Friday, December 9, 2011

Epic Freebie Sales -- Yay?

I should be pretty excited.

Since I made it available on Smashwords a couple of months ago, my fantasy short, "Vessa's Grave" has seen over 50 downloads! Coolness, huh?

Here's the kicker: It's free. So people are downloading it without a moment's hesitation because, if it turns out they don't like it, they aren't out anything. Or it's as simple as liking that they don't have to break out their Visa to obtain it.

As for my short supernatural thriller, "Devil's Creek" -- well, let's just say the vast majority of the downloads at this point are by reviewers. And they get the book free.


Marketing something with any price tag, no matter how low or high the price, is a beast.

I'm sure if I were Stephanie Meyer I would have next to no problem selling my latest OMG-my-boyfriend's-a-vampire story.

So what gives?

Simply, very few people know who Paul Maitrejean is, let alone have read his work. How many people are willing to take a chance on an indie ebook writer when they could click a couple of pages over to buy the latest release from an established author they know and trust? Very few.

A writer needs a reputation to hook readers, but can't build a reputation without readers. Another of the writing career's great Catch-22's.

That's why the freebie is out there. I hope someone eventually likes my writing enough they decide to shell out a couple of bucks for the non-freebie. That's why I'm making my non-freebie available to reviewers. That's why I plug both my freebie and non-freebie. Eventually someone will read it, love it, and rave about it. And gradually more people will love and rave. And from there the numbers could exponentially increase.

And then I'll sell lots and lots of books, and I'll be able to write full time, and everyone will be waiting eagerly for my next great work, and . . . and . . . and . . .

Reality can be a drag, can't it?


  1. I think "Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher is pretty good. I am only halfway through, and for me, who really does *not* like reading fiction, this must be something good. It has twists and turns, and I'm intrigued. Never heard of the guy before either, but was compelled to buy it today. Personally, I am way more likely to buy a real book than an eBook.. just somethin' about the real thing that lures me. (Would you ever consider ink and parchment publishing?)

  2. There are always compulsion buyers in the ebook world as well, but ebooks and print books both require heavy marketing efforts in order to make significant sales.

    Interestingly enough, the fiction realm is pretty much being taken over by the e-format. Publishers are dramatically altering their strategies due to this fact. Nook, Kobo, Sony, and Kindle are becoming standard features to new and classic books. Yes, "parchment and ink" books (which, by the way, would make for an EXTREMELY large and expensive tome!) still sell and likely always will. But ebooks are becoming the norm... sort of like cell phones and landlines. Pretty much everyone utilizes both, including folks who swore they'd never use a cell phone.

    And eventually, yes, I'll most likely publish in traditional paper form sometime down the road. But for an indie writer without a huge amount of funds, e-format is the best way to start out, due to extremely low overhead.