Who Knew?

Really, who knew that giving away free e-books was so time-consuming?

It’s not like I actually have to do anything to give away free copies of Memory’s Child. Amazon takes care of all that for me. So why, you ask, does having a freebie weekend take up so much of my time and attention?

Honestly, a giveaway that doesn’t require me to do anything shouldn’t take any time at all. The problem is, I can’t stop checking the reports on my Amazon account to see how many copies of MC have been downloaded so far.

I’m obsessed. I check darned near every waking hour, and sometimes more than once an hour. Part of this unexpected compulsion is fascination with the whole freebie thing. But mostly, I want to know how many potential readers are taking me up on this deal. I say potential readers because not everyone who downloads Memory’s Child will ever get around to reading it. I know. I have several freebies on my Kindle that I may never get to.

So my shot-in-the-dark assessment so far is: about 90 percent of those who download Memory’s Child will actually begin reading it. About 70 percent of those will read the whole thing. I mean, face it. Sci-fi isn’t everyone’s favorite genre, and my style and voice isn’t likely to appeal to every reader, either.

Downloads are at 950 right this moment. Apparently, at least one of the sites that promote freebies did, in fact, promote MC. I don’t have that many friends and family.

Yet another part of my obsession is anxiety. Will they like it? Will they hate it? Will they write a review, and if they do, will it be a good review or will they trash my work?

The free download ends at midnight tonight. I want to stand outside and yell, “Get yer MC! Get yer hot, fresh MC e-book! Hurry, before they’re all gone!”

My friend, author Lauren Clark, said her sales increased after she gave her e-book away late last year. We’ll have to wait and see if promoting Memory’s Child has a positive impact on sales once the weekend is over.


8 responses to “Who Knew?

  1. I finished the book this afternoon. There were a few typos but not distracting. I thought the basic primus was good… not incomprehensible to be sure. I found myself skipping over (speed reading several paragraphs and pages in some case) where the description of some problem or event was overwhelming or just downright boring. I also felt the protagonist found herself in more trouble than necessary and my interest perked up when the text described the historical events which led to the present conditions of mankind. Certainly the specialized groups seem more than plausible. Some of the phraseology was a bit campy and I found it also odd that a enhanced intellect with such a vocabulary at her disposal could not read or write until a lesser caste was able to teach her in a mere week. On a scale of five I would be stretching it to give you a three… more like a 2.5 because of the unnecessary rambling…

    • Thank you for your critique of Memory’s Child. Painful, yes, but valuable nonetheless. As for Shelana’s ability to read and write, that surprised me, too, as I wrote the book. However, since she’d never seen a book until they found one in the time capsule, there was nothing for her to learn to read, so that did make sense to me. The knowledge various Presers carry is passed on orally. I guess that’s easier than lugging around textbooks, but it opens many doors to errors and misinterpretations, doesn’t it? Like the children’s game where one person whispers a phrase into another’s ear, who then whispers it to the next person, until the final person in the game repeats something that may or may not resemble the original phrase.
      I’m glad you liked the history. So did I. You may find the prequel, which I hope to publish soon, a bit more interesting.

  2. Lynette…

    I am heartened that you took my comments graciously. I once belonged to a Internet club that fledgling authors must critique five stories before submitting one of their own… a worrisome task as one never knows the reaction of the author… most of us are very protective of our endeavours. Yes, I understand that having never seen a book would result in not having the ability to read, however I got the impression that the sphere of travel was somewhat confined in distance not only to Shelana but to all the other players in the area. It seems somewhat implausible that Race would be able to find the library but others were not privy as word of mouth would not keep it secret. However I am nitpicking here and will let this pass…. I will bookmark your blog and give your next effort my attention. I think that you might entertain trying to find an editor… one that will be honest and yet easy on your spirit.

    Good luck and keep writing…

    • An honest opinion, good or bad, is always welcome. 🙂 I’ve been a member of two Internet writing groups for almost 20 years, and some of the members have belonged to book clubs or writing groups that have been total horrors. Our groups only read, critique or edit if we want to, and only if asked, with no hard feelings if a member doesn’t want to do any of those things.
      Good point on the sphere of travel being limited. It definitely is, and I don’t consider that nitpicking. I love talking about this stuff. Fellon is the one who, in his childhood, spent time at what Shelana calls the “House of Books,” which Fellon only says is a long way away. Fellon raised Race, so would have taught him to read. That brings up the question of whether Fellon had or has at least one book of his own. Maybe he did until it crumbled from exposure to the elements.
      I had no intention of writing a sequel or a prequel when I finished writing MC years ago. I saw no need for it and neither did my agent. The restoration of civilization is inevitable, I think. Apparently, so is war. What else is there to say? The plan for more on the Presers and Myths came about fairly recently, and may turn out not to be viable.
      Oh! Thank you very much for mentioning the typos. I spent today combing through the file yet again and fixing all that I could find, and I sincerely appreciate the help. I once e-mailed an author to let him know he’d used a word for a woman’s undergarment when he meant a French cafe. He never responded. Oops.

  3. Of course most intellectually inclined people speculate on the course of human history… especially as to ‘the shape of things to come’ (borrowed from HG Wells). I spent most of my life traveling the planet with almost eighty countries visited and many lived in either for a few months or years. It has only been recently, six years ago, that I returned to the US to live out the autumn and winter of my life. That said, I feel that if a world catastrophy came about; possible climate change as you suggested or some other conflict envolving weapons of mass destruction or biological calamity, it would be the present day third world countries that would easily survive and our own first world countries fall into total collapse where the Mad Max scenerio would prevail, such as the Sackers, who in your book I might mention, actually seem to become more forgiving with some evidence of morality seeping into the time and place, especially Fellon as the book progressed. I was actually disappointed in Race chastising Shelana in the killing of Vernon. It would truly be survival of the fittest and any threat to progress would no doubt be eleminated.

    Even in our country, it would be the kids from the Chicago projects or the like that would raise to the top as the rest of our youth are pampered and given all they need, loosing all those necessary survival skills and ferocity.

    It would be fantastic to see what we have done to our spaceship earth in another fifty years… not good I suspect. Well, Europe survived a fifty percent population loss during the Black Plague decades and like the rats that brought forth the plague bounced back in less than a century to a greater number than previous. The problem we face in the future is clean water and nutritious food which suggests that the next war will not be fought over oil or geo-political squabbling but water rights.

    In closing, I will return to Memory’s Child… The settlement that Race has begun reminds me of the early villages and subsequently towns of pre-dark ages Europe which of course is the example of the rebuilding you referred to…

    • I agree, the “meek” are in the best position to inherit the earth. I, too, would like to see what this country and the world are like in 50 years, especially now in such bleak economic times. Doing some research recently, I stumbled across the Svalbard Global Seed Bank.A very cool place (pardon the pun), but as I’ve also discovered Monsanto is a major financier of the project, I wonder exactly what sort of seeds they are saving – “real” seeds or the genetically modified versions Monsanto is so fond of? Who will ultimately control the world’s farms and the crops they produce?
      Speculative fiction is a fascinating genre.

  4. Well, I would hardly call the predators of the projects or gangs of LA or El Salvador or Chechnya meek… I have seen firsthand those who learn from an early age what survival means and are willing to do whatever it takes to live and killing is the easy part.

    We can speculate as to what may cause humanity to free fall back to the middle ages which would not take too long if civilized society as we know it suddenly was destroyed from war, climate collapse, disease, a comet strike, or other calamity.

    I have heard about the seed storage in I believe Iceland, but it might not be easy to access and then just as difficult to grow and nurture…. Pie in the sky more likely.

    I read a novel some time back called Lucifer’s Hammer where the populace became aware of a huge meteorite on a collision course with the planet. The more industrious types began to lay in stockpiles of goods,.. foodstuffs, weapons, clothing, survival gear, etc. However most were unaware that unless these good were stashed in the high mountains, away from the impact area, they would not survive for various reasons. One smart individual hoarded spices… especially salt, pepper and spices that were needed to preserve food. He found a hilltop concrete bunker and planned to use those spices as barter if he lived… Interesting.

    I do not think anyone can fathom the devastation of real and vast destruction and the impact on humans… Those that did survive would not live long after and I think we would be battling other species as well as ourselves for our existence. I also once read that the problem with space colonization is in the numbers.

    We are amazing creatures, but not too smart in our own stewardship….

  5. While I agree that gangs of thugs would survive for a time, I submit that they have no real sustainability. They can take by force the things they need, such as food, but since gangs exist in an urban setting, the food supply would probably be finite. Then what will they do? Become farmers?
    They could, if they had gasoline and vehicles, raid outlying farms, I suppose. There would be little point in raiding other urban areas. They could kill cows, perhaps, but would probably make themselves sick by not knowing how to butcher the poor thing properly. Or cook it.
    By the meek, I mean people who already grow much of their own food for fun or out of necessity (have you priced cantaloupe recently?!), hunt and fish, and are accustomed to making do with what they have and without the latest iPod, French-door refrigerator, or “smart-home” alarm system. Not everyone has air conditioning or central heat. The “meek” may not be comfortable in summer or winter, but I think they would be much better off than those whose experience with extreme heat and cold is to adjust the thermostat in the hallway.
    Can you imagine the chaos if the power grid fails for, say, a month during July or January? While irrevocable collapse is unlikely, it would be fun to write a short story about a society that has largely gone paperless, only to have a major power catastrophe. It could focus on the day the last working Kindle on earth runs out of battery power. Heh.
    I’m familiar with Lucifer’s Hammer. Great book!
    Collapse doesn’t have to be catastrophic, though. The slide into apocalypse can be a slow one, or at least slow in the beginning, like the start of an avalanche that picks up speed and more snow as it falls.

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