Free Kindle Short Story – War Stories

Today and Saturday you can download my short story – War Stories for free on Kindle. This experimental short tells the stories of three human soldiers who fought in The Great War between the Alliance and the Votainion Empire. The stories are taken from the Life Recorders implanted in the soldiers and each person is brought to life using a holo-projector.

This is the only short story that is set in the Third Generation of the war, the same time frame as the final book in the Star Trilogy – Starveyors. That is why the spine is steel colored and not marble or concrete. Starveyors will be out this fall.

February Kindle Numbers

Time once again to disclose the sales numbers for novels and shorts I have on the US market. The UK market was far less and all the other foreign markets resulted in no sales. The novels and the anthology were all selling at $2.99 and the short stories were all selling for .99 cents.

The red numbers are for free downloads from products that were listed for free for up to three days on the Kindle Select program. As you can see, nobody purchased those products when they were not free. Big goose eggs in the Sold column for those items. However, the Halo Effect did result in 3 sales of short stories that were not given away.

# Title Downloaded Sold
1 Null Pointer (novel) 667 0
2 Ocherva (short story) 86 0
3 Red Allen (short story) 94 0
4 Silicant Remorse (short story) 0 1
5 Starforgers (novel) 0 61
6 Starstrikers (novel) 0 28
7 Tales From Ocherva V1 (anthology) 0 1
8 The Outlaw (short story) 80 0
9 The Renoke (short Story) 0 1
10 Tyrmia (novel) 0 27

It was a decent month for the novels that were not on sale. Three of them sold over 20 which is some kind of record for me. Well, it ought to be anyway. Combined with the UK numbers, I was averaging about 4.5 books a day. Slightly down from the 5 per day in January.

For March, I’m changing things up again. This time I’ll be raising the prices of the novels from $2.99 to $6.99. No, I’m not crazy. I’m experimenting with pricing and a bit with marketing. I won’t be doing any free give away’s for the novels in March. The short stories are still going to be free one every weekend.

Raising prices above five US dollars is something I’ve never tried. Some people have reported increased sales with higher prices, others have report reduced sales but level income, due to higher profits. I’m using March to test the upper limit of ebook pricing for me personally. If  the market totally falls off to nothing, I’ll adjust the pricing and try again next month. I have that kind of flexibility because I’m not making enough off these things to earn a living at it. If I were, I’d be much less flexible.

I’m also considering rotating my books in and out of the Kindle Select program every three months. This will let me turn on books for the Nook market while they are out of the Kindle Select program. But they will still be for sale on the Kindle, just not in the Select program. Something tells me that this could actually work, especially for those who have three or more books out.

Come on back in April and see how I did with the higher prices.


Kindle Select Numbers for January

Last month I experimented with two of my novels by putting them in the Kindle Select program and offering them for free for the maximum amount of days. Now that I have January’s numbers, I thought I’d share them.

The Kindle Select program is by far the most effective advertising I’ve ever done for my ebooks. Getting a novel on the free best seller list leads to many downloads as you can see, but it also leads to a fair chunk of paid customers after the free period ends. My four books were averaging about 10 sales per month last year. So that’s a huge increase for me in a single month. In fact, I earned more in January than I did all year last year.

I’m not seeing out of this world numbers like some authors have, but I’m also an unknown genre writer who writes Science Fiction. That’s the worst possible genre to be in if you  want to make money. I’ve never had huge numbers. January’s numbers are not huge either, but they are decent for me. The trick will be to see if I can maintain this level of sales and maybe grow it.

Already this month, I’m averaging about 5 books a day. So half-way through February, it looks like I’ve managed to maintain last month’s numbers. Keeping my fingers crossed that it continues.

Novel Free Downloads Sales
Starforgers 706 46
Starstrikers No Sale 29
Tyrmia 2122 68
TFO Anthology No Sale 2
 Totals 2828 145

So how do I propose to keep this good fortune going? By moving my entire short story inventory to Kindle Select and offering a free ebook every weekend. If you do this right and you have a large enough inventory of ebooks, you can keep offering free books all month long for the entire three months of the Kindle Select program.

I have two ebooks left to move over to Kindle Select, Starstrikers and Tales From Ocherva, Vol 1 anthology. I’ll work these two books into the rotation soon, giving each book two days only over a weekend to be free. Hopefully after a month or two of this Free Weekend strategy, people will catch on and begin looking for them.

Now if you were particularly cheap and patient, you could obtain my entire inventory for free. Does this concern me? Nope. Because far more people will not be able to wait and will be willing to spend $2.99 to read another book.

I’ve also started advertising the free weekend sales on this blog over in the right hand column. This makes it easy for a blog reader to obtain the sample when it becomes free. I Tweet about the sale on Friday and mention it on Google +. That’s about as far as my publicity efforts are going to go for now.

Stay tuned next month to see if my numbers go up, stay about the same or tumble back down again.


Red Allen on Kindle Select

My Sci-Fi short story, Red Allen, is FREE for today and tomorrow on Kindle Select. This is one of my favorite stories about the legendary test pilot from the novel Starforgers. Set on an arctic starbase where Red must discover why a venerable starfighter is having mechanical problems.

This is also the kick off of my FREE WEEKEND series. You can get this fine short story free all weekend. Next weekend I will be offering up another short story and so on and so forth all through March. If the program is successful in bringing exposure to my novels and short stories, I’ll of course keep it going after this two month trial period.

Also of note, my Mystery novel – Null Pointer is also back on sale for this weekend. It’s about a programmer who must find a killer who strikes his victims over the internet. This one is not SF, it’s just a regular Mystery with a programmer as an amateur detective.

There is a good possibility that if you enjoy Science Fiction, you might be in the computer science field or Information Technology. Every single programmer who has read Null Pointer has enjoyed it. Some programmers say it’s one of their favorite books because it portrays them in a realistic manner. If you are a programmer, you should really check it out. How can you miss when it’s free?

If you read and enjoy Null Pointer, come back and read the short story – The Safe Cracker, featuring Detective Plait.