Well, I noticed on Smashwords that my short story, Shattering Inside, was sampled often, but no one was buying. I had sold a few on Kindle (a few in the US and a few in the UK), but neither of my stories is doing great. I decided to just make the Shattering story free. I kept The Prisoner at $.99. I set it to free on Smashwords and Kindle followed suit. I was actually considering taking Shattering Inside down completely. I am still considering changing The Prisoner's title and cover art (and the description), and I am also considering another revision. We'll see.
Well, the other day I had a lady at church come up to me out of the blue and tell me that she had gotten both stories and really enjoyed them. I appreciated that. The way I figure it, if she had really hated the stories she would have just kept the news to herself. You know, she didn't have to go out of her way to tell me she had bought the stories and liked them both. So, I thought I might keep them up awhile longer.
Then something interesting happened. I checked my stats and Shattering Inside had been downloaded over 800 times in a day. As of this afternoon it has been downloaded over 2000 times. It was ranked at #130 in the entire Free Kindle Store last Thursday (that ranking has dropped off a lot since), and even today it was still ranked at #9 in the Kindle Short Fiction category. It got up to #13 in the Kindle Contemporary Fiction category. Someone also reviewed the story. The person gave the story 4 stars and wrote a nice review. They pointed out some issues with the story that I totally agree with. Maybe I should rewrite that one too. Not sure.
Anyway, I thought that was interesting. I was selling one here and two there before. Now it is free and the numbers are climbing. I would love to actually make a living with my writing. But I must admit it still feels kind of nice that people are reading my work and enjoying it.
But the question begs an answer: Can you have a "bestseller" if the product is free?? As of right now, I am ranked #9 in the Kindle Bestseller Short Fiction category. For free ebooks. And overall, I still think that is pretty cool.