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On  Thursday, August 16th (2012), The Hunting Tree - Book One will be free on Amazon. I know what you're probably thinking: "Isn't this just a cheap ploy to get me to read the first book in a trilogy so I'll have to go buy the other two books?" Yes; yes it is. Well, it kinda is. To tell the truth, if you like the first book of Hunting Tree you won't have to wait very long to get the rest of the book for free. Sometime in September I'll make the whole trilogy free at least for a day. HT-Book1-thumb

It might seem a little weird—why would I give away books that I want to sell? I've got a few reasons. Giving away books is the most reliable way to sell books. As an independent author, I don't have a big marketing effort to help me reach new readers. I suppose I could spend money trying to market my stuff, but trying to target readers who have a Kindle, like Horror/Suspense, and want to try a new author, would be a tough task for me to puzzle through. But somehow if I give a book away to 10,000 people, the book will start to sell and continue to sell for a few weeks. We're not talking blockbuster numbers, but at least I'm reaching people. 

I'm a featured author at Freebooksy

The alternative is to give away zero books, and then continue to sell zero books. I didn't start self-publishing my books in order to make money. My whole point was to get my current books in people's hands so I could put together a list of people interested in my next book. When I started, I priced everything at $0.99, but then I realized that by under-valuing the titles, I was inviting the audience to do the same. Would you respect a book you got for $0.99? Who knows. Maybe I'm wrong on that point.

The other great reason to give away books is that I can get featured on free sites like FreeBooksy.com. Tomorrow, Hunting Tree will be listed on FreeBooksy, Squidoo's Top 100 Best Free Kindle Books, PixelOfInk.com, FreeEBooksDaily.com, and more. Those sites reach a bunch of people who might never have heard of my books, and who might enjoy and then seek out more of my books.

The last great reason to give away books is that you get lots of new people who might review your work. Reviews are a great way to learn what's working and what's not. I've found that a lot of people feel I end books too abruptly. That's something I might correct in my next book. I know how frustrating it is to build a relationship with characters and then wonder what happened to them as the story closes. Here's another great thing I've learned from reviews:

MOST OF THESE REVIEWS ARE FAKE!

Whenever I see a new book with lots of 5-star reviews, I check out who the reviewers are. In this case, most have never reviewed a book before. Most likely, these reviews were written by friends of the author or perhaps ever the author himself using multiple profiles. I wish Amazon would find a way to crack down on this.

You can find this review here if you'd like to comment back to this person or perhaps report this review as abuse. I think the review is an abuse of the review system because Linda is not commenting about the book, but is asserting that I've faked the other reviews. It seems she should have commented on those reviews, not composed her own fraudulent review. In case you're wondering, I did not submit any of the 54 (at the time of this blog) reviews on Amazon. Sure, some of my friends did. Wouldn't you review a friend's book positively? But I know less than 20% of the people who reviewed Viv and I'm certain that nobody created multiple profiles to make fake reviews. 

How did this nice, sunny post turn into a rant against Linda? She's poison.

Anyway, checkout The Hunting Tree - Book One on Thursday, August 16th. It's free. If you miss it, send me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I'll send you a free copy of it. It's just a cheap ploy to get you to buy my other books and to get you to write fake reviews!