I have a giveaway style contest in progress on Goodreads, right now. It will continue until October 28th. Up for grabs are five signed copies of The Luck of Han’anga. Click here, if you’re interested in taking a chance on this.
So much of this indie author business is about taking chances. I’m taking a chance on finding my way to enough readers to matter, enough that sales will supplement my income to some degree, and keep me free to right more books, essays, and short stories. I take chances on various methods to make my work visible. Likewise, readers take a chance – sometimes a big one – on indie authors. There are a lot of eye-catching book covers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, these days, that disguise an aweful lot of books that are, well, just plain aweful. Mixed in with all of that are books well worth reading, and of course, I hope more people than not believe my books fall in the second category. You can read reviews (if you still trust point-of-sale reviews), you can browse review sites and book blogs, and you can join discussion groups on Shelfari and Goodreads in your quest to discover new books and authors. But what it comes down to, sooner or later, is taking a chance and trying something new. A new author, a new story, a new style, and no knowing what you have until you read it. With ebooks, at least, you can take that chance without committing a lot of money to it. You still spend time reading that chosen book, however. And if you don’t think that’s as important an investment as the money, well, quite likely you’re a LOT younger than me!
Giving away books and stories provides a way to let a reader take that chance without investing the cold hard cash. A free short story gives a reader an opportunity to sample a new writer without either expense or a major investment in time. And so I’ve gone the short story route. Yesterday I loaded a story, set in the same universe as my novel The Luck of Han’anga, to Smashwords. The link below will take you to this story, entitled “Long Time Passing.” (It will eventually be available directly from Amazon and Barnes & Noble). It will cost you nothing to download it, and at a bit over 7,000 words, won’t take up too much of your time. With any luck at all, “Long Time Passing” will give you an idea of what I’m all about as a writer of fiction, and help you decide whether or not to take a chance on my longer work. Either way, if you download it, I hope you enjoy it.
Instructions for downloading the story for various ereaders can be found in the Smashwords FAQ: