Wednesday 2 October 2013

October: No Tricks, All Treat

From now until Halloween, the ebook version of my short story collection, Somewhere to Start From, will be available for FREE from Smashwords. It couldn't be easier. Just go here:, pick the format you want (you'll need to sign up for a free Smashwords account if you don't already have one), and enter the sweet discount code:
Mmmm... treats

That's BB82C, in case you want a version you can cut and paste. That will give you a tasty 100% discount.

If you've not been following the blog long, you can find out more about the book HERE. The short version is that it features 22 short stories, covering a wide range of themes and styles, many of which have been published, won prizes, or been shortlisted for various competitions, including Writers' Forum, The Guardian, and the James White Award (see the acknowledgements page for full details).

So, why am I doing this?

To tell you the truth, I'm never sure how much effort to put into promoting this collection. It's a couple of years old, it's sold relatively well for a self-published book of short stories (at least, according to the average sales figures I've seen) but it hasn't exactly set the world on fire. It's brought in enough cash for an ink cartridge or two and an occasional pint, but I'm never going to get rich off of it. Sometimes I think I should forget it and move on. Occasionally, I feel like I have. But a couple of things happened recently that made me reconsider - firstly, a payment turned up out of the blue after a handful of copies of the print version sold on Amazon. This came as a surprise, as I'd more or less written off the paperback once the ebook was launched. Secondly, I met up with an old friend I hadn't seen in a long time, who asked how the book was doing. It was strange, talking about it like it was out there, living a life of its own, an entity in its own right. These events combined to remind me that the book is something I put a lot of effort into, that I'm still proud of, and that - more than anything else - there are some decent stories in there. So, I thought I'd try to encourage a few more copies to leap off the virtual shelves.

The other reason is that I enjoy the experimentation of it all. What's the best way of letting people know about the promotion? How do I strike the right balance between encouraging people to download it and annoying them? Will giving the book away for a whole month spark new interest in it? Will it sell more or fewer copies once the promotion's ended? Will it attract any more reviews? Might it even encourage a few more sales of the print version? I don't know, of course, but I'll keep an eye on the figures and report on any interesting trends next month.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Dan. I've just downloaded the book - my first ever from Smashwords. I'm usually an Amazon girl!

Dan Purdue said...

Many thanks, Sally. I hope you enjoy it! (and don't worry - I won't tell Amazon if you don't...)

Unknown said...

The book is most amazing which attract me within short time. Thanks Dan for you plenty incredible sharing!!

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