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.