So I tried a new tack at the start of February - giving my work away for nothing...
Seems to be counter-productive, doesn't it? When you spend hundreds of hours (although it was probably more like thousands...) creating something and then just give it away, it can feel like "What's the point?" I know of some writing 'gurus' who advocate giving almost everything you write away for nothing, but they're just plain nuts. One is enough for me, at the moment.
February the 1st saw the ebook version of Tiberius Found - the first part of The Emperor Initiative series - go free across a number of platforms - Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and WHsmith. The intention was to attract new readers who would (hopefully) like and enjoy the first book in the series and then buy the second (and then the final book when it's released in April). It may also lead to sales of Oliver Drummond and The Four Horsemen, if they like me as a writer.
The first week was pretty slow but then BOOM! I had 241 downloads in two days, mostly from America. Now I know that, in the grand scheme of things, two-hundred+ isn't earth shattering but for me that was great. I had constant downloads throughout the month - mostly from America but also a lot in the UK and some in Canada.
I ended the month with 608 downloads of the free ebook (443 US, 141 UK, 9 Canada and 15 via Smashwords) and about 2% uplift in sales that I'm attributing directly to the free offer. Again, not earth shattering but a promising start. I also got two new 5-star reviews on Amazon (UK) for Tiberius Found which, again, is brilliant.
It took a lot of promotional effort to get the word out and it'll be interesting to see how March goes.