How Many Ebooks Can We Give Away? And Why Would We?

The ebook in question is Neptune Crossing, which has been my free loss-leader for several years now. I ran a Bookbub ad on it the other day, to try to goose interest in the downloads, which had dwindled to a small handful every day. The result? Over 32,000 downloads in two days! Zounds! (About three fourths of the free downloads are at Amazon Kindle, and the other quarter are spread out among B&N Nook, Apple, Google, and Kobo.)

Why would I want to do such a crazy thing? Ha-ha, crazy like a fox! (A smart fox, I hope, not a rabid fox.) The answer, of course, is that I hope everyone who reads their free copy will be so eager to read the next books in the series that they’ll fall all over themselves rushing to buy them. Stampede! That’s what I’m talking about.

So is it happening? Well, paid sales went up the same day at Amazon Kindle. Not out-of-the-ballpark up, but nicely and encouragingly up. At the other stores, I haven’t seen any change whatsoever. Is that because of the sheer weight of Amazon, or because of some difference in the algorithms of how books are shown to customers in the stores? Wouldn’t I like to know.

Anyway, time will tell. People need a chance to read the books, after all. I hope it looks interesting enough that they won’t put it on their to-read pile and forget about it. Excuse me a moment while I shout:

“Hey, folks who downloaded Neptune Crossing! I hope you read it and like it! And if you do, please leave a review! And try the next book in the series!”

And thank you.

9 Responses

  1. Rich
    | Reply

    32,000 is amazing. That's got to translate into a bunch of sales eventually.

  2. Jeffrey A. Carver
    | Reply

    One sure hopes so. We're up to 35,000 downloads now. That's a lot of, er, not-dead trees out there!

  3. D. L. Cole
    | Reply

    I've been following the Chaos Chronicles since I bought Neptune Crossing in paperback in 1997, and sadly, I wasn't aware of the republishing of it as an ebook. Alas, I'm stuck with an 18 year old dogeared paperback that's been read and loved on probably more than any other book in my collection. What always enraptured me about the book and the Chaos Chronicles in general is how Jeff Carver can entwine an entire story around cutting edge theoretical physics while simultaneously creating characters and plots which overshadow the science and technology until they become little more than the stage upon which the characters act out an opera fit for entertaining kings. Unless there was a new chapter included in the recently released Ebook, I need only open my old paperback and be whisked across the solar system in the copilot seat of the Neptune Explorer, getting goosebumps all over again while John Bandicut plays the biggest game of Einey Stieiny Pool in history.

    Thanks Jeff Carver, for keeping the epic alive, and for inspiring to write my own book. I eagerly await the Reefs of Time.

  4. D. L. Cole
    | Reply

    Ohh… why didn't ya SAY there was a new afterword in Neptune Crossing? That's a horse of another color! That little detail alone is worth buying the Omnibus next week.

    Note to the unwary: Computers are the most UNRELIABLE place to store anything. Three hard drive crashes wiped out hundreds of gigs of data–including my own works and the first three volumes of the Chaos Chronicles so graciously offered for free on this site a few years back. Soon as I download the Omnibus next week, it's going onto three hard drives, a flash drive, and a DVD. Now… as long as I don't make my backups on a Tuesday, Murphy's Law won't touch the Chaos Chronicles again… hopefully.

  5. Jeffrey A. Carver
    | Reply

    Thanks for the kind words, D.L.!

  6. D. L. Cole
    | Reply

    Not a problem, Mr. Carver. I just downloaded the Omnibus about 20 minutes ago, and backed it up to a flash drive before reading the afterword for Neptune Crossing. It's a relief to know you write as slow as I do. After more than three and a half years, I'm writing the last few chapters of my first book. Well, at least this young tortoise has good company, eh?

  7. Erika Anderson
    | Reply

    Well, I downloaded the e-book in the summer and I'm so pleased I did! Sucked up Neptune Crossing, then bought books 1-3… Hoovered them with glee. Just downloaded the fourth… I love science fiction but I'd not heard of Jeffrey A. Carver. These were right up there in the best books I've ever read. I will be reading everything you've ever written.

  8. Jeffrey A. Carver
    | Reply

    I'm delighted to hear that, Erika! Thanks so much! That's the kind of encouragement every writer needs.

  9. Md Kawsar Ahmed Shamim
    | Reply

    Thanks for your post. Obooko is a good website from where E-book readers can download free ebooks, 2300 plus leagl free ebooks available for download.

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