First, let's get the important stuff out of the way.
My 18,000-word novella The Silver Ring is currently available as a free download at Amazon (US and UK). Normally 99 cents, now it is free. What's even better is that it includes, along with an excerpt from The Calling, a special sneak preview of my upcoming thriller The Serial Killer's Wife.
That's right, the first four chapters of The Serial Killer's Wife is included in this free download of The Silver Ring.
So what are you waiting for? Even if you downloaded it before, download it again!
Why, you might ask, is it free? After all, only publishers can make e-books free on Kindle, so how did I do it?
Well, yeah, that's the thing -- I'm not 100% sure. My guess is that, years ago, when I originally uploaded the novella to Smashwords, I made it available for free. It then was distributed into the Kobo store where it's been free ever since, even though I had long ago changed the price to 99 cents. It had come to my attention that Kobo still had it available for free, and I had even notified Smashwords but had heard nothing. So my best guess is that somehow Amazon caught wind of it and decided to match the price. I got an email the other night telling me that they were changing my price to free and that there was really nothing I could do about it (okay, the last part isn't quite true, but it was between the lines).
At first I thought: Huh?
And then I thought: This is great!
I already had an excerpt from The Calling included with The Silver Ring. After all, they're both essentially young adult thrillers with supernatural elements so it made sense. But then I thought about my newest novel, The Serial Killer's Wife, which I plan to release shortly. And I realized that this was an opportunity to really help spread the word about not only one novel, but two. After all, novels are where you really make money (or at least where I really make money), so it was a no-brainer. Of course, there's no guarantee that everyone who downloads The Silver Ring for free will actually read it (many people just download free books for the hell of it), but even if a small percentage reads it (and I think it helps that it's 18,000 words long and really fast-paced) then, who knows, maybe they'll want to take a chance on one of my novels. It's like what most writers hope for with their 99 cent books but here I'm able to do the same with a free book.
How long will Amazon keep The Silver Ring free? Who knows. It could be a few days or weeks or months. It could even be a year. But I'm not upset. After all, at 99 cents I'm only making a 35 cent profit. Last month I only sold 9 units. So far this month I've "sold" 40 units, and those have only been in the past few hours. I get no money from these "sales," but that's okay. Sometimes free exposure really does pay off in the end. Here's hoping.