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Monday, 5 September 2011

Can you say sales when it's a free ebook?

I've had my short story Lilies available as a taster for Ice Age for some time. I thought Lilies was a good choice, I'm as proud of it as I am any story I've ever written, and it was reprinted in the Best New Horror antho so I'm not just being delusional. Also, it's very me, and if people don't like it, well, they'd probably not like the rest of Ice Age either.

Thought I'd try an experiment with it. I've got Amazon to make Lilies free, by dropping its price at Barnes and Noble and Apple (via Smashwords). Without any promotion from me, within a few hours it was in the Amazon UK bestsellers list for horror, in the top ten free books in the genre, and just outside the top hundred free books across all genres.

Which is all very nice, but earns me nothing more than a warm - and illusionary - glow. The whole point of making it free is to get it in front of lots of readers, some of whom might like it enough to go on and buy Ice Age, or Nowhere To Go.

Will it do that? No idea. It might be that free simply ends up with the story up on the Kindles of people who hoard freebies, thousands of stories, hardly any of the read. But it's got to be worth a try. I'll let you know how it works out.

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