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A major promotion success. Now what?

The Kindle promotion for my book Write Hard, Die Free yielded astonishing results. In 48 hours, readers downloaded more than 4,400 copies of the ebook.

This could never have happened without the social media communities that supported the effort, chiefly Twitter and Facebook friends. Some notices were especially productive:, @davewiner’s and @davepell’s were noteable. Even so, no single source of referrals accounted for even five percent of the total. This is a story of distributed success.

Thus I have scores of friends and supporters to thank, and I do: heartily. 

Write Hard, Die Free was published in paperback by a traditional publisher, Epicenter Press, which has done a good job on my behalf. I retained the ebook rights myself, partly because I wanted to learn more about the process, so it’s been a steep learning curve all the way.

I’m still climbing the curve.

I don’t know exactly how the giveaway (as an old newspaperman, I think of it as a sampling campaign) will affect sales or increase the influence of the book. Paid sales already show some growth, though that’s building on a pretty small number. It remains to be seen how many of the new readers will like the book, talk or blog about it, or post reviews on Amazon. All those results would be beneficial, of course.

And, importantly, I now know that more people have a chance to learn the story I’m telling, which is fundamentally why I wrote the book in the first place. 

I’ll keep chronicling what I learn here.

Oh, and I’ve started the next book, too.


An invitation to book readers

I gave away Kindle downloads of my book about Alaska journalism and politics for two days and thousands of new readers now have Write Hard, Die Free in their hands. Well, on their devices, anyhow.

That’s exciting. I wrote the book because I’m passionate about the story it tells and because I think there are lessons to be learned there by all kinds of people. I’m trying to sell books too, of course, but the essential thing for me is to spread the word as widely as possible.

Another bonus for me is how much I learn from readers. Since publication in April I’ve had enriching conversations with folks all over the country: many in Alaska, of course, but also former Alaskans now scattered across the country and others who have never been to the state but care about the issues: honest journalism, government corruption, environmental protection, political change.

If you’re a new reader—or an earlier reader who hasn’t written—I want to invite your feedback, whatever it may be. There’s a feedback form on the book blog, or you can write directly by email to howard.weaver (at) gmaildotcom. I’m also @howardweaver on Twitter and have a Facebook page

If you’re willing, I’d also appreciate a rating and comment on the Amazon book page. That’s a key way for the book to gain new readers and would be a great help. It doesn’t need to be long or detailed—though it can be if that’s your pleasure.

Finally, let me say thank you for coming along on the Write Hard, Die Free adventure with me. I am deeply grateful.


Why would I give away my book for free?

People have been asking, logically enough, why I’ve decided to give away the book I’ve been diligently trying to sell for three months.
Good question.  My wife wondered the same thing.
It’s simple, really: I’d like the book to find new readers beyond its natural audience in Alaska, newspapers and journalism circles. I’m passionate about the story and think it has some valuable lessons to impart.
When it was newly published my smart-ass cousin asked me what torrents he should check to download a copy. “Ah,” I told him, “What I’d give for it to be popular enough to steal.”
Now I have a chance for the Amazon Kindle store to host and deliver it free for two days —August 24 and 25— and I hope he and a lot of other folks may decide to download a copy. Naturally I think they’ll like it, and perhaps write me a review on Amazon, and maybe even tell a friend. 
In short, I’m doing my old analogue best to adopt the best practices of this age of digital abundance. 
Years ago, in the earliest days of the web, I heard John Parry Barlow describe how the Grateful Dead had mastered the new economies before anybody else. You’ll recall that they not only allowed but encouraged bootleg copies of concerts, helping build a robust ecosystem of devoted fans who followed them around and bought tickets and t-shirts by the zillions. 
“Give away the music and sell the experience,” Barlow advised.
This is my feint in that direction. If you can think of other ways that might advance Write Hard, Die Free please let me know. I’m available for readings, talks, workshops or arguments nearly any time.
Deepest thanks to those of you lending a hand.

A roadmap:
Free at the Kindle Store on Amazon here this Friday and Saturday, Aug. 24-25.
First chapter always free at Kindle or here.
Feedback welcomed here in comments or directly to me by clicking the "Contact Me" link at the very bottom. 


Some [minor] blog changes

I doubt anybody is watching this blog closely enough to notice, but I have made some changes and not everything is optimal yet.

I'm using a new blog plugin that allows me to update via email, which will be important while on the road in Alaska and the like.

So far I haven't successfully migrated all the old blog photos to this page. New photos seem fine, and the old blog posts are fine.

If for some reason you're looking for photos blogged earlier, check the page called "archived blog."

When liberal arts majors mess with tech ...

Alaska schedule update

Here is the latest schedule of public appearances and media events next week in Alaska.

At least some things are likely to change. It might be tough to update this blog (making this trip iPad-only) but I will keep updates at the
Write Hard, Die Free Facebook page.

4/16 (Mon) TV Show Taping Shannyn Moore Anchorage 6-9PM

4/17 (Tue) Talk of AK call in radio show APRN/Steve Heimel Anchorage 10AM

4/17 (Tue)  Radio: Tom Anderson Show    Anchorage      5-6PM

4/17 (Tue) Reading/Book Signing Anchorage Museum Anchorage 7-9PM

4/18 (Wed) Radio Interview by Phone Radio Free Palmer Palmer 815AM

4/18 (Wed) Lecture Alaska Comm. Fdn. Anchorage 2-245PM

4/18 (Wed) Reading/Book Signing Fireside Books Palmer 4-6PM

4/19 (Thu) Reading/Book Signing Cyrano’s Anchorage 11AM-1PM

4/19 (Thu) Radio Show Taping Shannyn Moore Show Anchorage 5 PM

4/20 (Fri) Presentation/Book Signing UAA Bookstore Anchorage 4-6PM

4/23 (Mon) classroom visits UAF Fairbanks varied

4/23 (Mon) Snedden Lecture Noel Wien Library Fairbanks 7-845PM

4/24 (Tue) classroom visits UAF Fairbanks varied

4/25 (Wed) Radio Interview KTOO Juneau 3PM

4/25 (Wed) Alaska Identity Project KTOO/Adrien Lopez Juneau tbd

4/25 (Wed) Lecture Juneau World Affairs Juneau 5-615PM

4/25 (Wed) Reading/Book Signing Hearthside Books Juneau 630-8PM