“Beacon” Will Continue

January 5, 2013 in General Topics

This past weekend was one of the most enjoyable I’ve ever had as an author.

"Beacon"The promo of “Beacon”, my science fiction short story, blew away my expectations. I was realistic going into this “free run” (as those of us in the biz call a KDP select free promo). A number of odds were stacked against the tale doing well.

It’s a short story, for starters, at only around six thousand words. It had no reviews yet, doesn’t dabble that deep into one of the currently red-hot genres–despite traipsing somewhat into YA territory–and I myself am still a mostly-unknown commodity.

I told my wife I’d be pleased to hit 500 downloads, all told. I awoke early on Saturday morning, like 7:30AM, just to make sure all my pre-scheduled blog posts and tweets had started firing, and saw a whole six downloads.


I thought I was doomed. But gradually, over the next two days, the snowball really picked up momentum. Before I knew it, I was on the top 100 list of free Kindle Science Fiction short stories. Checking after a return drive from North Carolina, I was floored to then find we’d risen to #11.

Sunday came, and “Beacon” kept creeping upward. Before the dust settled, I was rubbing shoulders with Hugh Howey’s excellent first part of “Wool”. Hugh. Howey.

That’s right, kids, “Beacon” made it all the way to #2 in its category, and also really high in free “Space Opera” as well:


Beacon topped out at 806 downloads in the U.S., 23 in the U.K., and a smattering of others across the globe.

Am I over the moon about all this? Totally. But I’m even more thrilled by what I’ve seen since: the tale continues to sell. People are lending it to each other, too — very flattering, because that means that they’re probably telling a buddy, “Yeah, this one? You need to read this.” We’re getting hits to my site, and my other books from the story itself.

And best of all, I got a glowing letter from a very kind reader who has since chosen to keep an eye on my work.

As a result of all of this activity, and encouragement, I think it’s my responsibility as an author to give folks more of what they’re responding to.

You really liked “Beacon”. I read you loud and clear. On my side, I also want to continue exploring this rich sandbox crafted over the course of the first story.

Look for a Part II in the near future, coming to your favorite e-reader. I’m still hammering out where I want to take the universe, but I have a ton of ideas. I can’t wait for you to read what results from all your positive feedback. After Part II, I intend to keep the expanding Universe of “Beacon” going. Your feedback fuels that, as does telling your friends.

Thank you and, as always, stay tuned.

(For those of you that missed the free run, what are you waiting for? We’re talking chump change to buy the story.)