Every couple of months or so, a spot next to the love seat in Spare Oom starts collecting a pile of books. These are books that A. and I have finished reading and don’t plan on keeping for whatever reason. We may have enjoyed them, but have no reason or inclination to read them again. I mean, there’s a finite amount of space in this apartment, and as much as we’d like, we can’t keep it all.
Besides, we live right down the street from Green Apple Books, which is a Very Dangerous Place Indeed. We often need space for newer purchases.
Whenever that spot on the floor collects three or four stacks about shin-high, I start putting them into boxes. Then on a nice weekend, I’ll drive them down to the Friends of the SF Public Library Bookstore down at Fort Mason in the Marina for donation. Sure, I could probably bring them to Green Apple and get credit for future purchases, but to be honest, I like donating better.
The Friends of the SFPL have a Big Book Sale a few times a year in one of the HUGE warehouses at Fort Mason. We’re talking football field huge. Book donations brought to any of their drop-off sites that don’t get sold at their in-library stores get brought here, and it’s quite an event. Books, videos, dvds, cds, all sorts of media are sold super cheap, often as low as a dollar. You can literally fill a shopping cart (we often do) and spend maybe twenty bucks total. It’s a good deal, and it goes to a great group. And my old books get into new hands, which is even cooler.
[As an aside: yes, I have in fact seen my own donations on the table at these book sales, which I find quite amusing.]
They’ll have their next Big Book Sale next week, and A and I are planning on going. Which is good timing, because I just brought the last pile of books in last weekend!
First of all: If you’re here visiting for the first time after downloading any of the books in the Bridgetown Trilogy from Smashwords during its July book sale, hello and thank you! I’m thrilled that you wanted to check my books out! I hope you enjoy them! And by all means, if you like them, please post a review on GoodReads! That will make this writer very happy indeed. 😀
SO! I’m sure some of you out there are wondering…why did this weirdo, who spent far too many years writing this damn trilogy, give it away in e-book form for free a few years after he FINALLY released it?
Good question indeed. I have a few answers for you:
Some time ago I put A Division of Souls up for free and kept it free, as a way to bring people into the Mendaihu Universe. This by far has been my most regular seller, for obvious reasons. It’s the enticement product. It’s the register endcap. It’s the book that says ‘hey, check this out’ and ‘if you like this, there’s two more sequels’. I regularly get at least a few downloads a month for this one.
The Persistence of Memories and The Balance of Light are at an already reasonably low price of $2.99 each. I think of this as an analogue to mid-price cds you find at record stores…back catalog titles that are no longer consistent sellers, but are consistently available at an affordable price. Again, this is part of the ‘long game’ process, and it’s actually worked to my expectations. I might not get a big payout, but I’ll get at least one or two purchases every month or so.
The sale is only for one month, and I know there are readers out there who, like me, get involved in a series and want to either buy the entire thing in one go, or at least be able to find and download them easily. And everyone loves free things, right?
It introduces new readers to my work. Though I only got a few purchases since it was released, I did get a bit of interest in Meet the Lidwells, with a few sample downloads. That right there is a learning experience; perhaps it’s that they weren’t interested in the story I had to say there, or perhaps the formatting wasn’t to their liking, or maybe it’s just not a book that many are interested in. I’m okay with that; it’s not a science fiction novel, but a straight fiction novel in the format of a music biography. It’s up to me to work on new promotional avenues for that one.
I haven’t yet looked at the stats for July as a whole, but from the email notifications I’ve received, between all three books I’ve gotten a good few dozen downloads and even more sample downloads. Not bad at all.
In the meantime, I’ve put the url for this blog both on the books and on the freebie cards I’ve made. [That’s the front of the freebie card for the trilogy above.] I’ve been doing my best keeping this particular blog on a timely and expected schedule — and crossposted to Twitter and Facebook at that — and that has helped me gain new readers as well. I spread out my freebie cards at all the conventions I’ve gone to as well. All in all, from what little I’ve done so far for promotion, I’ve gotten a hell of a lot more response than I ever thought I would, so that’s saying something. I can only imagine what the response would be once I restart the email list and start upping my promotion game!
So yeah, I’d say even though I didn’t earn a single penny this month, I got a lot of new readers, and I think that’s pretty damn cool.
It’s time for another insane Smashwords sale! This time, I have…
HOT DANG, IT’S FREE E-BOOKS!!
From 7/1 to 7/31, all three e-books in the Bridgetown Trilogy will be ABSOLUTELY FREE!! If you haven’t gotten these yet, you have the entire month to snag them! I’m still quite proud of them, and I’d like to keep sharing them with you.
I’ve also decided that for the great month-long Smashwords sale I’m going to put Meet the Lidwells! up for 50% off. My latest release can be yours for only $1.50, kids! Can’t beat that with a drumstick!