My Mom’s Birthday Giveaway

As you may recall, last month, on 3 February, I gave away copies of A Gathering Evil for free through Amazon and the Kindle Store. That was a Friday, and, by happenstance, the day after my brother’s birthday. (I know, seems like a random fact, but it will tie in nicely later.) I’m still gathering data on how well that giveaway went in terms of promoting the book and its sequels. I’ll blog on that more as I finish up with some charts and all, but the prelim report is that it worked out very nicely.

Note: that is not a blanket endorsement of the Kindle Select Program. My sample size is one book, which was the first in a trilogy. I’d had that book out for several years on the Kindle, so I had a solid baseline of sales figures on which to judge the results. Right now all I’m comfortable in saying is this: if an author has an old, dead series, working a promotion through the Kindle Select Program can breath some life into it.

Anyway, I was talking to my parents on the phone, telling them about the giveaway. My mom, not a techie, for whom email consists of my father printing out notes and typing up replies, listened and locked in on one very important fact. My sale was the day after my brother’s birthday. And she asked a very important question. “So, what are you going to do for my birthday?”

This was not one of those whiney or wheedling questions. It was more a statement of fact. It was taken as given that I’d be doing something for her birthday. She merely wanted to know what I was going to do.

Not being stupid and, because I’m her son, being rather quick on my feet, I said, “I’ll repeat the experiment. That’s the soul of science, after all, repeatability. It’ll just be better this time.”

She allowed as how it would be better.

So, this is where I need your help.

A Gathering Evil is the first of a trilogy of books I originally wrote for Game Designers Workshop. They were developing the game Dark Conspiracy at the same time I was writing the novel. I was working from partial rules. Loren Wiseman, the developer, was pulling stuff from the novel to put into the game. It was great fun. GDW coined the label “techno-horror” to describe the genre, and I agree. As I used to tell folks, “Vampires have SPF 666, and you’ve got really big guns.” (This was in the pre-sparkle vampire phase.)

Here’s a link to the first chapter, which you can read for free. I also put the link to the free giveaway at the end of it.

The Kindle offer will run from 12 AM Pacific time on 5 March 2012 to 12 PM the same day. The offer is for a free copy of the novel, A Gathering Evil. This giveaway is open to all world territories.

To snag a copy of the book, click here. Please feel free to share/retweet/favorite that link all over the place.

Just so you know, last time you guys were great at helping me get the word out. In 24 hours we gave away 2,000 copies of the book worldwide. I know we can do better than that. Heck, we have to.

My mother wants us to do better!

This is the woman who, for years, wondered when I’d get a real job. She’s not a fiction reader, much less a science fiction/fantasy reader, but once she realized this was what I was going to do, she got on board. When she was in the hospital getting her knees replaced, she had copies of my books in the hospital room so she could convince staff and visitors to buy.

So, in her honor, on her birthday, you get the present! Click on the above link or on the picture at the top of the post and let everyone else know.

Note: Nook, iPad, Sony and other reader device users, I know it bugs you when Amazon has all these deals set up for Kindle users. I feel your pain. I have something special in the works that I will only make available for epub readers. March is turning into a killer road month for me (I’m out of town more than I’m in), but I’ll let you know when its ready. You’ll have it first and the others will just have to wait.

Again, thanks for making my mom’s birthday wonderful!

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15 Responses to “My Mom’s Birthday Giveaway”

  1. I still re-read my dead tree books regularly – and will carry on doing so until all the pages have fallen out and gotten lost. There’s simply nothing like a good book (or three!) to while away the odd few hours, reacquainting myself with Michael/Coyote and the others as they battle to defeat Fiddleback and his allies.
    My favourite lines, though, are the books you wrote in the BattleTech and Star Wars universes – you always manage to convey the action in a way that paints a very clear picture and few other authors do it so well.
    Is there any chance of your returning to the post-ROTJ Star Wars expanded universe?

  2. Tried to snag a copy, but apparently Amazon has something against the middle east or more likely it has something against amazon.

  3. No worries, just lie to Amazon and tell them you’re someplace else and it’s all good.

  4. Very odd, since the book is cleared for all zones, all markets.

  5. My return to any franchise universe (or my entry into any of them) depends entirely on getting invited by the folks who are running the line. If the editors feel I could be of use, I’m more than happy to listen and play. That said, if they have a stable line and are happy with it, the chances of me getting an invite are slim or none.

  6. Wow, this is a really generous giveaway and I hope all of your loyal readers make it a success. I’ve not had a chance to read this trilogy before so to show my support I went ahead and picked up all 3 volumes. Keep up the good work and can’t wait to see you at MidSouthCon!

  7. Thanks for putting this up again, Mike! I missed the giveaway Friday b/c we had a massive tornado come through and knock out power/communications. Tell your mom happy birthday for me!

  8. Awesome thanks Mike, and happy birthday to your mom, she sounds like a wonderful woman. I read all my ebooks on the iPad and prefer the Kindle app actually so your offers have always worked out well for me. I had this series in dead tree frorm but with moving between states for work, and downsizing our living space by half while doubling my family size, I lost or gave away 90+% of my once formidible SF collection. I must say that between cloud storage and easy portability I never plan on buying another paper book unless I absolutely have to. I am a firm believer in the wonders of epublishing and like the fact that it allows me to support writers instead of an industry whenever the authors decide to let me become a patron instead of mere consumer by self publishing.

    Good book. Looking forward to the last book in the Crown Colonies series.

  9. Happy Birthday Mrs. Stackpole and thank you for that wonderful question that allowed us to participate in your son’s experiment. I added it to my Kindle collection this morning.

    Looking forward to the next Homeland Security Services installment as well as the the next book in the Crown Colonies series.

  10. FWIW,
    I find that I have discovered a number of new authors and series by the “free kindle” promotion. If the first book in a completed series is free I will try it. If it is any good I find myself buying the series and often some of the authors other books. I will also pay a slightly higher price for the last book in the series, providing it is the last book. BTW how many books will the Crown Colonies be?

  11. I already own the eBook version and several print copies of the set; including my cherished signed versions from Mike’s garage which i keep in the safe. :-)

    It’s a wonderful universe, and you really brought it to life. Forwarding the deal to some friends!

  12. The Crown Colonies first contract is for three books, but I built the world so I can do a lot more stories in it. So, the simple answer to your question is, “at least three.”

  13. Timothy Fitzgerald 14. Mar, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Hey Mike,

    I contributed to the Wasteland 2 kickstarter just so I could sure to get a hold of the novella you will be writing for the game.

    Any chance of an update on your end of the project, maybe an idea of what you did in the first game and what your role is in this one?

    Anyhow, thought you should put up a notice about it here so all of your fans know that you do not just have more great books on the horizon, but a great game as well!!

  14. Still no post about the new Wasteland game :)? Very glad it will be produced and you ll be a part of it again.

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