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’ve been spending time on this wet and windy October afternoon to update the My Ebooks page on this website. We’ve gone straight from summer to winter this year. Autumn is usually short in this part of France, but we’ve taken it to extremes this time around!

Anyway, all my ebooks are now listed. There are three free ones – Oh Gran!, Escape the Volcano and The Witch’s Dog. Of these, Gran is doing best! She’s zoomed ahead with 557 downloads (via Smashwords) as at this precise moment. There was a sudden surge on 1st October which tied in with me listing the book at www.getfreeebooks.com and with it appearing in the Barnes and Noble Nook store.

Fantastic!

I was lucky to get the great photo I did for The Witch's Dog cover. There were plenty like this where Nessie wouldn't co-operate!

The Witch’s Dog has had 70 downloads in its first 48 hours up on Smashwords. I’ve submitted that to getfreeebooks.com as well, and it will trundle its way onto the B&N site in a couple of weeks. That should give it a nice boost. It may be a little late for Halloween – I should have been better organised. But we’ll see. Hopefully people will want to read it anyway. It’s a sweet little story.

Next book up will be … hmm. I would like to get a free non-fiction out there before releasing Heads Above Water. The book will be ‘Best of Blog in France’, a selection of posts from my first two years’ of blogging. Blog in France goes from strength to strength I’m pleased to say. I’ve even had people pay me to put adverts up on the site!

And Something Fishy isn’t far behind …

Cackling Carol must be the only witch in the world who hates cats! But she really wants a pet to keep her company and so she decides to get a dog instead. Together with her faithful and very clever Broom, she visits a dogs’ home. She’s after a nice small dog that will fit on on Broom with her. But who does she come out with? Big Roddy, the biggest, bounciest and shaggiest dog you could imagine. All Cackling Carol’s witchy friends fall about laughing when they meet him. But just who is it that saves them all from the wicked Wizard Egbert and his despicable spells? Not the cats, that’s for sure!

This is a non-nightmare-inducing halloweeny story for 5 to 11 year olds or so.

I did this cover and it stars Nessie, our border-collie-cross-German-shephard!

Available for FREE from Smashwords here.

Ben is staying with Grandad. Grandad may be a senior citizen and drive everywhere very, very slowly, but that doesn’t mean he’s dull. Far from it! There’s great excitement when he has a go on on Ben’s scooter before he finds out where the brake is, with dramatic results. He takes Ben to the seaside where they get soaking wet and nearly get into trouble at the amusement arcade. But Grandad comes to the rescue of the Firework Night party for the Cub Scouts and Brownies after vandals seem to have spoiled everything. Grandad turns out to be very good with fireworks!

Another lovely cover from Roger Fereday.

Available for 99 cents from Smashwords.

Gran is recently back from spending a few years in Australia. She comes to look after Emily for a weekend. Emily is dreading it as she doesn’t really know her Gran, and all her friends say theirs are boring and fussy. Grans can be so uncool.
But not this Gran. She rides a tiger-striped motor-bike, a bit too fast sometimes. She eats nothing but burgers and muffins and has picked up some handy Aboriginal skills during her time ‘down under’.
Emily is in for quite a surprise!

The terrific cover is by Roger Fereday.

Available FREE from Smashwords here.

The reviewers say:

Cute little story. Well written, fun, sure to please the kids. Love the idea of a wild, funky grandma, even if it isn’t as surprising an image as it once was. (After all, many grandparents are kinda crazy nowadays!) Maranda Russell

Very nice short story for grandparents, grandkids and the kid within all of us. Good life reminders. I enjoyed it. Jason Matthews

This was an early-morning find. –Bright and happy reading for kids, parents and grandparents alike! Thanks. Barbara Dean Aliaga

Heather Mayhew’s dad, Ray, has been slaving away for ages writing the ultimate anti-hacker program for computers. Meanwhile, Heather enjoys a happy, spoiled lifestyle. But just as Ray finishes his program, rubbing his hands at the thought of the fortune he’ll make from it, a mysterious company called Domination PLC launches their own version of the same thing – for free. Ray is ruined.
But Heather and her father’s troubles have only just started. The more they find out about Domination, the worst things get. After a journalist who comes to see them is kidnapped, Heather and Ray are forced to go on the run to escape Domination and try to save the world’s computers. However, Ray is caught – so it’s all up to Heather …

Another awesome cover by daugther Caiti.

This is a great adventure story, with a feisty young heroine. Priced at a teeny tiny 99 cents, you can get it from Smashwords here or any of the various Amazons from their Kindle store.

Amazon.com It’s noticeable that since I uploaded the book to Smashwords too, the price came down from $3.74 to $1.43!

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.fr

 

Tom has always been fascinated by volcanoes. So this summer Mum takes him, his sister Anna and his best friend Kevin for a holiday close to a dormant one in France. It’s their first holiday away since Tom’s dad died two years ago.
They explore the area and make friends with a scientist studying a cave system nearby. Everything is peaceful and fun – until one morning the volcano comes to life again

Caiti designed this super new cover for me.

Here’s a 4 star review. It’s short but to the point!

“An adventure story for children. Well written and entertaining.” Sam Ray

This book is available FREE from Smashwords here.

Three more books in this exciting series coming very soon. They’ll be 99 cents each.

 

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.

Escape the Volcano will be hitting Smashwords tomorrow. This ebook has been a family affair. I wrote it, Benj scanned the out of print dead-tree version which I updated, and Caiti has done me a fantastic new cover, as you can see here.

It’s the first in the Escape series that did very well for me back in Ireland, despite little marketing and pushing by the publishers. The two main characters are eleven year old Tom Donoghue and his irrepressible friend, Kevin, one of life’s optimists and jokers. Tom’s Mum and little sister Anna play significant roles, and so does Alan, who they meet up with in this first adventure. (Tom’s dad is a no-show in the stories. I had to kill him off a few years previously since I needed an incomplete family for the series! It’s very hard to write interesting stories about perfect, happy families – sad but true.) This little crowd turned out to be great fun to write about and I enjoyed creating various adventures for them. They go on to encounter avalanches, floods and twisters in the next books.

It’ll be free on Smashwords, but you’ll have to pay for the rest of the stories in the series, probably 99 cents each, which I think is a fair deal.

So, please do check my Smashwords page out  in the next day or two and get yourelf a free copy to enjoy. And let me know what you think of it.

 

Time for some decluttering and in particular time to get rid of some old books. Now that I’m going in an electronic and self-publishing direction, quite a lot of tomes on my shelves are well outdated now.

This is the first to go. I’ve had this book fifteen years.  It’s aimed at the publishing scene two decades ago and has very little, if any, relevance any more. At least it’ll make a good few briquettes to keep us warm this winter. That’s the most use I’ll have got from it!

It was a bad buy. We all make them. I was sucked in by the 1001 aspect, thinking surely to goodness there’ll be something there that will help me shift a few more books. I wasn’t self-publishing at the time, but the publisher I did have wasn’t over enthusiastic in the marketing department so I wanted to see what I could do from my end.

Some of the techniques in the book smack of desperation. For example, there were the suggestions of selling your books door to door, sponsoring an award, organise a sweepstake, creating your own speakers bureau, sponsoring a library, putting up public posters (especially in New York!).  Many were neither practical nor affordable.

Live and learn. I shall replace it with a ebook aimed at today’s publishing scene. I have my eye on Sell More Books. John Kremer is co-authoring again, but he seems to be rather more up to date this time round. If I go for this one, than as usual, I’ll buy on Smashwords for 9.99 dollars and transfer to my Kindle myself. I’m not paying an extra 3.80 dollars unnecessarily to greedy Amazon!