Amazon, Smashwords and Promotion

Well, life is funny. A couple of months ago I added a third book to my catalogue on Amazon and Smashwords. It is also available through Smashwords at itunes, Sony, Barnes and Nobel, Diesel etc. If you’re a regular reader you will know that it was a book of my Dad’s letters home during the war. He was a Spitfire pilot in WWII and he wrote beautifully.

The object of the exercise was not to make money, but to spread the word and share his thoughts with interested people around the world. I could choose a zero price on Smashwords, so I did, and it has had 300 downloads in two months and one five-star review. I have been delighted with this response.

Amazon don’t let you set a zero price because they have such a large back catalogue of books they cannot charge for because they’re in the public domain. So I made it 99 cents on Amazon. It sold a few, not many, because I let everyone know they could get it for free at Smashwords. I check the ‘dashboards’ of my sites twice a day and see what the ‘hit’ stats are for the sites and sales etc. The sales for the novel goes up steadily. For the November stats “Our Father’s War” had sold 2 copies. When I checked it late last night it was at 96. What the?

So I investigated the page and discovered Amazon had discounted it to free. Fab! So I did some promotion on forums and put it on Facebook etc. Woke up this morning and the number is 506. It is now 660 and climbing. It is ranked #1 on Kindle for non-fiction, biographies and memoirs, and according to sales, sometimes #1 for military and sometimes for all memoirs. That’s quite an achievement in less than 24 hours. So go, you good thing!

I decided that free is good, so I made “The Secret Keeper” free at Smashwords and downloads have gone up by about 10 overnight. I have told Amazon that both the novel and the short stories are free at Smashwords and they should match that price eventually, it takes awhile. All I want at the moment is to get my writing out there and build a readership. ‘The Secret Keeper’ has three five-star reviews on Amazon and one on Smashwords. There is an excerpt from it on the “Excerpts from my Books” page here.

If you read any of them and want to review, please feel free. To review it on Smashwords you must have downloaded it there.

So today I feel like a ‘real’ writer, which is daft, I’ve been writing and people have been reading it in one form or another for years. But not on this scale. I love these works, they come from the heart, they are written with passion. Two very nice people on a forum read my novel and came back to tell me I write “beautifully.” And they don’t even know me!  So I feel inspired to continue and produce more, I have the stories and I have the time and, now, I have the platform. God Bless you, ebook, I salute you!!


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