I don’t sell too many books. Every once in a while I get a spurt of sales. About a week ago, someone bought three of my books and that was nice. But what I have been getting some of is page reads through KU.
As you probably know, KU is Amazon’s subscription service. If you are in KDP Select (or whatever they’re calling their exclusivity arrangement now) you’re in KU. Subscribers pay a monthly fee of around 10 bucks, and can borrow and read as many books as they want. Authors get roughly a half a cent per page read. So a book of 150 pages (which is unfortunately where most of mine fall, since they are mostly novellas) gets you about $0.75. Not much, but better than nothing. Not quite the $2.00 per purchase of that $2.99 priced book, but as I said, better than nothing (which for me is a bunch of days).
The one that most people seem to read is THE INN. If you don’t know anything about it, it’s a story about a high school band and their directors who travel to a music festival in the deep South. They stay at an inn where, unbeknownst to them, some unsavory things are going on. And of course, they fall victim to some of them. Should I say more? Have I said too much? I was inspired (if that’s the right word) by William Malmborg’s story TEXT MESSAGE. In that one he told a story about a mall where some unsavory things are going on and a college student falls victim to some of them. (They’re more different than that suggests.) I thought about a public location that always sort of left me uneasy, and I came up with some of those cheap roadside motels/inns that you find dotting the smaller highways. Lots of them are going out of business, killed by the big chains (like so much stuff in today’s world), but they always seemed a little — seedy — to me. I let my imagination run wild and told a creepy story about…well, go ahead and read it if you want to find out. There’s the link, right over there to the right.
The other story that’s garnered some page reads is my more recent story, ODD MAN OUT. There’s a blog entry somewhere about it, but I wrote a short story by the same title back in the 1990’s for a contest in a reading/writing forum I was part of on Delphi Internet Services. For that contest, we were given a first line and six words, and we had to write a story around them. I rewrote it and published it (with a story called “The House At The Bend in the Road”) in 2013. It was the first short story I ever sold. My friend Rich Siegle did a wonderful cover for the story.
Unfortunately neither it nor the collection it was part of (14 DARK WINDOWS) sold much after that. One day something came over me and I thought I could expand the story into a longer tale, maybe around 7 or 8 thousand words. (The original was about 1600 words.) I’d reuse the cover and republish it. So I did. Gone were the six words (actually I don’t know; they may still be in the story somewhere) and the first line (again, I think it’s still in the story somewhere) and the 1600 word story grew to over 34,000 words. Novella territory.
I have to say that I am probably most proud of that story, of all my works. I think it’s the best. Both THE CAVE and THE INN are good, but this one hits the right notes, in my opinion. You’ll have to read it to determine if you agree with me. Again, there’s the link, right there over on the right side of the page. Or you can go to “My Books” above and find the link there. Or just search up “Scott Dyson” on Amazon. I, and it, will pop up like magic!
I went on a publishing frenzy there for a couple months, publishing three distinct works. ODD MAN OUT was one of those. The others were my first novel-length project, RECIPROCAL EVIL, and another novella called THE NEVER ENDING NIGHT. But I don’t have anything new ready to release. That’s not to say I’m not writing. I’m working on a bunch of stuff, all at once. Whatever strikes my fancy, I go with. There is a followup to THE STRIKER FILES that is written in first draft form, and I’m working on another sequel in that world. I’m also working on a post-apocalyptic novel where all the adults are dead, leaving kids primarily under 18 years old. Then there’s a story about the moon crashing into the earth. It’s got it all. Impending disaster and a post-apocalyptic feel, a government agent who isn’t what he presents himself as, a pretty young college professor, kids who are pissed off, a battered ex-wife and her crazed ex-husband, and a serial killer who might just be something else. What, you ask? Use your imagination. It’s a really full moon, after all.
If you have KU, please try one of those books. If you don’t, they’re priced at $2.99, and I’m about to do a promotion for ODD MAN OUT, probably a Kindle Countdown Deal. So nothing I’ve written will break the bank. And you might just like it!