Thursday, June 03, 2010

Stats

According to Scribd.com*, over the last twelve hours 818 people have taken a look at Rain Lashed*, my free Kyndred novella e-book that I posted yesterday:



At the time I checked 124 people had also downloaded the e-book, also a very good number for the first day -- probably the best I've had so far for a freebie.

Along with the complete, original novella in Rain Lashed there are two excerpts in the back -- one for Shadowlight and the other for Dreamveil, my Kyndred novels in print -- and a complete bibliography listing all my public work, my weblog and my other freebies, aka a shopping list for anyone who wants more.

Not counting my labor, the only expense I had for this e-book was the cover art image, which I purchased from Big Stock Photos for one dollar. I didn't have to print the book, package it, ship it or otherwise distribute it; Scribd.com hosts the e-book for free, and when it does well, they also promote it.

While novellas are a shorter form, it still takes time to write them, and I spent the better part of six months working on this one whenever I had a few minutes. At one point I had to set aside the story completely for a couple months to deal with other issues that demanded more of my time. It was nice to be able to finally be able to get back to it, finish it and make it into an e-book.

I can't promise you that a free e-book will turn your print work into an instant bestseller, but think about these stats. How often do you get the chance to show your work to 818 interested people in half a day, and it only costs you your time, your creativity, and maybe a dollar?

*Note 9/3/10: Since Scribd.com instituted an access fee scam to charge people for downloading e-books, including those I have provided for free for the last ten years, I have removed this document and temporarily transferred it to Google Docs here. See my post about this scam here.

9 comments:

  1. Interesting. Smashwords will let you offer an ebook for free too, and I've given away a few. I may offer something at scribd too....

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  2. Oh, that was SO good. Makes me very excited to go pick up my copy of Dreamveil tomorrow. I love that you do this!

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  3. That was an excellent read, Lynn, a nice addition to the Kyndred world. Will we see more of Angela and Caleb?

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  4. The Daring Novelist wrote: Interesting. Smashwords will let you offer an ebook for free too, and I've given away a few. I may offer something at scribd too....

    Scribd has a built-in Twitter-type feature where you can announce it. I can't use it but I get all my notifications about Doug Clegg's work from there.

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  5. Tom, Emily & Brenna wrote: Oh, that was SO good. Makes me very excited to go pick up my copy of Dreamveil tomorrow. I love that you do this!

    Just my way of saying thanks to all of you for visiting here and investing in my print work. Plus I had to write Caleb and Angela's story -- they didn't get enough time on stage in Shadowlight. :)

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  6. Jaye Patrick wrote: That was an excellent read, Lynn, a nice addition to the Kyndred world. Will we see more of Angela and Caleb?

    I wasn't planning on revisiting them as protagonists (so many characters, so little time) but they will definitely have at least a cameo in a future Kyndred novel.

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  7. Oooo, I downloaded the story, so your stats will go up, but I'm saving the read for when Dreamveil gets here. I ordered it yesterday, so I shouldn't have to wait too long. Congrats on some awesome first day download numbers. =o)

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  8. Someone mentioned Smashwords, and I was wondering if you would consider making your freebies available on Smashwords as well. I find their interface less clunky and awkward to use than Scribd. In addition, they allow downloading in many more different formats than Scribd and without DRM, e.g., besides pdf and text, they also provide Kindle (.mobi), Epub, html (for online reading), rtf, lrf (for Sony Reader) and Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm Reading Devices. I think it would make your work more accessible to more people.

    One major advantage of Smashwords would be if you wanted to experiment with selling ebooks as you once did with Way of the Cheetah on Scribd, customers from outside the U.S. could buy your ebooks, unlike with Scribd which refuses to sell to international readers. I have managed to buy ebooks from Smashwords even though I'm in one of those not on the map as far as US publishers are concerned countries and I was happy with the experience. I know of at least one established author who's put some of her out-of-print backlist for sale as ebooks on Scribd, and I think it's a good way of making old work accessible to a new audience. Smashwords also allows you to offer a sample of your work for viewing for free (you can set the percentage you want to reveal) so readers can see if they're interested in buying the whole book. Somewhat like they do at Baen. In fact, Smashwords is the closest (for self-publishing) I've seen to the Baen model.

    I have no affiliation with Smashwords, just as a satisfied user and customer.

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  9. Just downloaded my copy, thanks!

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