I am a writer. I have books.

I want to thank everyone so much for helping me in my experiment, retweeting, Facebook posting, emailing, message board posting, and downloading. Nothing makes an author happier than when people are sharing in her vision. The links to the free download are broken now, replaced with links to the purchase point. The samples on the sidebar are back, so you can still try before you buy.

Final download tally in 26-1/2 hours: The Proviso, 420 and Stay 364.

* * * * *

I’m going to try something here. Y’all know I’m a writer and I have books for sale. More than 1500 copies of the sample for The Proviso have been downloaded, and 450 for Stay. That’s awesome! Thank you!

The thing is, I’m excited about the world I created and I want you to be as excited as I am. But I’m a new-to-almost-everybody writer and I write long, angsty, family saga books that can be polarizing, so one might be hesitant to try it. I get that.

So just for the next little while (a couple of days or so 24 hours), I’m going to offer the ebook versions of The Proviso (book 1) and Stay (book 2) for free. In their entirety. (The files are huge.)


Book 1: The Proviso

Book 2: Stay


UPDATE: I’m going to disable the sample links on the sidebar while the books are available free. I don’t want somebody to pick up the sample, thinking it’s the whole thing and then be upset.

UPDATE 2: This is good until Friday, February 26, 2010, at 3:08 p.m. CST. When I said “today only,” I meant for 24 hours. What, you can’t read my mind???

UPDATE 3: So, exactly 24 hours after I posted the links, what did I get? Numbers. I don’t really know what they mean, but I’ll share them. In 24 hours:

The Proviso: 385

Stay: 333

I’m not sure why there is such a discrepancy between the two, but I’m going to guess it had something to do with file size and download time. I’m breaking these links by midnight, so hurry! The samples are back up on the sidebar, plus they are littered elsewhere throughout the web.

Anyway, thank you all for participating in my experiment and I hope that you enjoy my imaginary friends as much as I do. And if you do, could you tell somebody else who might?

. Thank you!

How valuable is knowledge?

NOTE: This is the third in a series of several posts David Nygren of The Urban Elitist and I will be cross-blogging concerning the issue of authors (whether traditionally published, e-published, or self-published) actually getting paid for their work.

Outside of David’s and my continuing exploration of how to monetize our work (and for me, this means fiction), I’ve come across some interesting things that really only cement my opinion that, in a misguided attempt to be generous, knowledge is flung around like rotting leaves on a late fall day: plentiful, soggy, and seemingly worthless.

In ages past, knowledge was specialized and carefully husbanded, passed down from father to son or from master to apprentice, under the craft guild’s auspices: tailoring, goldsmithing, masonry, jewel cutting. These trades were respected, well paid, and each had their—get it?—guild to watch out for the trade. (I won’t go into the differences between a guild and a union at this time.)

tohnewlogo6Not that long ago, esoteric specialized trades with their own secrets began to write how-to books. I still liken this to the groundbreaking This Old House (and if you don’t know how groundbreaking this was in the building and remodeling industry, you just weren’t paying attention or you weren’t born yet). In 1979, I was 11 and I ate it up, glued to PBS every Saturday morning. (There’s a genome for DIYers, you see.) Still, the how-to books got bought and people learned these things—and they paid for the privilege.

A couple of years ago, I thought I’d undertake the task of making drapes, so I bought (oooh, there’s that word again) an e-book on the subject. It was self-published, an A-to-Z how-to with simple instructions laid out for an idiot ADDer like me, and far superior to anything I’d seen in a bookstore or at the library. It was $24.95 and worth every penny. (Never did get around to doing the drapes, but now I understand the concepts and principles of drape-making.)

Today, I went looking for how to create dollhouse plans and build a dollhouse. Now, I have never been into dollhouses and this project has to do with my current WIP, Stay, for which I want to build Whittaker House (a gothic revival mansion inn) and its surrounds in miniature. And I found this: FREE dollhouse plans and instructions.

I would’ve paid money for instructions like that, perhaps as an e-book or as a serial or a do-along project. I mean, she seems to know what she’s talking about, right? I wondered, “What’s wrong with that woman?”

funny pictures of cats with captionsBut then I looked at the header of my own blog, where it says, CREATING E-BOOK SERIES. I’ve been spending hours and hours building the next post on this (in case anybody was wondering where the hell it was). What’s wrong with that woman in the mirror?

Three things:

1) I’m a dilettante. I’m not sure I’m doing this the “right” way. I can only share what I’ve done; thus, I’m not sure my knowledge is actually worth anything.

2) I like to teach, and any bit of knowledge will spur me on.

3) I’m a compulsive helper. Knowledge is power and I think there are a lot of people out there who could use some empowerment.

If I had a penis and had gone to a master to teach me, say, stone cutting, my father would have paid the master to take me on as an apprentice. I would have served in his household in whatever capacity in exchange for room and board and knowledge for a period of 7 years (or more), which would have made me little better than an indentured servant. And then I would have struck out on my next phase as a journeyman and continued training. Once I earned the title of master under stringent training and specification, I could then say, “These are my credentials because I gave 14 years of my life to my trade in money, blood, sweat, and tears, and I am now in a position to charge money for my expertise and get my own little slave.”

If I had gone to college and enrolled in their fashion program, I would have paid tuition and gained credentials that told people, “Yeah, I kind of know what I’m talking about, so you need to pay me for my knowledge.” Oh, wait. I did do that. And I have a couple of awards to show for that. In my particular field of textiles, I’m considered a bit of an expert. So I charge.

But I didn’t go anywhere to learn how to create e-books. I learned my CSS and (X)HTML on my own from the free sites online (which sites exist in order to promote a standard markup). I learned the software programs by hit-or-miss. Nobody taught me; I didn’t ask anybody to teach me. I don’t feel I know enough to charge.

So why am I doing it?

To get traffic here into my blog to get you to buy my book. I am an expert on the subject of The Proviso, so I want to get paid for it. I am fortunate in that a couple of people have mostly agreed with me on my level of expertise.

Rightly or wrongly, some knowledge has to be given away to entice you to buy my product. Sometimes, those enticements don’t seem related. Obviously, there are some problems with the method I’ve chosen, which is to say, the people most likely to show up here to take the knowledge I’m offering free are probably writing books of their own and I should view them as my competition. They probably view me as their competition, too.

But say I’m wrong and it’s painfully obvious to everyone (except me and the people who take my advice) that I have no clue what I’m doing. Well, then my competition will screw up, too.

Sometimes free isn’t worth what you paid for it and can actually cost you a whole lot of real time and cash.

Mama, I’m thirsty

sad-faceWe just gave up our water cooler and water service.

For those of you tightening your belts, even if you A) don’t have any need to do so but you are anyway (yay, you!) or B) don’t have any notches in your belt ’cause it wraps around twice already (it’ll get better!), go here:

Save $1,000 in 30 days. I follow this guy regularly.

I probably should’ve tweeted this, but I’m still trying to figure out exactly what its purpose is.

Where I put my brain

KeyNote (not the Mac thingie). Freeware.

Unfortunately for MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE (because it’s all about me), this application is A) not undergoing development and B) not a portable (stand-alone) application.

Still trying to figure out how to get B without A. Poor guy went radio silent in 2005. I’m tempted to e-mail him, but I don’t want to impose.

Yadabytes Passwords. Freeware.

Fortunately for MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE (because it’s all about me), this application is a portable (stand-alone) application.

If you scroll down and see Yadabytes Notes, I did try this in lieu of KeyNote because it’s a stand-alone portable application, but I wasn’t impressed.

Multi-Timer Ultimate. Shareware.

Uhhhh…I have v1.27, which is super-easy and not this hard on the eyeballs, so I can’t vouch for THIS version. Unfortunately for YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU, I can’t find the earlier, easier version I have and I’m not sure it’d be kosher for me to let you download mine from here. Maybe JumboTimer would be simpler.