I don't give away my full novels. Deadlier than the Male, Cruel and Unusual and Blood on the Moon will never be given away in any promotions (I know, never say 'never', right?). But I do give away some of my Dusty the Demon Hunter stories. There's a very good reason for that and some of you who follow my blogs may have picked up on it... or you may not, because I don't actually remember if I've written about it, now I come to think about that. Anyway, I digress. Dusty was written as an exercise - to see if I could actually write in that particular genre. At first it was very difficult, I'd written 8,000 words in one evening and I thought it was a good story but my daughter said that it was too hot for a teenage - Young Adult - story. So I changed it, I slowed it down and took out some of the 'steam' until it worked. The original, steamy version can be found here.
So I'd done it. I'd set out to write a YA piece and there it was, done. Then the question was 'What to do with it now I've written it?' The answer was simple - publish it and use it to promote my other work! What a great idea!
Something that had taken one evening to write would help to guide people to my books. It was never meant to be what its now become, a success in 'her' own right!
Dusty is making huge strides forward. She's taking the bull by the horns and making her own voice heard. Who would have thought that she'd have her own movie? I didn't write her story with anything like that in mind!
Dusty has her own Wiki page, six stories out and more to come.
Which brings me back around to my original question:
Is giving away a free book devaluing your work?
My answer is no. The free Dusty stories are actually guiding people towards my work and getting her story heard, read, seen. Without people reading about her, she wouldn't be able to shout as loud as she is now - and she's shouting for Red too.
I understand why people give away their first novel, it gets their name out there when people enjoy the story and to be honest, it's not about the money is it? It's about being able to write what's in your head, get it all onto paper (the computer screen) and then send your precious creation out into the world for others to enjoy. That is the SCARY part - but OH what a rush when people enjoy what you've created.
On the other hand - playing devil's advocate here - why write a story and then give it away? That's your hard work, research, dedication and sometimes, cold, hard cash that you've invested in the project - and then you're going to give it away? Are you NUTS? Well, yeah, sometimes, to be creative, you have to be a little nuts.
To all my friends out there who create, keep on being the fabulous, inventive, creative and NUTTY people that you are!
Here are a few more assorted nuts I know:
Glenn Scrimshaw - His FREE book: Bleed With Style - the code is BN59D
And of course, Dusty's first story, Dream Lover FREE for the time being - Code RC94A