Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.


1 Comment

Free Books

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions but I am trying to get organised this year. I’ve decided to gradually move all my books over to Smashwords, not instead of Amazon, but as well as. Although I’m not entirely sure there’s any real advantage in doing so, because my sales on Amazon far outweigh those on Smashwords, since I don’t want to use Amazon’s KDP Select (which requires exclusivity) forever, my books may as well be on both.

One thing I like about Smashwords is that I’m able to make books free if and when I want to and I’ve made ‘What Did You Say?’ free there permanently. It’s not a great tome and certainly isn’t a comprehensive guide to all the vagaries of the English language. Rather it’s a little help for some of the most common errors people make in everyday life–like misuse of that pesky apostrophe, for example. I’ve included, where I can, ideas to help remember when and where to use an apostrophe, as well as why. Many people seem to have a problem with ‘their’, ‘they’re’ and ‘there’ as well and I suggest ways to help you remember when to use which, as well as some other common mistakes. If you read ‘What Did You Say?’ and like it a review would be much appreciated.

I also have my children’s book, ‘Last Chance‘ free on Amazon right now, from the 3rd January to the 7th, for the last time. I’ll be moving it across to Smashwords later this month and it’ll be the same price there as Amazon, 99c. Children who are good readers from 9 or 10 should enjoy this; it’s a futuristic tale and starts off a bit grim but has a happy ending and won’t take long for you to read yourself if you have any doubts about its suitability for your child. I’d love a child’s opinion on it–my readers all seem to be adults, judging by the reviews.

Not Guilty‘ is on a 40 hour Countdown deal starting tomorrow, 4th January, at 99c. I’m not sure yet what my plan for this one is. It’s non-fiction–an horrific story about a mother who brutally murdered her own children and it’s also my most successful book on Amazon. I definitely won’t be putting it up free again but I’ll see how this promotion goes before I decide whether to add it to Smashwords.

Well that’s my plans for the first month of 2014–oh I’m also working on ‘Her Flesh and Blood’, which should be up this month, and am hoping to get back to another story I started last year. That’ll be after I finish a longish short story I’m co-authoring with another writer, So, busy times ahead.

I hope you all had a good new year (my New Year’s Eve consisted of watching fireworks on TV–ho hum) and all the best for 2014.


8 Comments

Kindle Countdown Deals–What do you think?

I haven’t given up yet. In theory I prefer the idea of a short-term discount on my books to giving them away. Give-aways are useful and I have one on now, Sanctuary, but only because its usual price is too low to qualify for the discount deal. They have to be at least 2.99 and most of mine are less than that. I cleverly thought, okay, I’ll increase the price of Sanctuary to 2.99 so I can then discount it to .99 for the Countdown Deal. Makes sense, right? And yet, for some unknown reason the system didn’t take on the price change. I waited patiently for a couple of weeks but it still didn’t happen so I made it free instead, until December 12th. This will be the last time it’s free because I’m taking it off Kindle Select and publishing it on Smashwords in January. I have a couple of books there now, including ‘What Did You Say‘, which is free all the time. There’s also an interview and I’d be happy for any suggestions you might have to add to that. Anything you think people might want to know?

The problem I have with give-aways, or problems plural, is that a lot of people, me included, download freebies and don’t get around to reading them and also I wonder if it’s off-putting for those who normally buy books to find the book they bought last week is free this week. So I’ve decided to make it a once only for any books now. When I download a new book, if it’s under 2.99 I’ll make it free for one week, once only and if it’s 2.99 or over I’ll discount it once only through the countdown deals. That sounds all lovely and organised doesn’t it? Then, after that exclusive 90 days with Amazon they’ll all go to Smashwords too. That’s a bit trickier and I’m not entirely sure it’s worthwhile but that’s the plan. Yay I have a plan!

Had a busy couple of weeks–Son number 4 was married on the 30th November, in Melbourne. It was a very unusual and wacky wedding and I loved every minute. Had a great time. I won’t bore you with all the details but I will say that the bride and groom entered dressed as a unicorn . . .

Then yesterday we had another trip to Melbourne to see son number 5 in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, which was not what we were expecting at all. I tried to watch the 1996 movie the other night to get an idea of the story because I thought I’d have trouble following it on stage. The movie was so boring I gave up and I must admit I had reservations about the stage version, which turned out to not be exactly a stage version at all. It was in a book/coffee shop and the action was just everywhere. It’s impossible to describe without taking a couple of pages and I wouldn’t do it justice but it was funny and touching and just an amazing show, performed by new theatre group, The Carving Theatre Company.

So Christmas is nearly on us. My 5 year old grandson decorated our tree ( okay, I did tweak it a little after he left!) but honestly I don’t get the effort some people put into all that stuff. I love having all the family here and that’s the only thing that matters to me. We will eat a hot turkey and ham for lunch, no matter what the weather is, because that’s our family tradition. A lot of Aussies have swapped the turkey dinner for a barbecue or seafood and I’m not that bothered myself but we are having a Boxing Day barbie this year at son number 2’s new house, so that makes a change.

Sanctuary, by the way, is a sci-fi novel about a world in the 25th century, where two different cultures live–one underground and one in a converted shopping centre. No-one can live outside because the sun is deadly. It’s an adventure with a touch of romance–I wrote this one for young adults but I’ve found most of the readers are adults so don’t let the YA label put you off. If you’re in the UK, you can get it here.┬áPositive reviews would be much appreciated!