Tag Archives: free download

Let’s saddle up and chase some demons

I may have mentioned that I'm doing a bunch of October promotions. Some are in groups, some are solo efforts, and some involve host blogs. This one is all on me, but it might benefit you. My book, Panama, is going to be free all this week. There are always some quirks with Amazon, and international date lines, but it should be free by the time this posts.

This is actually my most reliable selling book. It only spiked once and that was a long time ago. It regularly sells a copy here and there, and folks seem to like it.

The dawning of the twentieth century was a strange time. There were unexplored areas of the world. There were wild Indians, places an outlaw could escape, and radar couldn't find ships at sea.

Steam power ruled the day, and the industrial revolution was in full swing. Europe was mostly ruled by monarchs, before World War One changed all of that.

The French wanted to build a canal across the isthmus of Panama in what was then Colombia. This was no light undertaking, and workers died in the thousands from diseases, and more than a few industrial accidents.

I put a lot of research into this one, and it's where I learned that a dose of reality helps sell the fantastic. There are period appropriate celebrity cameos, and with the exception of one, they were where the book represents when they appear in the story.

Ethan and Coop are old friends. They both served in different cavalry troops, because Coop is black. The black cavalry were called Buffalo Soldiers by the Indians. They wound up on San Juan Hill together in the Spanish American War. Both of them have experience with paranormal goings on, and that's why President Roosevelt approached them. There is something unspeakable going on at the canal construction zone.

I spent a considerable amount of time dealing with the prejudices of the era too. Coop's life and viewpoint are different than Ethan's.

Most of the construction workers were chasing fortune and glory. They came from all over the world in pursuit of high wages. I went out of my way to make my construction zone an international community.

The boys run into plenty of magical issues when they get there, and I tried to make that international too. You'll find a bit of witchcraft, some shamanism, and even some hoodoo along the way. The problem is all caused by a demon, but there is a power behind him that must be dealt with. Right in the middle of their project, the Panamanians decided to try for independence. This brings the Americans, the Panamanians, and the Colombians into some tense situations.

To make matters worse, there is a Carlist rebel who is trying to gain the former Spanish colonies back for his want-to-be king. The Carlist movement involved someone who arguably could have been king of Spain. This is called a pretender to the throne, and they still exist to this day. I know some of you get into this stuff, and you might appreciate the Wikipedia brief.

I stumbled across this post the other day, and saved the link for you. They are extracting an entire steam train from underneath Lake Gatun. This lake was created as part of the workings of the canal. The post I had went down last night, so I Googled another one for you. Check out French trains.

So there you have it; a strange mixture of the old world and the new. A strange mixture of cultures, and magic. If you're up to the task, grab your straw hat, holster your six shooter, and saddle up. This week the books are on me, and I hope you enjoy Panama.



Filed under Writing

Book Promotion: The Early Assessment

Most of my regular readers know that I recently ran a free promotion of my novel, Wild Concept, on Amazon. The free promotion is one of two tools an author can use to promote his/her work. There are many other ways to promote, but I’m talking about things Amazon created for authors. The other tool is a countdown deal, and I haven’t tried this yet.

Amazon let’s me give a book away for five days every quarter. I’m not required to use them all at once, but I did.

What I assumed:

As a brand new author, I need readers. If I give my book away for a period of time I will get some readers.

Some people will grab a book, just because it’s free. This does not mean they’ll read that book. Therefore, the number given away will be larger than the number of readers.

Interest in the free book will create sales of Panama, my new story.

What I read from others:

Sales will keep going after the promotion ends.

A promotion will lead to sales of your other books.

Never do a promotion longer than three days. (I read what others say. I don’t always believe it.)

What I wanted:

A couple of positive reviews for Wild Concept.

Interest in Panama to increase.

What happened:

I gave away a crap ton of books. More than I could even imagine. At one point, I was number 36 on Amazon’s free science fiction book list.

The majority of downloads occurred on the first day. The numbers dropped dramatically on day two and stayed there. I remained on the top 100 until I reverted to paid status once again.

One person, from the UK, bought Wild Concept prior to the promotion and returned it. I hope this was to take advantage of the free version and not because it sucked. I’ll never know. (My first return.)

I didn’t make a single sale of Panama during this promotion.

There hasn’t been a single purchase of Wild Concept since it went back to paid status.

Very few of the downloads came through my blog. I checked to see how many clicked on the link, and it was less than one percent vs. downloads.


Free promotions are a good thing. I won’t do another one that lasts longer than one day. There might be an advantage to doing a different title each day after I have all my old stuff available.

Amazon must have some good promotional stuff going on. My blog only has about 350 followers, and that includes the get rich quick folks and the same Colombian Cutes that followed everyone else a few months ago. My downloads were way beyond what the blog could drive.

It’s too early to tell if reviews are coming. People haven’t had time to read the book yet, and some might not get to it for months.

It’s also too early to tell if Panama will benefit. I would read the free book before deciding if I read the author again.

What’s next:

I have to be patient, something I’m not good at. Time will tell as far as whether I got what I wanted out of this promotion. I’ll keep working on getting the next story ready to post.

I don’t want to do another promotion right away. This is to keep the data clear as far as what this one accomplished.

I mentioned in a recent blog post that I like to play with all the toys. I’d like to try a Kindle Countdown Deal. I’ll give it a few weeks and decide what to do then. I might use Panama as the guinea pig.

Once I get all my old stuff uploaded, there might be an advantage in giving each one away for one day in succession.

Debate. Share your experiences or thoughts in the comments section. I’d like to know what you guys think.


Filed under Writing

It Worked!

Wild Concept is free on the Kindle store for the next five days. I didn’t quite get it set for Monday, but it’s happening now.

Get your copy here: Wild Concept

Get ’em while they’re hot. They make great graduation presents, etc.

Here’s my explanation of what it’s about: What a Wild Concept


Filed under Uncategorized