So, last week, Smashwords sent out an email to all its minions to let them know that this week was going to be Read an eBook week, and that we could discount our books and join in if we wanted to.

(As an aside, we at Turtleduck Press make great use of Smashwords. They distribute to almost every ebook retailer, which a lot easier on logistics if you are an independent author or small press. If you’re self- or indie-pubbed and not on Smashwords, you should get on it.)

And there never seems to be any reason not to play in specials, so I signed both Shards and Hidden Worlds up. You can discount the books by 25, 50, 0r 75%, or go hog wild and go all the way to free.

Which is what I did.

I figured what the hell, it’s only for a week, and I have heard interesting things about offering your books for free, though admittedly usually related to Amazon.

It’s been interesting thus far. The promotion started on Sunday, but didn’t sign up until Monday night because I cannot get my crap together this week. (Also I forgot about it until I was cleaning out my inbox.) Shards is “selling” pretty well, a copy every hour or so (and someone “bought” one and seven gift copies, which is somewhat fascinating to me). Hidden Worlds is “selling” pretty well too (although on a 1 to 5 basis with Shards), which I find a interesting, as it’s older and in a niche subgenre.

But it will be interesting to see what happens in the long run. My husband rightly points out that people are probably going through and binge-buying any free book that looks interesting. In the end, it make take forever for these people to get around to reading my books, if they ever do. (I am the poster child for downloading free books and then forgetting to read them.) From a marketing standpoint, anything you can do to get your book in front of more readers is a good thing, but if those readers never get to it, does it still count?

Also, my husband and I have a bit of an argument going, and I’d like your input. Do you think people judge free books harsher because they didn’t have to pony anything up to get their hands on said book? Or do you think people judge free books more leniently (…because they didn’t have to pony anything up to get it)?

As for ROW80, I have fallen into a pit and am about a week behind on word count. This is related to the fact that I’m drowning in freelance work. I’ve found that my writing stuff has fallen by the wayside, unfortunately, because everything else has to be done and the writing technically does not. It is a sad state of affairs, but I hold out hope that I shall climb back out before the challenge is over later this month.

Smashwords’ Read an eBook Week and Free eBooks (and a ROW80 check-in)
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2 thoughts on “Smashwords’ Read an eBook Week and Free eBooks (and a ROW80 check-in)

  • March 7, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    I, for one, love free books. I admit I likely have more than I will ever get around to reading. Sigh! However, I do not judge them any more or less harshly because they were free. To me, a good read is a good read. If I got it for free . . . BONUS!

    At any rate, being busy with work isn’t a bad thing. It keeps the creditors at bay. 🙂

    All the best with your ROW goals!

  • March 8, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Aargh! You reminded me that I missed that Smashwords freebie signup. I was knee-deep in computer hell with the wireless up and down, thank goodness all fixed. So I will trot right over. It’s way too late. But I will look for your freebies. And yes, I think it’s a very good idea to get your books just out there. Even if you pick up one review a month from now — that’s worth it! If the freebie is too erotic (sometimes I can’t tell from the excerpt or blurb), then I dump it. Otherwise, I read with pure joy. About falling behind, maybe that’s because it’s the end of a long winter? Persevere. Reset those goals. Be thankful for the freelancing, but you know where your writing heart is. Make it a good week.


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Books by Kit Campbell

City of Hope and Ruin cover
Shards cover
Hidden Worlds cover