IMG_0001 copy copyMore delusion.

I just completed another “giveaway” of one of my novels on Booklikes

Between January 24 and February 28, 2015, I offered 50 electronic copies of FOREST – Love, Loss, Legend. Forty-two people requested the book.

Because I want my readers (even non-paying ones) to be able access my book in as many formats for as many devices as possible, I decided to take advantage of a free coupon code, a feature offered by Smashwords, one of the sites FOREST is self-published by.

In my email acknowledging the winners I instructed them to go to the Smashwords site at

click on “buy a copy” and insert this coupon code – I provided them with the coupon code.

I wrote, “Smashwords will send you a link and you’ll be able to download the book free of charge. This method allows you to download FOREST in six different formats including ones for your iphone, tablet or computer as well as e-pub and mobi.”

I indicated that the coupon would expire on March 31, 2015.

Furthermore, I said that if they didn’t want to take advantage of this option to just reply to my email and I would send them an EPUB or MOBI file directly.

The emails announcing them a winner went out March 1 and by March 4 thirteen people had used the coupon at Smashwords. I know because Smashwords lets me know.

As I write this on March 6, no one has replied to my email and asked for the book to be sent directly to them, and no more coupons have been redeemed. I’d be surprised if any more were though they do have until March 31.

Thirteen out of 42 is not quite 31 percent. Two-thirds of the people that “won” my book aren’t even interested enough to take a couple of minutes to respond to an email to get it in the most convenient format.

To me, this is further evidence that “free” is equated to “no value”.

Despite what those marketing “experts” tell you in their books on how to become a best selling author, on their (paid subscription) sites, or during online seminars, giving your books away will not enhance your sales, nor encourage numerous reviews.

There’s not even any indication that giving away books increases readership because there is no way of knowing how many of those 13 that actually downloaded Forest will read it?

More delusion.

I think I’m going back to my original premise – if it won’t sell, it ain’t good (blog post 2013/05/31).

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs



My new novels, FOREST – Love, Loss, Legend and The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic (now in paperback) are available on Amazon and at

Read Reviews

Visit my publisher’s website for excerpts from, and buy links to, my three novels, Spirit Bear, Eagleridge Bluffs, and Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients (now in paperback).

More of my original photographs can be viewed, purchased, and shipped to you as GREETING CARDS; matted, laminated, mounted, framed, or canvas PRINTS; and POSTERS. Go to:

View my flickr photostream at

Or, My YouTube channel if you prefer photo videos accompanied by classical music