A lot of people downloaded NORTHMAN in my recent free promotion on Amazon KDP Select. I can’t tell you how many because – I was surprised to learn – I would break my contract with Amazon if I were to do so. Betcher didn’t know that. Suffice it to say it was ten times the number of my first promo, last year. And it was a lot. Did I mention that already?
NORTHMAN hit #1 in the Horror/Occult charts, #2 in the Horror charts and #44 in the Free Kindle charts. All in the US. Truly amazing and totally unexpected! It hardly showed in the UK charts, possibly because most of the free book sites on which I placed the book were in the US.
There is a childish fascination in watching the numbers tick over. The thought that people whom one does not know are downloading one’s book in countries many thousands of miles away is quite satisfying. I’ve mentioned this before and I know the ★FREE★ header has attracted many of those readers, but I don’t care. For a brief moment in time it gave me the same feeling that the greats must have had as they watched their books vanish from the shelves. Unlike the greats, my moment will pass and I’ll return to looking at the download numbers once a month.
But that doesn’t sadden me.
If anything, it makes me oddly happy that a large number of readers will have my book on their Kindles. It makes me wonder if I should write everything for free.
There are so many books out there and many are free for a greater part of their lives. Will the time come when every book is free? Do we need a new paradigm for publishing? How would a starving author earn a crust in the new paradigm? What do you think?
Things are changing. Things have changed.
What hasn’t changed is the interaction between human beings who write and human beings who read. We will always need stories. Stories tell us about ourselves, about others and most of all about possibilities. The Norse ‘skald’ would tell tales around the fire and the children would listen. From those tales the children would extract loose templates for living as adults. It enabled them to survive and grow in their society.
Now, we watch TV and movies and interact through virtual social networks to achieve the same end.
And we still read books. In increasing numbers. Perhaps, sometimes, we tire of the visceral reality of the moving image and prefer to use our own imagination, rather than the imagination of someone else. Or it could be that, occasionally, a retreat from socialising into a private world created by one, for one, is simply a way of staying sane.
I don’t know, There are now so many things I don’t know, I’m wondering how I managed to forget so much, since I knew everything at 21.
Anyway, I’m drifting. I just wanted to say ‘thanks’ again for the wonderful support I’ve had over the last year from both readers and fellow writers. It has been a revelation to me and restructured my thinking about people after a lifetime in a hard, commercial world. Maybe not ‘restructured’ but rather ‘returned to default’. I’m immensely grateful for that reminder of innocent belief.
Once I have an idea of what worked and what didn’t I’ll post it for your amusement. It won’t be a template, because I know the Philosopher’s Stone only exists at Hogwarts.
Or where William the Cat buried it.