Sunday, April 08, 2012
Well, “Harvest of War” was free for five days and there were 466 downloads in that time. Seems like a respectable number, but I’ve never done this before so I’m not sure how it ranks. I picked up some very nice five star reviews on Amazon, as well as mentions around the blogosphere, including Ty Johnston’s kind comments, here. Thanks, Ty.
In order to make it free, I signed up with Amazon select, which means it can be offered only at Amazon for 90 days, about 82 more days, I guess. After that I’ll put it up on Nook too. It’s way too early to see if this had any effect on the sales of any of my other books. The Talera trilogy is also fantasy and folks who liked “Harvest” might like those books. Closest to it in mood, though, are the stories in Bitter Steel.
This makes three items I’ve self-published for ebook:
1. Killing Trail, Summer 2010 – Has been a relatively steady seller each month, although in small numbers.
2. Days of Beer, December 2011 – Sold respectably the first couple of months and then has dropped to zero.
3. Harvest of War, April 2012 – remains to be seen, although I’ve sold one more copy since the free period ran out.
My experience has been that self-publishing is a useful outlet for stories and novella length material and collections. I don’t believe it replaces the need for or the pleasures of mainstream publishing, even at the small press level, and it appears to me that you have to have some kind of name, or you have to promote your ass off to make any headway with it. Certainly there are some amazing success stories. I’m not one of them.
I’ll continue to offer an occasional work this way. One of the pleasures is having complete control over every aspect, from content to cover. And it’s nice to be able to see sales results almost in “real time.”