Soon Amazon.com will list “A.I. Trigger” as $0.00, and a doorway to possibility will fly open.
Everything I do now is an experiment. The world of publishing has broken wide open, and the cries of “Go Virtual, Young Man!” ring down every inter-tube to seize the imagination of every writer with ears to hear. Now, not only have I gained the understanding that all writing is practice from Dean Wesley Smith, but from the same source and many others I have learned that there has never been a better time in history to make a living as a writer. Thanks again to those who go before me, like Mike Jasper and David Gaughran, who are so free with sharing their advice and experience, and to all those writer-soldiers who retweet the countless others sharing their battle stories and personal pilgrimages.This will be one of mine to share.
Pricing, like countless other facets of self publishing, is under my control. Which is scary when you consider I have no idea what I am doing. Okay, I have an idea, and I’m learning fast, but until I am consistently making a living from my fiction writing I’m just guessing. Experimenting. And this is the latest experiment, one that many have done before, and now it is my turn: giving a story away.
Not just posting a story on my blog for folks to stumble upon, but putting it out in the world, right along side all the other books from all the other writers, most notably those listed on Amazon. As you may or may not know, Amazon and B&N do not allow you to set your price to “Free.” This means you have to travel a circuitous path to get there. You publish your work on Smashwords, which does let you price it for free; then, once they approve it for their premium catalog (not a difficult thing to achieve) the pricing information will eventually flow out to Amazon and B&N, where they will price-match.
Badda-boom, badda-bing, you know have a free offering on the two major distributors of self published work.
From just about every story I’ve read of others who have done this, the result is a massive jump in the downloads of their work. Primarily the book that is now gratis, but there is a carry over, too, to the books that produce a profit. “A rising tide lifts all boats,” as they say.
Last night my story A.I. Trigger was finally approved for the Smashwords premium catalog, about six days after I published it on Smash. Now, it’s done pretty well on Smashwords; as of this writing 78 copies have been downloaded, and that’s pretty exciting. I’ve been led to believe, again through the consumption of virtual fire-side stories told by Those Who Have Been There, that once the story goes free on Amazon (and B&N, although they are minor league in comparison) I should expect A.I. Trigger to fly off the ever-replenishing virtual shelves.
The Countdown to Free has begun. I will report back here once Amazon makes the story free, and let you know if I have been led astray, or told true.