Catching up with things a little bit. Amazon have finally reverted One Step Closer to being paid, after about a month as a free ebook. It was a good run while it lasted. The story stayed at #1 in the Amazon short story charts for free ebooks for the whole month, and although I don't yet know the final totals, a week or so ago there had been over 10,000 downloads of the book across Amazons US and UK.
The intention of making it free was to get my name in readers' minds and for OSC to act as a gateway to Nowhere To Go. Not much of a jump in sales, but it could be too early to judge. I will be disappointed though if it makes no difference, as it will leave me feeling a little what-the-hell-do-you-have-to-do.
Why it had such a good run is interesting, even if I don't quite understand it. I think the unknown is the trigger, what kicked it off to do well in the first place. I do believe though that once it did, that sales/downloads do become self-sustaining. Once that initial pulse of downloads happened, the book became visible: it was at number #1 in the short story charts, high up in the general free stuff charts, appeared on lots and lots of 'also boughts'. In other words, if the much talked about Amazon algorithm picks your book up, from that point on, impetus will drive sales. Obviously at some point some form of saturation will occur and sales will drop off, but I reckon a good run can be had in the interim, and that also it would be unlikely that sales would drop back down as low as they were before it all took off.
So, it all comes down to that initial pulse that creates that self-sustaining visibility. How do you that? Well, with OSC...I have no idea. Which is helpful. But I would love to work it out.
I've written a new short story, for Luca Veste's song-themed charity anthology, Off The Record. Purple Haze is a story about getting way out of your depth. Luca has his own collection of short stories out, Liverpool 5, (I have my fingers crossed that the follow-up will be called Man Utd 0), and speaking of good people with new work, Julie Morrigan has a new novel out called Heartbreaker)
Great review of Nowhere To Go appeared in the last few days too, over at Eva Dolan's Loitering With Intent: "Some of the best short fiction out there. Buy it." You know what? I can't disagree with that.