The reality of publishing is extremely strange to me.
Sometimes I’ll walk into a bookstore and consider whether I’ll want to buy something. I’ll sit there, and consider it for a while.
What do the blurbs say?
Does it look like it’s an easy read?
Is it a bestseller?
All these questions enter your head.
Here, in Chicago O’Hare airport where I write this from, a book retails for about 25$. It also weighs a few pounds. So even if I’m interested in a few books, and I’m ready to spend $50 bucks, at most I’ll be buying one book.
As I’ve discussed before, ebooks turn this all around.
I’m told a book is a national bestseller when it sells around 15,000 copies. This is considered a phenomenon, causing at minimum a blip on the national radar, versus most books, which don’t blip at all.
So what happens when you put a promotion machine in place, and give people no resistance to buying whatsoever?Â Well, the results are dramatic.
In the past month and a half, more copies of The Flinch were sent out than copies of Trust Agents, our previous book, over a whole two years. In the first day alone, Amazon showed over 15,000 copies were released, and it’s now sitting around 75,000.
Today we’re going to try that again.
Colin Wright and Joshua Millburn, two friends of mine, are trying the experiment. Alongside the Flinch, their books will be free for the next three days only (click on their names to get them). Already, only a few hours in, Joshua’s book has hit #1 in the short story category. Who knows how far it’ll go?
So back to the question at hand. What is the real price of free? Well, it isn’t a dollar sign.
It’s an opportunity cost.
What would you give for the opportunity to be in front of fifteen, seventy-five, or even a hundred thousand people?
Think carefully. We’re actually in a very unique time. Soon, the market will be flooded. You won’t have this chance for long.