Monday, 29 October 2012

Halloween... and I'll scratch your back, etc

As a writer with a couple of titles enrolled in Amazon's KDP Select programme (which gives the retailer exclusivity), I am able to offer those titles for free every now and then. The idea, I guess, is that the rush to download a freebie leads to a "bump" in downloads, a momentarily higher profile and then residual sales in the aftermath. To be fair, that has been my experience, although I should point out that the law of diminishing returns certainly applies - after four or five freebie weekends it seems that pretty much everybody who wants your story on their Kindle already has it.

Having said that, I'm planning one more freebie, and am writing about it here in advance in the hope of maximising the take-up. Turn Around Where Possible, my old-school horror yarn, will be available for free on Amazon on Wednesday, 31st October. Yes, a horror story free on Halloween. I'm nothing if not original.

Anyway, since I'm not only giving you stuff for free but also giving you plenty of prior notice, can I ask a favour in return? Two of my short stories, the aforementioned Turn Around Where Possible and Cold, are eligible for Wattpad's Watty Awards 2012. No, me neither, but hey, an award for a story would be nice to win. So can you help me get in the mix? It won't take much of your time, just a few mouse clicks really.

You can vote for Cold here: http://www.wattpad.com/8276776-cold

And for Turn Around Where Possible here: http://www.wattpad.com/8276710-turn-around-where-possible

If you don't have a Wattpad account (which I'm guessing is most of you) you can use your Facebook credentials to exercise your right to vote - exercise is good for you, right? And enjoy Turn Around Where Possible for Halloween.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Books vs e-books - has the debate gone away yet?

Or will it never go away?

Newsweek produced the following comparison a couple of years ago, and whilst things have moved on a little since then it still raises some interesting points, not least that the most eco-friendly way to read a book is to walk to your local library.

© Newsweek 2010

The question I'm most intrigued by is the strap line - does one have to win? Just because e-readers have taken off massively, and traditional book sales are down, does the former have to spell the end for what I try (and fail) to avoid calling "proper" books?

I have a Kindle, and it's great. But I love the feel, the heft and the tangibility of real books. I have an MP3 player too, but I prefer to buy CDs. Is it just me that still prefers the physical product? Guess I'm just a cup of tea man in a latte world...

How about you?