It’s nice to be number one in something, even if it is in giving stuff away.

Belle Bridge Books, my publisher, is running a promotional giveaway for EYEWALL. If you have a Kindle, you can download the novel from Amazon for $0.00… novels for nothin’, books for free. Better hurry, however, the promo probably won’t run much longer.

It kicked off on July 1st. EYEWALL, naturally enough, started out at the bottom of the pack that day, but by evening had rocketed to number one on the “Free in Kindle Store” list. It’s still there as I write this early on July 5th.

Yeah, yeah. I know, it’s not like it’s a best seller. But consider the obverse: If the book were being given away and nobody wanted it. It’s nice to know people are clambering for it even though it is a freebie.

Which is the idea, of course. To get the book out there, to give it some visibility, to start a buzz–sorry–about it. As I’ve been told by my publisher, word of mouth is the best advertising there is. It’s certainly cost effective.

So far over the course of the promo, EYEWALL has picked up over half-a-dozen new reviews on Amazon, all of them favorable. I’ve received a number of ego-boosting emails on my Website, too.

I got a chuckle out of one of the posts. A person named Terry wrote: I have no idea why [EYEWALL] was free on Amazon Kindle rather than the $14.95 it should be. I will watch for you as an author in the future and will be happy to pay to read your work.

Thanks, Terry. I know it’s counterintuitive to give away your work, but now I hope you understand why.

The novel is also king of the hill in several subcategories on Amazon including romantic suspense. Romantic suspense? Really? I thought I’d written a thriller with a bit of sex in it. Oh well. Whatever gets you to number one.

Now the real test looms: To see if sales will respond to the promotional effort. (I don’t earn royalties on giveaways, by the way.)

My big dilemma now is what to call myself. I can’t be a best-selling author. Maybe a best almost-selling author. Or a number one freebie writer.

Nah. I’ll just tell people that for one brief shining moment I had more books being downloaded than Steve Berry. Of course, Steve was earning money.

July 5, 2011

UPDATE, JULY 6: The promotional giveaway for Kindle on Amazon has ended. A curious side effect of the promotion is that the sales ranking for the paperback version of EYEWALL soared in tandem with the eBook giveaway. In late June, the ranking for the paperback hovered near #500,000 (out of about 8 million books). By late on July 5th it had rocketed to #6586!


  1. amanda on July 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Loved it! found it because it was #1 on the freebie list…took a chance and could not put it down. will be recommending it to all my friends and saw it was up to #29 on the paid download list 😉 great story! even thought if you dropped the overt sex scences…it would make a great young adult novel. my son and niece would have loved it – but they are 9 and 13…too young for the racier scenes!

    • Buzz on July 8, 2011 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks Amanda,

      Glad you enjoyed the book. Might be a good idea about a YA novel if the sex scenes and language were edited. I'll have to mention that to my publisher.

      Glad you enjoyed the story.

  2. Jim Sweeney on July 8, 2011 at 4:23 am

    I look forward to your next book. You are an extremely accomplished and gifted storyteller. I read about ninety novels a year and consider yours in the top 5 or 10.

    • Buzz on July 8, 2011 at 2:59 pm

      Thanks for your support, Jim. Eyewall is currently up to #10 in the paid Kindle list, but I'm very glad to hear it rates so highly on your list, too!

  3. Buzz on July 8, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Thanks Amanda and Jim for taking time to write me. Eyewall is currently up to number 10 on Amazon's (paid) Kindle list, thanks to folks like you giving it a boost!

  4. sherri on July 9, 2011 at 4:04 am

    I loved "Eyewall". I got it as a free kindle download, read it in 2 days and am ordering it in paperback for my bookshelf. I have already spread the word to many of my family and friends that it is a must read book. I absolutely could not put it down. I am a weather (especially hurricanes) junkie, watching the Weather Channel for hours at a time when one is active, and this book was perfect! It gave enough information and explanation without becoming so clinical to be enjoyable and turn the readers interest from the story unfolding. Excellent work. I look forward to reading more of your work!

    • Buzz on July 19, 2011 at 1:47 pm

      Thanks, Sherri. Glad you found EYEWALL enjoyable AND informative. My next book, The Koltsovo Legacy, a bioterrorism thriller, will be coming out in September 2012. After that, it's likely back to a weather theme, probably something centered around storm chasers.

  5. Nancy Murray on July 14, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Have not read Eyewall yet, but caught Jax, FL Times Union review today and wanted to connect because I write "disaster lit" for kids! This sand-in-shoes FL native, who lived through Dora, wrote Gullah, the Nawleans Cat Meets Katrina and recently won an award for The Night the Elephants Cried – A Story of the Tsunami….So understand your Kindle pride! With natural disasters on the increase we need folks like yourself who will paint the picture for others so they will be subsequently informed while entertained! Many, many congratulations to a fellow-half-glasser! Nancy

  6. Buzz on July 19, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Congrats on your award, Nancy. I know how much hard work it takes to achieve that sort of recognition.

    It's been a "few years" since Dora, and I hope it's many more years before a real-life Janet (the fictional hurricane in EYEWALL) comes-a-calling on JAX or south Georgia.

    Keep churning out those books!

  7. Joyce in MD on July 20, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    I loved "Eyewall". I received it as a free Kindle download and just finished it. Will be and have recommended it to others. I must admit that I am a Weather Channel junkie, so was excited to find your book. Best of luck in getting "Eyewall" higher on the best sellers' list and the progression of your future books.

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