Monday Musings: “I Got A Free Book!” And What To Do Afterward

I have been promoting the Smashwords Summer Winter Sale that runs from July 1 through July 30. Authors can enroll their books in the sale at a discounted price or offer them free. I have three books that are available for free. Two are at half off. It comes as no surprise that the free ones are doing better. And that’s okay. I made them free for the promotion for a few reasons. First, they are shorter length stories, mostly novelettes. Second, everybody likes free stuff, right? While the download numbers aren’t astonishing, they are moving. The month has just begun and it is a holiday weekend here in the US and in Canada. I’m not complaining. I made them free, and I knew that the free ones would be the first choices for many who look at my books.

So, you went and looked and picked up one or two of the free ones. First, let me say thank you! I appreciate your interest in my writing, and I do hope you enjoy reading them. I do, however, have a request. When you do read them, and if you enjoyed them at all, it would be a truly appreciated thing if you could drop a review out there. Smashwords would be great, and Amazon, if you are so inclined. All but “Feed My People” are listed on Amazon. It doesn’t have to be a long, involved review, nor am I asking for all 5 star ratings. Of course, if you loved it that much, please do! I won’t complain about that, either! What I really ask is that you be honest. Give it your true reaction and just a short comment on what you thought.

Do reviews help? Well, yes, they do. They help people looking for an item, in this case, a book to read, decide if this is something they want. For those looking in a specific genre, reviews can let a potential reader know if this specific book is a good fit with things they have read and enjoyed. Let’s face it, no matter what type of books you like to read, there are so many choices out there that it is impossible to look at every single one. Readers look at reviews, and not only the 5 star reviews. Like any other potential purchase, I tend to be just a tad suspicious if what I am looking at has many reviews and every single one is 5 star. But a trend toward good reviews that indicate a general satisfaction with a book can tip the scale toward purchase.

And this is probably a good time to mention that as far as Amazon goes, reviews have nothing whatever to do with a book’s (or anything else) ranking. Ranking is based on sales only and can change many times during a day because it is not just the sales of that particular thing, but sales as compared to everything else in the category. So, a lower ranking doesn’t necessarily mean something is bad. It just means that at that particular time, this item is either selling better or worse than millions of other similar items. The algorithms are complex and Amazon isn’t exactly forthcoming about how they determine ranking, but they do make it clear that reviews are not part of it.

Bottom line? Ranking is what authors obsess over. Reviews are what readers look at to determine whether they will like this or not.

So, really at the end of the day, you are doing me a favor when you review my books. And, yes, you already did when you bought it, even if you got it free. Again, I am not complaining. After all, I am the one who made it free, right? But if you could take a few minutes to drop a review for the things you read, it will help me and any other author whose books you like. After all, if we know there are even a few people out there who like our stories, we are more likely to keep writing them for you. We all thank you most sincerely!

Reminder: July 1-30, all my books are on sale at Smashwords. Three are free and two are half price. They are listed below this post, if you would like more information on them. I do hope you find something that peaks your interest, and that you enjoy reading it.

Have a great week!


Available now, and on sale at Smashwords through July 30:

tn_Circle Unbroken Cover (eBook)

After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here 



tn_Six of One

A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.




tn_Survival of the Fittest (Front Cover)

A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final environmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.





In a world reeling under the effects of severe climate change, food shortages are common, and arable farmland is scarce. Unscupulous distributors like Beni Oligowma take advantage of the shortages for their own gain. When a promising new technology for growing food even under the harsh conditions is unveiled, grocery store owner Frank is determined to see that everyone is able to benefit from the results, not just the Benis of the world.
Feed My People is a short story, set in a dystopian science fiction world, and is free. Learn more here


Demon hunters Johnny and Cerise travel to the small town of Carroll Fork where they find a demon-possessed thrift store, a sweet old lady who is more than she seems, and an army of underworld inhabitants. Can Johnny and his trusty yo-yo save the town from a devil of a problem?

Five and Daemon, the Yo-Yo Files #1, is a short novelette in an urban fantasy setting, with elements of the supernatural and humor.  Learn more here


Things have been quiet. No demonic possessions, no otherworldly intrusions, nothing. And then Lucifer shows up in Johnny’s living room, claiming that two archangels are missing, and something is definitely not right in the heavenly- and other- realms. Saying he has nothing to do with it- this time- he asks Johnny and Cerise to help him find out what’s happening, and who is behind the disappearances. While they are trying to do just that, Lucifer is devilnapped by a larger-than-life serpent. He manages to get a clue to Johnny before he disappears. Johnny and Cerise are left to puzzle out the disappearances and try to find the missing angels. Oh, and stop what could mean the ultimate destruction of pretty much everything.

Snake’s Alive, the Yo-Yo Files #2 is an urban fantasy novelette with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here.