When last we met our hero, he was trying to make his short story Attractions free. This is just a little update on that. After about 8 days, Smashwords approved the e-book for their “Premium Catalog” which means it’ll show up in 16 different places over the next few days. It is already live on Apple and Kobo. Notably, Smashwords doesn’t have a deal with Google, so it won’t show up in the Play Store. In fact, when I looked into the Google Play Store, I discovered that they shut down access to new authors over a year ago, and have shown no signs of opening it back up. Rumor is they had a bit of a plagiarism problem. So I guess it won’t be there any time soon, if ever.
Being free on Apple is supposed to be all it takes to get to free on Amazon, though, so I popped over to KDP and filed a support ticket asking them to match the price. I also reported the lower prices to Amazon directly on the book page (I’ll do that again when it finally gets up on B&N). The KDP people got back to me right away (I love those guys) and said they’d tell Amazon.
One nice surprise was that being free on Smashwords for this past week actually led to about 50 downloads. That’s pretty impressive since I didn’t advertise it, and Smashwords is a store nobody’s ever heard of. No bump in sales of Entropy though, so our initial conclusion that the “First Hit is Free” sales strategy is a bunch of hooey is standing strong.
UPDATE: Less than 24 hours after I asked KDP support (love those guys!) to get my price lowered, my short story is now free on Amazon.com! It isn’t free in Canada, UK, or Australia (the only other markets where people actually buy my books), so I’ve asked the KDP support guys to pass along the request to those three Amazons.
UPDATE: And just 24 hours later, KDP support (love those guys!) came through, and now it’s free globally! Still waiting for it to appear on B&N. Once that happens, I’ll submit it to all those sites that list free books.