So my promotion ended yesterday. It ended with a slight uptick on the downloaded copies of my two short story trios but it still was unimpressive. Thank you to everyone who DID download the stories. Hope you find something you like. Even more, I hope you’ll maybe try something else I’ve written. DIE 6 has some pretty good stories in it….I think…
So how did it compare to my first giveaway, where I promoted my titles SOLE OCCUPANT and DEAD OR ALIVE? Well, that time I gave away 144 copies of the two titles. The first of them did better. I don’t think it’s surprising. The cover for SOLE OCCUPANT was done by a professional, while the cover for DEAD OR ALIVE was done by…well, by me.
This time I gave away 71 copies in total. Forty nine copies of JACK’O’LANTERN and 32 copies of THE GATEWAY were given away (by zombies…no, not really…by me). Half the number of copies, though almost as many copies of JACK’O’LANTERN were given away as of DEAD OR ALIVE. Anyway, why so few this time? I have a few theories.
First, I did not have the opportunity to tag my giveaway with another giveaway. In that case it was QUANTUM ZOO, with the giveaway promoted by all twelve authors (to some degree) and D.J. Gelner shared my status update, where I plugged both my own stories’ free status as well as that of QUANTUM ZOO. This time, no shares from any authors. (One offered but didn’t follow through, far as I could tell.) I did have two friends share it with their own friends, and there is not much overlap between our groups of friends. Anyway, when D.J. shared it on FB, my post views approached 300. This time my post views were around 150 (maybe a bit more). Half the page views, half the downloads. Plus, people who were downloading QZ might have theoretically searched out works by the other authors in the collection and found a couple of mine on promotion, and grabbed them that way. I’ll never know.
Second, these two covers are probably my worst covers. I did them myself, and they were the first and second covers I ever did. I’ll probably try to redo them sometime when I have the time. But I don’t want to spend any actual money on them. At $0.99 per download (which means $0.35 to me) it just does not make sense to spend the money on them.
It’s a shame, really. I’ve had really good feedback on some of the stories. Annetta Ribken once said of JACK’O’LANTERN (seen in a less edited form on the Friendly Fiction forum on Journalscape) that she could totally see it in a YA Halloween themed collection. J. Michael Major listed AMERICA’S PASTIME (part of THE GATEWAY trio) as one of his favorites of the 14 DARK WINDOWS collection. THE MOMENT also received good comments when I posted it on a blog a few years back. And SARAH’S PUPPY won a contest on The Book and Candle Pub several years ago. I think they’re decent stories.
Here’s Annetta’s quote (about JACK’O’LANTERN):
I can so see this in a YA Halloween anthology.
Cute and interesting premise. nicely done!
Author Eric Mayer (of the John the Lord Chamberlain mysteries) said this about THE MOMENT:
I enjoyed the story. From what I recall of eighth grade it seems true to life. Although I only wish I could’ve been bright enough to ever come up with a ruse like that. I’m surprised you could concoct this from six words not of your own choosing. Out of curiosity, do you recall what the words were?
I couldn’t, by the way. I remembered “pirate” and “tommy gun” and “black cat” once I read it and looked for them.
And J. Michael Major’s Amazon review of 14 DARK WINDOWS:
It’s always fun to discover a new, talented author, and Scott Dyson is my latest find. The fourteen creepy tales here range from wistful and romantic (“The Moment” and “Ghost of Love”) to the horrific (“Hot Spot” and “The House at the Bend in the Road”). My personal favorites are “The Only Solution” and “America’s Pastime,” but all are wonderfully written and there is something here for everyone — just don’t read these hair-raising stories when you are alone at night! I look forward to reading more by Dyson. Buy a copy today and tell your friends about this exciting new author!
So there you have it. The results of the giveaway.
I had been debating whether to put ODD MAN OUT on promotion next month. It’s my best cover, and I like both stories. But I don’t know if it’s worth it. Maybe I’ll just schedule it for a two day giveaway or something like that.
Better get something new written and published. And soon.
Take care! Thanks if you downloaded them. Heck, thanks if you’re reading my blog!
Some of these titles sound unfamiliar, so I’d better check them out. I’ve been busy with MJ #2, so I haven’t kept up with your writing. I also wrote for Bookpleasures a long review of Harlan Coben’s new book, The Stranger. Time seems to be a scarce commodity these days.
I’m happy to see you continue writing shorts. In the last years of my day job before the first novel I released, writing shorts allowed me to maintain my sanity. I think short stories represent important art forms that shouldn’t go out of style. Some authors, like O. Henry, wrote little else, so you’re in good company.
We’ve discussed before that promos don’t attract readers like they used to. Sales are flat and the market is saturated. I wouldn’t worry about it. Just keep having fun writing!
I love writing short stories. I like the focus and the compact story arc. I struggle to write longer. My longest thing finished to date is about 45K words. So I’ll keep at it, even if it isn’t profitable from a publishing standpoint.
Sounds as if you’ve been busy. Enjoyed your blog today and looking forward to part 2. Take care, Steve, and thank you for your comments, your reviews, and your support!
I should have added that anthologies don’t seem to do well either, either collections by various authors or by one single author. You’d think they would because they’re ideal for reading on a bus or commuter train–a whole story in one trip! I use my two collections to introduce people to the breadth of my writing–when I send a novel for a review, I usually include one of them as a bonus. Who knows if that makes sense?
I love the short story form too. I cut my reading teeth (almost literally time-wise) reading classic sci-fi stories. I just about knew every one used in the original Star Trek and Twilight Zone episodes. Many writers started out by writing short stories (I certainly did). I don’t think that’s true anymore. Short stories and novels are two very different art forms in a sense, so I applaud anyone continuing the short story tradition. Maybe the novels will start flowing, though, when your day job and family no longer take so much time. Just accumulate the ideas and later on you’ll never have writer’s block.
Thanks for the kudos on the blog post. This week will be more of a mixed bag. Enjoy! (Blog posts, like short stories, are really another form of writing. Of course, mine are mostly op-ed, but that kind of writing is more common on the internet now than in newspapers, with varied degrees of success. I suspect that they’re more popular than short stories, though…sigh….)
BTW, I started Dark Windows. Interesting stories!
Great! Hope you find some that you enjoy! My collection, DIE 6 (six short stories-duh!) has two stories that I’d nominally call SF, two that are more or less straight horror, and one that sort of crosses genres (I went for a slightly hard-boiled tone, but with a supernatural twist) and finally one that I’m not sure what it is. It has my longest published work to date (THE GHOST TRAIN at about 10,600 words).
I went over 46K words on my YA work in progress this weekend. Also added about 500 words to each of two other stories I have going. One is fun but I’m finding it hard to keep my focus, writing as sporadically as I do. They’re both post-apocalyptic stories. The first started life as a short story to be set in Hugh Howey’s Silo universe (as you might know, he allows others to write in his universe, with certain restrictions), but after a few emails with Hugh, I realized that my story wouldn’t work within the parameters of his universe. But then I thought, hey, why does it have to be a Silo story? Maybe it will work on its own.
The second is one I started over 25 years ago, sort of my answer to THE STAND way back when. I wanted to scrub the human race and start over with just the kids left. But there are so many problems associated with doing it this way. Anyway, I have four locations and sets of characters going, and I’m going to eventually have them clash in some way, shape or form.
Trouble is, I don’t get writing time every day, and writing between patients doesn’t always work. But I’ll keep plugging…
I worked a lot at nights on my writing–it was often a refreshing change from my day job and saved my mind turning to mush from bad TV. But we were already empty-nesters. It’s a bit different with you. When your kids are off to college, you’ll probably find more time.
Yep, I think between patients would be hard! I collected ideas on coffeehouse napkins for years, chugging a good Colombian coffee and jotting down ideas while my wife window-shopped around the mall or along the street’s boutiques–beats sitting on a couch in the lingerie section of a department store! Of course, it’s a problem getting all those napkin-ideas onto a MS Word file for future use. 🙂
Bottom line: have a Zen outlook and just do what you can. Family comes first, but take advantage of the time when you can. But you already know that.
I finished the stories by the way and started watching TV. For once, a sitcom spawned a blog post–a first for me. I’m posting the results next week. BTW, I had seen a few of the stories, but most were new. I don’t really care about the age of the stories–they were all good! I’ll make a note to write a review ASAP.
Thanks! (re: a review)
And re: writing time: It’s the only way I can proceed, but it’s nice to hear someone say it’s okay to give it a try in that manner!
Take care, thanks again!