For the last few days I’ve been making the eBook versions of my books available for free. Kindle Direct Publishing allows me to offer any or all titles for free for five days total once a quarter. A couple of years ago I did the same thing with three of the titles in the Nick Temple Files series. This is the first time I’ve done it with all ten of the books that I’ve published through Kindle Direct Publishing.
I don’t know how my results compare to other authors who have done the same thing. Honestly, I don’t know if any other authors have done the same thing with all of their books at once. What I do know is that the results this time around have caused me to have a fundamental attitude shift towards writing, one that I became fully aware of this morning. It just happens to be Independence Day here in the U.S., a nice coincidence.
I first began writing more than 30 years ago. The impulse was fed by a desire to make a living that did not involve a standard nine-to-five job. That never happened. I never had the courage or audacity to simply quit my job and take a wild shot at making a living solely through writing. In part, I didn’t want to put my family at risk. In part, I enjoyed the security of a guaranteed income. And in part, I didn’t have sufficient confidence in my own skills. Thirty years of trying produced far too little in the way of royalties to ever seriously consider making it on writing alone.
I retired two years ago. A lot of planning, and a little luck made that possible. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I no longer needed to view, as was my habit, writing as a way of creating significant income. I’d stopped working my nine-to-five job without any negative financial consequences due to the above noted planning and luck. But I still viewed generating royalties as a basic metric of writing success.
Making all of my books available for free changed my view. I now have the luxury of considering readers to be more important than royalties. The key to this paradigm shift is probably that it is cost free. I don’t have to pay to play. My books are already listed. I simply have to check a few boxes online for their eBook versions to become available for five days at a time for free. Simple and clear, and ridiculously liberating. Having changed my focus from royalties to readers is something I should have done years ago. Today is indeed Independence Day!