Some Stats, Post-Free eBook

I was curious whether releasing Old Man’s War as part of Tor’s free eBook series would have any sort of immediate impact on sales of my books, so I had a friend with access to BookScan check out if there was any sort of significant movement in the last week. So, according to BookScan, in mass-market paperback:

The Ghost Brigades sales are up 33% from the week prior;

Old Man’s War sales are up 20% from the week prior;

The Android’s Dream sales are up 9% from the week prior.

Now, percentages are not impressive if you’re not selling huge numbers (if you sold three books last week and this week you sold four, that’s a 33% jump, after all), but each of these books is still selling hundreds of copies weekly, so the increase this week is not insignificant in terms of sales numbers.

The real question is whether these sales bumps are due to the eBook release or to some other factor(s). And, well, I have no idea. I asked my friend if science fiction sales in general were up last week; he said that BookScan noted a 6% bump from the week before in the entire category. TAD might be part of the general movement, but OMW and TGB are significantly outside that. The last week has been busy around here, thanks to various topics and links in from Boing Boing and Instapundit among others, so that might have been a factor as well. But ultimately the biggest news in terms of my books in the last week was the free eBook release of OMW.

My thought on the matter is that while I don’t think there’s definitive proof of this, I do suspect that the free eBook release did have an immediate impact on sales, and that the impact was positive. Now what will be interesting to see is how the books — and particularly the mass market paperback of OMW — do over time.

So there’s some data for you folks to chew on.

63 thoughts on “Some Stats, Post-Free eBook

  1. There’s at least one other possible contributing source: people who were linked to your SFWA rant on ABurt were impressed with your writing, and decided to check out your books.

  2. I’m outside your statistics. My paperback copies of OMW, TGB, and TAD arrived from Amazon the week that Rollback (Robert Sawyer) came out in paperback because they were on the same order to get the free shipping. I don’t really care for e-books, anyway, since I find doing that much reading on a screen hurts.

  3. I’ve read about this phenomenon before. Giving the electronic version of the book away seems to, in most cases, result in increased sales of the print version. Cory Doctorow wrote about this strategy in Forbes last December. Suze Orman and Oprah are even doing it with similar results. It’s very interesting, and I hope you track it over the next couple of weeks. I’d like to know if there really is a correlation between your free ebook and print sales.

  4. I guess book publishers are now finding out what drug dealers perfected decades ago: first hit – no charge. Which works especially well if the first hit is also the first part of a series.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see this trend establishing itself as the business model of choice for writers. Especially for SF&F writers, given their torrid love affair with long, winding narratives that go on and on and on and every now and then you think the main character might die, and sometimes he (or she) actually will, but wait, in the next volume we find out it was all a dream of a different character, who wakes up to see that the universe is actually not at all what the last 10 books said it would be, but something entirely different, or maybe not just that different, just changed in some essential little places, and before you know it its book 15 and the author has passed away and there’s a committee now that keeps on writin*NOCARRIER*

  5. In the case of at least one copy, the e-book is an influence. I can’t very well hand the .pdf to my housemate and tell him to take it on the bus, even if I was that unethical, and I’m definitely not.

    Besides, if your plane emergency landed in the street outside my house, I couldn’t run out waving an e-book to get it signed.

  6. Y’know, I’d signed up for Tor’s “Watch the Skies” deal, and got a notification to go d-load Brandon Sanderson’s “Mistborn”, just waiting for OMW (even though I already have it (you signed my copy at last year’s LA Times Festival of Books!))… but I never got another email from them!
    Just went and signed up again!
    Do I need to do that every time?
    Am I gonna miss OMW and go right to the R. C. Wilson book that’s next?

  7. Chris, I had the same thing happen to me… discovered after the fact that the Tor email for OMW didn’t make it past the spam filter. The email for Mistborn showed up fine, but I’d recommend checking your spam filter to see if it wanted to read OMW all by itself.

  8. Eric Flint over at Baen has some fairly convincing arguments (backed with statistics, but then again 79% of the time you can use those to prove whatever you like) that free ebooks help rather than harm sales.
    Anecdotal proof: I’ve bought a good few baen books off the back of free ebooks by the same author: if I like an ebook enough I’ll buy a paperback copy too. I doubt I’d have signed up to their webscription thing at all if it hadn’t been for the free library, nor would I have subscribed to the e-magazine, so they’ve made a decent chunk of money from me off those free books.
    I bought Old Man’s War when it came out in Europe because I enjoyed the Whatever (though reading Agent to the Stars for free didn’t hurt either). Just read Old Man’s War again thanks to the Tor email, so I think I’ll go order the Ghost Brigades – might as well try to boost the stats a bit, and I’ve been meaning to buy it for a while now anyway.

    I’d agree with #4. Get your users hooked on your product, then charge them for another hit. Or to put it in a nicer way, remove the risk factor of spending money on a new author only to find out a few chapters in that you just don’t enjoy their writing.

    If someone’s browsing a bookshop and has to choose between a new title from an author they know they enjoy, and an intriguing-looking title from an author they’ve never tried before, they’ll probably go for the first one. (Or just buy them both)

  9. I bought ALL of your books (including a preorder for Zoe’s Tale) on the strength of the first 10 pages (or so) of OMW. Since you had somehow slipped under my radar, and I had never heard of you before. So, for me at least, it was a Good Thing.

  10. February tends to be pretty slow for sales, and Eliot nailed it with “April is the cruelest month”. Sales of TGB are more compelling, people have to pay for the second installment after getting the first for free (like crack cocaine). When ordering, most SF series have a drop off in sales from book to book (the Dune series for example) as people for whatever reason decide not to continue. So I see an anecdotal argument that the free OMW ebooks have spurred sales of TGB above what would generally be expected for an SF series. But it’s not enough data to think all that deeply about.

  11. Last week’s abnormal spike in sales of your books in Hong Kong was me, invading an English bookstore.

    Just in case you were wondering.

  12. Ian M:

    I agree, and I do caution people from taking these data and saying “See! It does work!” More data are required, plus a way to filter out other factors.

  13. I don’t think there’s any question that a free ebook by an established author being pushed by a publisher helps sales. I’m curious about the transition areas between demand for a relatively scarce product (free ebooks) and supply (what happens when everyone has them, or there is a large library of ebooks to choose from?).

    If I had a relatively unknown book out with a major publisher and I convinced them to let me release it for free download (with no press on their end) what would it do to my sales? I don’t have an audience at my blog or much of a pre-existing audience from my other work.

    I think this is a cool direction for publishers to take. But I’m also pretty sure that this kind of promotion will only be really effective for established authors. The two ebooks released so far are both by authors with quite a lot of “e-buzz” about them–Sanderson, a relative unknown finishing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and Scalzi, an A-list SF blogger.

    It’s certainly an interesting start though.

  14. There’s one factor at play here that I haven’t seen mentioned: all of these successful e-book to traditional book sales boosts are taking place within the traditional publishing system; the publishers are the ones laying out the expenses to support the e-books (advertising, promotion, marketing) and were the ones who laid out the money to buy the book to begin with and therefore have a vested interest in hyping.

    I’ve yet to see similar results for e-books not supported by a traditional publisher. I’d consider what’s going on now to be simply a case of the publishers finally learning how to fold the internet into their business model, rather than any kind of electronic revolution for individual access direct to the market.

  15. I think free e-books work primarily to spur the author’s sales not those of the book itself, though that may happen as a side benefit. Many people, myself included tend to read authors as much as books, and anything that gets a new author on someone’s radar is a good thing.

    E-books are still a niche market at best, and as much advertising as real sales. It’s no accident that Baen’s always treated it as primarily a way to boost paper copy sales. If you look at their model, not only does the Free Library introduce people to new authors, but so does their Webscriptions bundle model. Even at Baen’s e-pricing you’re really only paying for less than three books. The rest are freebies to get you buying more of those author’s works.

    I’m sure free e-books help an author’s sales, however the jury’s still out as to under what circumstances and to what degree.

    There’s also one counter-example of a free PDF offer which appears to have hurt sales. However that was non-fiction and the paradigm may be different than for fiction. Especially since they were looking at the book as a standalone not as a way to build author interest. (Other questions as to the appropriateness of PDF as a format for e-book delivery will have to wait until a later time).

    My own thought is that the free e-book model will only work when there is an author or series model in place where the initial free offering can be seen as a gateway to later purchases.

  16. One of my friends just this morning specifically posted on her blog that she’d started to read the free version, then after deciding she liked it enough went to Borders on her lunch break and bought a paperback copy.

    I grabbed the ebook, but I own old man’s war, ghost brigades and android’s dream….so in my case I am an existing customer who just thought it was cool to get to have a digital copy too. (And I appreciate that you were willing to do this.)

  17. You’re neglecting the fact that I blogged about the books last week. If only 10% of my readers went out and bought a book, that’d be, let’s see, carry the seven, drop the insignificant digits … roughly 0.2 books.

    I can haz royalties?

  18. I think free e-books help good authors. I’m a long time fan of the Baen Free Library which has got me hooked on at least 5 great authors. I’ve since purchased most of the back catalogue of those authors in paperback. I’ve also read dozens of free books there that I didn’t like at all and have not bought anything by those authors. Free e-books are a very easy way to introduce new authors to those of us who like an author’s overall style and go on to collect their body of work. Case in point, having never really heard of any of John’s work before, I picked up the Tor offer, read a few chapters, and am now the proud purchaser of OMW for a ski trip this weekend. It works for the really good authors, but I’m not sure it works if you’re mediocre.

  19. Sometime in the distant future when you are old and frail, you’ll track your sales and see that you only sold one copy for the previous period. You should thunt that future person down when (if) this ever happens.

  20. I’m gonna go out on a limb and admit it: I got the free eBook, played a bit with it, and happily read enough to know that your excellent work is worth my monetary support. I rushed over and bought a copy. 10-20 pages in I—sadly—returned it and finished the book on my iPhone. The design of the paperback is atrocious to the point of unreadability. The HTML version? I could format it so it was pleasant to my eyes.

    I’d happily and willingly buy the rest of the series (I really want to finish it) and will check them out … but if their design is as bad as Old Man’s War I’ll hope they come out as HTML (for which I’d readily pay) but, otherwise, forgo the fun of reading them. I’m apparently the minority but I wish good authors were complemented by good design.

  21. It sounds a lot like the effect Eric Flint noticed when he went to Jim Baen to set up the Baen Free Library website. He saw similar increased sales of his older titles after a book was posted free to read on the internet.

    Or in other words, Baen and Tor are handing out “samples” that hook poor unsuspecting fiction readers.

  22. I probably screwed up your sample. I bought “The Last Colony” last week, due entirely to getting a gift certificate from my amazon rewards card.

    I would think that it’d take more than just a week to see the real sales boost if the sales increase is due to new readers as it will take them a while to get to actually reading it after download. I bought “Blindsight” after reading the first few chapters electronically, but I had it sitting on my hard drive for over a month before I got around to reading those chapters.

    Just the other day, I ran across a whole bunch of music with file dates of 2001 that I’d pulled down to check out for possible purchase. Someday I’ll have to listen to some of it.

    I suspect some people think that because there are many more downloads than sales that the downloads are “costing” sales, but I think they are mistaking internet behavior. There are a lot of internet packrats that download anything free on principle. I pulled down “Old Mans War” entirely on reflex. I have no clue if I’ll ever read the electronic version. I’ve already read the dead-tree version and still have it. I got the download because, you know, someday, sometime I might get the urge. If paper books were free, I’d take the whole bookstore home.

  23. I personally bought The Ghost Brigades after having read the free e-book version of Old Man’s War. I doubt I’m the only person who did that.

  24. Maybe I’m the only one, here, but I bought TAD last week, on direct relation with the free ebook offer! I downloaded OMW, but on the one hand, I’m not a big fan of military SF, and on the other hand I’ve just too much to read right now, so I just saved the file and told myself I’ll read it some time. But on general principle, I went to Amazon and looked up the authors who are part of this free ebooks offer. And the description of TAD tickled my fancy. So here am I: one copy at least among the 9% increase is due to Tor’s wily schemes ;-)

  25. Your sales being impacted so quickly reminds me of the reason that book previews work on Amazon. People sometimes don’t even *get* through the whole preview before going “1-click”.

    For good writers, anyways. For books the customer wouldn’t be remotely interested in, even the offered 10 pages (or whatnot) often won’t reel them in.

    But offering the full book… that attracts attention far more than the little previews, which are so common these days.

  26. Just anecdotal evidence that may help explain 33% boost. I just finished the free copy of OMW. It left me with a serious craving for more, which is why I will definitely pick up Ghost Brigades at the earliest possible opportunity.

  27. I haven’t even finished the electronic copy of OMW yet, but based on the opening chapters I’ve already bought a paper version for my husband (because he can touch my Palm TX over my dead body) and a copy of TGB. Not only did the free copy result in my buying two paper copies, but it brought me back into a section of the bookstore I haven’t wandered through in years.

  28. I finished my e-copy of OMW, and wanted to read more. I ordered both OMW and TGB, because reading e-books is still a pain, and I like to be able to pick up a book I already read, and re-read part of it. I need a physical book for that.
    Not to mention the fact that it’s easier to lend.

  29. Here’s a counter view. I’m reading the Old Man’s war download. I like it, the writing is as good as I expected from this blog, but I’m not going to buy it (or any of the others) in paper. I don’t do paper books any more. Well, except for maybe art books – things with illustrations.

    I can’t store them, they cost too much (I live in Australia – we pay US$18 for a paperback, hardcovers are about US$35-50) and I can’t carry them around easily.

    If Tor ever gets around to actually making these books available as e-books, at a reasonable price, then I’d buy them. I’ve bought over 1,000 ebooks (mostly SF&F) over the last few years, since I switched from paper books to ebooks. A few of them were e versions of books I already own, but most were new. Tor’s share of my book spend dropped from a reasonable percentage to almost nil. I did buy some books from them when they had a brief fling with ebooks a couple of years ago.

  30. I read the Agent to the Stars free eBook. Went to Boarders to buy OMW. They didn’t have it. Then I heard about the free ebook TOR deal and got that, read it and loved it too. I went back to Boarders and they had OMW. I didn’t buy it, but I did by TGB so I don’t know if that should count as a lost or gained sale

  31. Just to let you know I just downloaded the new ebook from TOR; SPIN by Wilson. What a deal….. Since I already purchased your books I just love the ebooks.

  32. There’s a really great proof of concept study to corroborate the idea that giving people free books to read also supports the publishing industry:

    Public libraries

    362 years of data in America and approximately 2,500 years of data worldwide.

  33. Ahh, good books=good cooking. They take insanely long to make and then someone gobbles them down in no time at all.

    Old Man’s War: total reading time 5.30h, with bathroom breaks and detailed analysis of the writing (and mental note-taking for a beginner writer). Really nice read. A proud book in the Forever War Halderman tradition. And free to boot. Although now I really need my yoga: 5.30h in front of the computer=not good for neck and back.

    Good job, John. I bet you’re immensely proud of the book.

  34. Just finished OMW thanks to Tor (although, it’s tough D/Ling their books with Mail and Safari on a Mac. They may want to look into that.)

    Anyhoo, I’m not yet part of that sales bump, but I’m definitely planning on getting Ghost Brigades this weekend. OMW was one of those “really ought to get around to” books, and I didn’t know GB existed, so this has ticked off one item that was low on my list and added another right at the top. We both win.

  35. at least one of the GB sales was a direct result of the free OMW download. I started re-reading OMW, and knew I had to get the next book so I wouldn’t be stuck with that “but I neeeeeed the next one right now!” feeling this weekend.

  36. I will read this. If I like it, I will probably order the others. I wouldn’t spend money to buy the first one, but as a biblioholic I spend for things I think I will like, if I have had a good experience. Sometimes this hurts. I bought six terrible books from one auther after reading one. But on balance, it keeps me stocked with good material.

  37. Here’s another data point to consider: Neil Gaiman’s publisher, HarperCollins, released “American Gods” as an e-book, but in a different fashion.

    Instead of a download, as in OMW, they’re restricting you to their site, in a fashion similar to Google’s Book Search. If you want to read the book, you have to stay there as it loads page after page. This probably won’t help his sales; it certainly turned me off from trying to read “AG”, and I have three of his books plus the two “Ultimate Sandman” volumes.

    Now, Neil’s already a best-selling author, and in the study I’ve read, free e-books shouldn’t affect his sales much (The theory is that free e-books help less-known author, compared to best-selling writers such as Stephen King.)

    It would be interesting to see how his sales are over the next week.

  38. You didn’t mention any effect on The Last Colony. I have been looking for a copy for months, but have never seen one. If there is a reason it didn’t get a sales bump that might be the reason.

  39. Here’s anecdotal evidence. I actually PREFER e-books to dead trees; they’re lighter, easier to store, and I don’t have that much room any more. And with a 22″ monitor, the print is big enough to read without my magnifying glasses.

    But I’m going to order the paperback version of Ghost Brigades because I can’t find a source for an ebook version. Old Man’s War was a fine story; not “great literature” perhaps, but well worth the time spent reading it. And well worth the price of the 2nd volume in the story.

  40. The effect can be tested (if anyone really cares) using a technique called Interrupted Time Series Analysis. It’s a part of SPSS software advanced package, usually.

    It’s an econometric technique that compares a series (say weekly sales of a book or an author) before and after in ‘interruption’ to see if there really is a difference.

    For instance, when Illinois instituted stiffer penalties for some violent crimes in the late 1970s shows absolutely no difference in the crime rates for those crimes after the ‘interruption’ of imposing much longer sentences.

    OTOH, the time series for lowering the pitching mound in major league baseball show a statistically significant increase in Earned Run Averages tied to the change.

    You’d need at least 20 data points prior to the intervention and some 4-5 after to test it.

    I think it would be an interesting thing to test, but maybe people don’t really want to know if changes have effects.

  41. Ron W:

    The Last Colony numbers were not significantly different from the week before — it was up something like 2%. It’s in hardcover, however, and I suspect it has a different dynamic.

  42. I did not get a reply from my signing up with Tor.com until yesterday and a link for Spin by Robert Charles Wilson. So, I bought OMW yesterday at a local Borders.

  43. I bought OMW from Amazon just a couple of weeks ago because I’d been hearing about it for so long. I haven’t bought any of your others yet. It’s free now eh? Oh well.

    However…I downloaded 1632 from Baen about a year ago. I got started on that and liked it enough to download the others, and buy hardcover of two of the 1634 sequels.

    If OMW had been available on Tor (or Baen) a couple of months ago, it would have been Ghost Brigades that I would have bought.

    Drug dealers figured it out a long time ago. I’m betting the freebie sold you some books.

  44. Oddly, the first book of yours I bought was “You’re not fooling anyone…” and I remember thinking “I really oughta buy one of this guys other books.” Instead, I bought Accelerando on your recommendation and promptly sat on it for a good long while. When I finally got around to reading it, I loved it so much I bought Glasshouse as my very first Kindle book (which I also loved). Anyway, after that I decided to check out OMW (which you mentioned in “You’re not fooling anyone…”) and just happened to stumble upon word of it being available for free through Tor as an ebook. What the hell, free is free. I loved it so much I bought Ghost Brigades the instant I finished OMW (Kindle again, btw). So that’s at least 1 sale you can chalk up to the Tor offer. Spin is next on the list (you can’t beat free), but The Androids Dream will probably come after that. In any case, keep up the great work. You spin a hell of a sf yarn.

  45. RE: Incresed sales
    You can’t blame me buying all your books on one of the free books (Blame Instapundit for THAT – and a good first book)

    As someone else said, many of us read “authors” – “Oh, so and so’s works are good, and this other guys works tend to be stuff I don’t like” (which drives me nuts when I get a stinker from someone I like, or someone says “You like X book” (and I do) from an author I generally DON’T like (Think Elizibeth Moon – Most of her series works I just can’t stand – but every once in a while, she throws a book out that I LOVE)

    I discovered John Ringo via the Free Library, and so he can blame 6-7 book sales on that

    Like others – if I read one of the free books, I’ll typically get about 1/2 way through on screen before I head over to Amazon, get a copy of the book, plus at least the 1st sequal (if available). I might finish reading the book on screen, but I’ll RE-read the book in paper later (I’m one of those folks who will re-read books so many times that even hardcovers fall apart (I think after my 10-15th readreading of some of the early Tom Clancy books, my copy of Patriot games fell apart)

  46. I don’t know any Baen author who has put a book into the Baen Free Library and then seen sales fall or remain stagnant.

  47. I’ll sign up for any e-book at this point. I still buy paper books and read them at home. Unfortunately, I’m not home all that much. I want to be able to take more than one book with me. In addition, I tend to read a lot in airplanes, airports, restaurants, etc. where lighting isn’t very good. With the PDA, this isn’t an issue.

  48. I read your free e-book and now I will be buying the trio you have out. I am hesitant to spend money buying books by authors I am not familiar with, afraid that I will spend the money but not like the author. Now that I have read “Old Man’s War” I plan on buying the ones I have not read, plus the one I did so you can be compensated for the book.

    Thanks for letting me ‘discover’ your work via the free book, I look forward to your future books too.

  49. Already had the hardback version of OMW & TGB. VERY glad to see your book in electronic form. Please do more in ebook form and continue to write those good stories for us.

  50. Just for another data point, I downloaded the free ebook after seeing the link on BoingBoing, starting reading it and 2 chapters in, realized that I was enjoying the story and wanted to read it in a way that would be comfortable, so actually walked over to the bookstore and bought the paperback. I suspect that the free downloads certainly drive sales (although it’s probably difficult to assess how much is caused by the free release and how much is a correlation).

  51. I’m another in the “loved the ebook, won’t buy the paper” camp. Partly because I’m in Australia, admittedly, but mostly because I greatly prefer ebooks. Sorry about that.

    The “American Gods” ebook is downloadable – just load it up in your browser and hit “save this page”, you’ll get all the jpegs. It’s still ugly to read the images, not least because if you zoom in you just get bigger pixellated blobs instead of bigger text. Hint: don’t do this.

    Please, for the love of Bob, make your ebooks both available and portable. Most of your readers will buy them if you let them, it’s the publishers’ … ah… “resilience in the face of new ideas” that’s making the darknet so popular.

  52. Well, an author may want to consider another aspect of the free book trial, though it is not really a major factor, and one that unfortunately would be very difficult to quantify.

    I read OMW, and quite honestly, there is no reason for me to spend any time or effort buying other books in the series.

    Which means that to the extent that I would have bought the book (cover art, blurb, only book available at a train station, etc.), the author/publisher lost a ‘random’ sale (no better term suggests itself), plus any following ‘random’ sales of the series.

    Though not of other books of the author, necessarily. After all, the author was already paid by the publisher, and as the copyright holder, the author may be making a smart marketing move based on reciprocity – when choosing between the work of someone who shares, and one who doesn’t, the sharer has a certain edge.

    The question is, at least from a publisher’s perspective (the publisher being the one burdened with real costs of unsold books), is the amount of lost ‘random’ sales covered by the amount of new real sales being factored into the margin calculation. Especially after the novelty wears off – Baen being a somewhat lonely exception, but in Baen’s case, the leveraging of long running series is certainly part of the calculation in the background.

    From an author’s perspective, there is little to lose – authors were writing before the publishing industry existed, and will certainly exist after the publishing industry is no longer recognizable (music neither started nor died with the music industry). Especially authors who have rediscovered the serial concept.

    While for a true niche player like Baen, exploring new areas is necessary for survival, corporate entities have other interests.

  53. Was glad I could get ahold of OMW (I’ve been tossing the idea aroud for a while to get ahold of it); but I’ another one of the ebook fanatics. While I buy paperback (and even hardback of some series), I primarily buy ebooks now. Because I won’t pay money for restrictive DRM, though, I mostly buy Baen. I own through various “free offers” a couple of “tight” DRM books and movies; and I currently can’t read any of those books because I screwed up my MS reader activations through multiple re-activations. I probably can activate one of my devices now – except that I have a desktop, a laptop, and a handheld (which I just bought a new one of) that I would like to activate.

    I’ll buy “watermarked” books (I have in the case of a couple of Roleplaying supplements), but anything more restrictive than that; fuggedaboutit.

  54. I have to agree with Ian@59 and Moz@57. The free E-book of OMW cannibalized the sales of the paper version for me. I had already heard about it from several sources and was thinking about looking for a paper copy (probably from my public library) when I heard about this offer. On the other hand if The Ghost Brigade is offered as a DRM free e-book at a reasonable price I will happily buy it. For me the reasonable cost is around $5-6 the same as Baen books charges for their e-books sold as individual copies.

  55. I was not familiar with the author when I downloaded OMW and was grateful for the opportunity to sample the work. About halfway through the book I was enjoying it very much and happened to be in a local bookstore. There was The Ghost Brigade on the shelf, a single copy, and the only thing in stock by this author. I snatched it up. This is a purchase I would not have made without the availability of that first book via free download.

    Now I’m trying to discipline myself to wait for the paperback version of the third volume…don’t think I’m gonna make it.

    As a marketing effort the free download worked on me like a charm.

  56. I had never heard of you until the Tor release.. and since it was drm free i was able to put it on my phone and read it when I had ‘spare time’ (I’m a computer nerd and a father not much of that spare time stuff for me). After reading it for a while there I copied it to my pc and finished the book and honestly I was moved to tears at the end. I really enjoyed the book and it has been quite some time since I’ve read anything that wasn’t a tech book or a blog. First I would like to say it is obvious you would never have had me as a fan.. Second I would like to mention the obvious that I am scouring the internet right now looking for TGB and ran into your site! So as soon as I buy it your % will go up a tiny bit and hopefully reassure you Tor is moving in the right direction.

  57. John,

    I am a new reader. I learned of your existance through TOR and at random loaded your OMW into my BlackJack phone to try the eBook reader experience, while thinking about a Kindle.

    I really like OMW which I am still reading (on my phone). I was a sale you never would have had on that story but will have on the rest of your collection. I believe that you made a very wise decision seeding TOR with your novel. I would ascribe some of your sales increases to that “free” publicity.

    I am not a scifi fanatic and I mostly read professional writings for work, but I found your novel very diverting and relaxing and interesting and refreshing. I am pleased to make your acquaintance!

    Best regards,

    Bob Hare
    Stroudsburg, PA

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