This is a legacy article from 2012

It was written for a previous version of this site so please excuse any graphical issues. If you see any broken images or links however. Please let me know.

Harry's Song and the power of free


Several months ago I wrote a short story called ‘Harry’s Song’, it will go down in history in my writing ‘career’ as the first story I ever actually completed. Once I finished editing it I sent it out to a few of my friends to gauge their reactions, which were very positive indeed – in fact I even managed to make a few people cry! Encouraged, I decided to put my book on Amazon’s Kindle store; within a few days I’d made 7 sales and I knew without a doubt that every single person who bought a copy was someone I already knew.

Every day for several weeks I checked my sales stats to see if I had managed to move any more copies and every day I found myself disappointed. I had heard that getting your name out there on the Kindle store was difficult but I thought with all the social network sharing I’d done I’d be able to get a few more than 7 people to buy a copy. Dismayed I eventually stopped checking my figures and left it alone.

Three months later, I returned to my dashboard to find I’d sold one additional copy and had received one review, however not only was this review from someone I did not know; it was absolutely glowing!

A very favourable amazon review of my story
A very favourable amazon review of my story

This gave me a bit of a push to find other ways to promote my book, it turns out I had not signed up to Amazon’s ‘Author Central’ dashboard, so I figured “Why not?” and filled in my details. I then discovered, right on the home page of the dashboard that I was allowed to promote my book as free for 5 days, again figuring that it couldn’t hurt I enabled the offer.

I was then ill for two days, my intention was to do another social networking push the day the offer went live but being ill had pretty much knocked me out and I did not remember to do anything about it.

Two days later, after feeling better again I decided that I might as well promote the final three days of my book’s offer, so I went to my dashboard only to see this waiting for me:

A graph showing my 'sales' going mental
Gotta love a graph that makes it look like you're at #1 when you're actually at #535

My books ‘sales’ figured had skyrocketed, this was without any promotion whatsoever, in the space of 48 hours my book had sold over 200 copies, this was not just in the UK either, this was worldwide!

I found this incredible, I almost did not need to do my social media push (I did anyway of course, every little helps) I watched my stats climb throughout the day. On Tuesday night my book was #286,176th / 400,000 in the Kindle Store rankings, as of 6pm on Friday it was #535!

This just goes to show the power of ‘free’, thanks to that promotion hundreds of people now know my name, many of those will read my book and hopefully enjoy it enough to give it a review or recommend it to others. Sure I’ve not made any money from those sales, however this cannot be considered a loss, I have gained a readership and –dare I say it – a fan base who will hopefully keep their eyes out for other stories which I publish.

If anything this has given me some great motivation to finish a few other short stories that I have in the works!

If you would like a copy of Harry’s Song, it is still available for free on Amazon until the 22nd July at the link below:

Article author: Alex Foxleigh