My three 99 cent books have still not made any sales on Smashwords, whilst my freebies have been downloaded 1,574 times between them. So, I’ve generated coupon codes for two of  ‘pay for’ books to see if that helps. If you enter the code when you purchase the book, you get it for free.

Beat the Hackers – the coupon code is TQ44P. I’ve Tweeted about this several times but still no takers.It’s valid till 15 November so grab your free copy while you can.

Oh Grandad – LP43H will get it for free for you. I generated that yesterday and have had one ‘sale’, yippee! This runs to 5th November.

So, I’ve been a little despondent. But Chris cheered my up by saying he didn’t think free ebooks would endure for a long time. In the early days of the Internet, everything was free. It wasn’t the done thing to charge for software and information at all, but now you generally have to pay. He’s pretty sure the same thing will be true with ebooks. Gradually people will realise it’s not reasonable to expect to have reading matter supplied for free, given all the work that’s gone into it. And the authors will decide that enough is enough and want some recompense.

But until then, it seems a good bandwagon to jump on in the hope that it will lead to sales of future books. Lots of us believe this. If you type ‘Smashwords coupon code’ into the search bar on your Twitter page, you’ll find plenty there that will allow you to get some free samples. And if you do, please think about supporting the author by buying another of their books at some time. Especially mine … !

 

My three ebooks are currently being downloaded at a very satisfying rate from Smashwords. The later two, The Witch’s Dog and Escape the Volcano, have just had a very nice boost after appearing on www.getfreeebooks.com. That is definitely a site for indie authors offering free ebooks to know about. It certainly gets results. I’m hoping for another significant jump in downloads once the books get onto Barnes and Noble Nook bookstore.

None of the three books have made it as free books in the Amazon Kindle stores yet, which is a little disappointing. I hadn’t realised it would take so long for them to be distributed to Amazon from Smashwords.

However – despite people helping themselves to the freebies, they’re not splashing out 99 cents to buy my other books. At least not yet! As of Sunday evening, 746 copies of good old Oh Gran have been downloaded, but only 24 samples of Oh Auntie and 9 of Oh Grandad. I’ve yet to make a cash sale on Smashwords!

For me it’s not too drastic since these are backlist titles that I’m getting up and out there mainly to build my profile. I’ve already made some money out of these books when they first appeared in print back in Ireland. But I’d be very happy to be earning a little bit of money from them – as I’ve mentioned on my other blog, I need to keep my student son in pasta!

Then again, I’m just happy they’re being read. All we writers put so much effort into our work with the intention of entertaining and/or informing our fellow human beings, it’s nice to think it’s being consumed, hopefully with appreciation. It’s not an economically viable attitude obviously, but I’m not realistically expecting to make a living from my writing. And since moving to France and drastically changing our lives, taking downsizing to ridiculous extremes, we’ve got used to managing on not very much.

Readers are getting used to being able to obtain ebooks for free. It’s now an expectation. I feel I’m getting my name known, and I think that’s what other indies put their faith in too when they make their work available free of charge.  Will it pay off in the long run? Or we all shooting ourselves in the foot by being over generous and over-obsessed with counting our downloads.

Time will tell …

I submitted Oh Gran, one of my two free ebooks available via Smashwords here to www.getfreeebooks.com. It was accepted on 1st October and by today, 3rd October, it’s been downloaded over 200 times. Up to then I’d had around 130 downloads directly from the Smashwords site over about 10 days. So going to getfreeebooks.com was a very worthwhile move in my opinion. Hopefully people will enjoy the book and remember my name, and one day, actually pay for one of my masterpieces!

None of my latest batch of ebooks, two free and one at 99 cents, have made it onto Amazon yet in Kindle format. I thought I’d do it via Smashwords this time round. It’s taken longer than I thought it would, but the advantage of using Smashwords as distributor is that they pay by Paypal, whereas Amazon will only pay overseas authors by cheque. Cashing cheques drawn on foreign banks in a foreign currency is practically impossible in France. I’ll probably have to open a special account somewhere with an awful lot of accompanying bank charges when the time comes to deal with royalties coming directly from Amazon. Sadly at the moment I imagine those expenses will far outweigh the income 🙁

But I’m an optimist! I plan to carry on plugging away with my ebooks in the certainty that one day it will be worthwhile financially.