Posts tagged with: Kelly Fitzpatrick

Free Reads Revisited

Happy day after Thanksgiving! Let’s talk Christmas!  

Back in February 2011 my free read, Holiday Hostage went live. It’s been available for way over a year with close to 100,000 downloads. What did the experience teach me? I don’t know. Did offering a sample of my writing drive my sales up? Not sure. Would I do it again? Haven’t decided. 

Thanks for stopping by.  

No! Don’t go! There’s more. 

It was a rush to have well over 50,000 copies downloaded in the first few month alone. How many of those have actually been read? Again, I don’t know. Of the samples actually read by readers, how many truly liked the story? I wish I knew. Or maybe I don’t. If anyone in fact did read it, did they buy one of my other stories? Yes. Two people that I know of. One hated both (I know – why did she buy my book if she disliked my free story – can’t answer that – I’m no psychologist). But one person liked the free story and loved the purchased story. Or she felt sorry for me and was being super kind. Either way, I’ll take it. 

From speaking with other authors who have offered free reads, the consensus seems to be that it is a double-edged sword. Here’s my take on free. Cheap people, me included, will download something free. Because, well, because it’s free. Why not? What do you have to lose? I’ve done it myself. My mother does it. We come from a long line of cheap (I mean thrifty) ancestors. On just type in the keyword cheap. Thems m’ people. We dine on Costco samples, clip mass coupons and download free books to our shiny e-reader that we bought on clearance. 

Here’s my theory: spacenut333 who loves to take long walks on the beach, travel exotic places collecting souvenir snow globes, and who reads futuristic sci-fi has downloaded my free story and hates it because she doesn’t like contemporary romantic comedy. Or she doesn’t think I’m funny. Her cat that she reads aloud to doesn’t think I’m funny either. And spacenut333 and her cat collectively send me death threats via an Amazon review. Not a fan. I get it.  

My next theory is mine and mine alone. It’s not 100% accurate or scientifically proven. Stay with me. If you get something for free, you don’t appreciate it as much as if you pay for it. Unless your grandmother gave it to you. Why? I don’t know. Maybe people are afraid to admit in a public forum that they paid good money for a book they don’t like. They got suckered by a pretty cover and a flowery blurb. Mostly, if you’ve got money on the line, you’re probably going to investigate before buying. You’ll read the first chapter and/or check out the reviews and not buy a contemporary romantic comedy if you really like steampunk or fantasy. 

Lastly, after years of toiling in customer service, I think people in general are more apt to complain than compliment. Hence my many 1 star reviews, with lovely comments like “wish I could rate it lower”. Add the anonymity of the Internet… 

I can only hope that of the thousands of copies of Holiday Hostage that were downloaded, some people actually read the story and enjoyed the read and will give me another shot to entertain them in the future.  

How ‘bout you? What’s your take of free reads? Love ‘em? Hate ‘em? Anyone found a “must read” author from a free story?

Pleasant Lake P.D. Release!

I think it was 2006 when I first entered the Golden Heart® contest with Pleasant Lake P.D.

Where’s My T-shirt

All my romance writer friends went to the RWA National Conference in Anaheim and I didn’t even get a T-shirt.

Romance writing brains are bulging from the workshops. Bellies are busting from the convention food. And jetlag among attendees is epidemic, the recovery slow. I didn’t go. Do I sound bitter? I’m not. Really, I’m not.

I’m a reclusive writer. Crowds give me the heebie jeebies. Flying makes me sort of insane. I don’t need the extra pounds and I’ve been to Disneyland. Twice. I also don’t drink much—I mean I shouldn’t drink much, so networking at the hotel bar is a badder than bad idea (yes, I know badder isn’t a word—for our purposes, it is now). And sometimes I’m a little afraid if I learn something new, I’ll forget something old. Something important in exchange for something not as important. Like my name or more importantly, a plot I’m working on. Someone will remind me what my name is.

What did I do while my Ruby Sisters were soaking up knowledge and sun and martinis? I finally updated my website and blog. Instead of a book signings, I put words on a blank screen. While my peers visited with each other at Anaheim bars and restaurants, I Tweeted and Facebooked and went to my day job. I met with my writer group instead of getting my picture taken with Mickey and Goofy and the gang. I celebrated my birthday during the Rita and Golden Heart ceremony. All in all it was not a bad convention. For me.

What did I miss by staying home? The excitement. The anticipation. Old friends. New friends. New shoes. Lanyards full of bling. Getting dolled up for the awards.

What did you do? Did you go to Anaheim? Did you stay home? And what were the highlights of either?


How much thought do you give to the products your characters use?

A) Not much? B) Somewhat? C) The story hinges on it? D) None of the above. 

Snow Day!

Yeah, I knew it was coming. And come it did. About six to ten inches of it, depending on where you lived.


Let me begin by admitting that I hate research. 


If we were to take a poll of everyone’s idea of the perfect hero, the words alpha male would echo around the world, gaining momentum like a wave at the World Series. Me, my heroes have always been—nerds. Yes, I said it.

This Side of Dead Release!


What started out with an RWA chapter mate passing on a submission call for—wait for it—zombie romance, turned into an actual book.

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The Latest Comments

  • Vivi Andrews/Lizzie Shane: Conference was amazing – seeing the Rubies, watchig Darynda emcee for the fabulous...
  • Elisa Beatty: I really hope we’ll see you there!!!
  • Tamara Hogan: What amazing pictures! Everyone looks like they’re having such a great time. I tried to enjoy...
  • Bev Pettersen: So nice seeing these pics. But my heart gave a little twinge at seeing the Omegas and knowing it was...
  • Darynda Jones: This was such a fun conference! I love seeing the Rubies and had a great time welcoming the Omegas to...