You know what those are? The covers of all my free books, available to download as epubs, mobi and pdfs right now from this site 🙂
Car Thieves and Stone Flowers Grow In Cold Places are novellas, Evidence, Omerta and Cigarettes as a Metaphor for Heartbreak are stand-alone short stories, and Thicker Than Water and Inspired Escapism are flash fiction collections.
Where did they come from and why are they here? I’ve been working on streamlining how I share my writing, aiming to keep all my free books in one place. This is partly because traffic to website = good, and partly because there’s a point where having the same things in loads of places doesn’t actually do anything positive. It gets confusing and overwhelming, so if there’s no clear benefit to having something in a place, it doesn’t need to be there.
Up until yesterday, I had all my free books on Tablo and Wattpad instead of or as well as here. Don’t get me wrong, those are both lovely platforms, but as primarily social places they aren’t great for discoverability unless you’re willing and able to pour a LOT of time and energy into the community side of things. I tend to try a bunch of stuff and stick with what works, and I found it made more sense to focus on this site and Twitter, where I already connect with other writers and readers, and DeviantArt, which has been my online creative community of choice since 2005 (a friend recently pointed out that my DA account was now old enough to have it’s own DA account and I still haven’t gotten over that).
I liked the whole read-on-any-device thing that Tablo, Wattpad and books-shared-as-blog-posts (which I’m also no longer doing) offered, but downloadable epubs, mobis and pdfs also tick that box. I recently began to consciously ask myself “Why am I doing this?” about a whole bunch of stuff, and it freaked me out how many times the answer was “Because the tools exist” or “Because I can” even though I was already doing the thing elsewhere and/or better. In short, I was repeating actions for no good reason. I figure it makes more sense to go with the best/most productive/most constructive option and direct my focus there. So that’s what I’m doing.
I also finally got around to registering for a MediaFire Pro account, which offers direct download links, a metric fucktonne of storage space and transfer bandwidth, and a bunch of other cool stuff I haven’t explored yet, so downloading my books no longer involves going to an external site with annoying ads on it. This post is not sponsored by MediaFire, by the way. I just get really excited about this kind of thing.
What about the virtual coffee? You can now buy me a coffee, online, kind of, through Ko-fi.com, a nifty site that allows people to donate roughly the price of a cup of coffee (£3) to creators whose work they enjoy.
Last year, as part of my pay-what-you-like plan for books, I set up an account with Ko-fi. I also set up a PayPal.me page, so people could send an amount of their choosing. After a few months of having both, I decided to close my Ko-fi account because it basically did the same thing as PayPal (in fact, it uses PayPal for processing money).
BUT…bear with me here, cause I’m going off on a slight tangent. It’ll make sense in a moment. I use this amazing meditation app called Insight Timer. It’s totally free and I love it. I fall asleep to it and I use it as soon as I wake up in the morning. The makers of the app recently set up a system through which users can donate to the meditation teachers whose work they find helpful. There are a few teachers whose stuff I absolutely adore but when it comes to donating, I feel paralysed by not knowing how much is an appropriate amount. I don’t want to donate too little. I don’t know how much other people donate. I don’t know what the done thing is. So I still haven’t actually donated anything yet.
Then I had a lightbulb moment – when someone says “Oh, just give what you want” it’s actually kind of off-putting. When it comes to books, sure, some people will think along the lines of, “This is how much I’d pay for an ebook on my Kindle” but plenty of people, like me, think, “If I don’t send enough, it’ll be insulting. What do other people send? What’s the right amount for something that isn’t a full-length novel? ARGH!”
So the purpose of Ko-fi is to give people an amount. If they want to, they can donate multiple cups of coffee, but the purpose is to say, “Here’s an amount of money that’s perfectly wonderful so you don’t have to worry about it.”
My PayPal.me page still exists as I know some people do like to have that freedom of choice, and I’ve received some pretty damn amazing gifts through it, but being able to offer ‘buy me a coffee’ as well as ‘hey, you can send me money’ is helpful, super cute and definitely serves a purpose.
Finally, Camp NaNoWriMo is going well as I enter the final stretch. I’m at 40 hours out of my goal of 50 hours for the month and the process becomes more of a voyage of discovery every day. Sitting with the french doors open to the back garden with the glorious weather we’re having at the moment (two weeks after the snow ended, go figure!) is perfect for inspired writing.
I hope you’re all having a wonderful April so far ❤