There are three novels and here are links to their pages:
۞ Living with the Truth
۞ Stranger than Fiction
۞ The Whole Truth (the omnibus edition of the first two books
۞ Milligan and Murphy
Just enter the code SW100 at the checkout.
The poetry and short story collections aren’t available as ebooks yet.
I have mixed thoughts about giving away books. And, from what I’ve read, the results are mixed too. I heard of one woman whose book was downloaded some 8000+ times and all she got for her trouble were two 1-star reviews. Of course I’ve no idea how good her book was—maybe the book only deserved 1-star reviews and she was lucky to get two of them—but I can understand her bitter disappointment. The hardest thing about writing is the promotion without a doubt. Most writers are not natural marketers. In fact the talents that make one a great (or even a half-decent) writer are the last things you need in a marketer.
The world has changed so much from when Ah were a lad. Sales were something to look forward to and the January Sales actually started in January. Nowadays there’s never a day when something’s not on offer somewhere. It’s an awful time to be a retailer. The competition's fierce. Worse still the options customers have are huge. If they don’t like you for whatever reason they vote with their feet. So I don’t expect you to be running around in a tizzy emailing all your friends, “Quick! Quick! There’s a sale over at Smashwords. They have books for free! Yes! Free!” Never going to happen especially if you happen to own a blog (and who doesn’t have a blog these days?) because authors are falling over themselves to hand out free books.
The problem with free is that it implies worthless. Customers are not daft, they know that it cost something to produce the item, if only someone’s time, but if an item doesn’t have a price it somehow gets devalued in our head. We don’t do it deliberately but we still do it. We don’t value things we get handed to us as much as those things we’ve had to work to get. I reckon though that giving away my books for free for a limited period of time is worth the risk. It’s a calculated risk but supermarkets do this kind of thing all the time. They sell a number of items for less than cost to stimulate footfall hoping that when they’re there the customers will spend on other items and swallow up the loss. And it works. It’s where we get the expression ‘loss leader’ from.
On Smashwords all my ebooks are on sale. You can download all three of my novels—years of work—for free but not the short stories. They’re not even on Smashwords yet and the paperback is only just starting to show up on other retailers like Amazon. I’m hoping for two things: 1) that someone who reads one or more of these books might write a nice wee review (on Smashwords itself and maybe on their blog too or Goodreads—we refuse nothing but blows), and, 2) that they’re willing to fork out for Making Sense either as a paperback now (for a very reasonable £5.99 including postage in the UK) or as an ebook in a few weeks. It’s a gamble and my expectations are not high. Not because I don’t think my books are great—name me one author who doesn’t think his or her books are great—but because I know people. But I’d like to be proved wrong. Boy would I like to be proved wrong.