaking. About that time I saw hundreds of authors offering free books through sites like Smashwords. The amounts of free titles out there were amazing – and I’m not talking about old titles either, I’m talking about new-releases!
My writer’s group hadn’t stepped out enough to know what was going on here. The Internet was a foreign place. To be frank, most writers dream of living on the opposite-side of a typewriter ribbon and staying there. Our life is all about our stories. The Internet and book business isn’t a part of it. Sure, writer’s know their work is worth something but collecting money for their words and sentences is another world.
Similarly, most readers like to read free stuff. They share and swap their books all the time. Any understanding about the business end is usually met with a line like: ‘But you do it for the love of writing anyway, right?’
So we have two worlds affirming their love for one another, each supporting the other’s belief that it’s nicer to write and read than to exchange dollars for it. Who was I to argue with that kind of love logic? Rather than fight it, I’d use it. Remember, I wasn’t giving up the WHOLE book, just a part of it. The explosive sections weren’t revealed to readers. I also made sure that the explosive parts were pretty explosive. http://www.revistaincendios.com/pdf.php?id=libri-1790-4444-seethings_the_first_ten/ has shared information about the book. Some liked it. One said it was too hard.
Do I mind that they are still sharing the freebie and I have no control of it? No, not now. If they’re talking about it, sharing their experiences and mentioning its title along the way, then I think it’s worth it. This is not how I would’ve felt five years ago.
This year I heard one author explain how little profit they had gained after a year of promoting and selling their book. After turning several thousands of copies over and subtracting their costs, they came out a few hundred dollars ahead. Isn’t that giving writing away? No one else would work a year for just a few hundred dollars!
Smashwords’ authors use their freebies (usually short stories) to attract a following of readers who they then encourage to buy subsequent ones. I’ve also seen a few do what I did and offer the first half of a book for free… then charge to complete the reading experience with the other half. I’m told it works but success rates are hard to find.
My success rate is also unknown. I’ve seen the free downloads go out but I can’t track them across the web. I can’t say who bought from reading the freebie and who did not. I know a few things: There are ongoing freebie downloads each month. There are also secret online mentions of my title. Sales continue to grow. I can attribute some to the freebie and some having nothing to do with it at all.