Rod Raglin

This blog will touch on the experiences I have as a writer (not to be mistaken for my experience as a writer, i.e. how many books I've written, etc); the pleasure and the pain, the joy and the grief, the satisfaction and the frustration, the magic and the reality - have I left anything out, oh yeah, the rejection, rejection and more rejection,  the humiliation and the embarrassment, the jealousy and the resentment - that pretty much covers it, except for why I do it which perhaps I'll realize along the way. Are you totally confused? Good, let's begin.

Sifting through the minutiae of the Smashwords Sale


 Throughout the month of July I gave away one hundred and thirty-seven e-book editions of my novels during Smashwords SummerWinterSale 2016.


As an author who has published his books with Smashwords I was contacted and asked if I wanted to participate. You could offer whatever discount you wanted for what ever period of time you wanted during the month of July. Once you registered, Smashwords applied a coupon code to your dashboard and anyone who wanted the book just entered the code and got it free.


I've had no more success with Smashwords than I've had with any other sites selling my books - which is just about nil, but since I've been giving my work away on other sites lately, which entails a sweepstake and then actually sending the e-book to the individual winners via email, this seemed way easier.


It was.


Giving your work away on Smashwords was free and unrestricted. One might think that's not a lot to expect considering the time and effort that went into it, however, to give away a single title on StoryCartel costs twenty-five dollars, on Goodreads - one hundred and nineteen, and Kindle Select (Amazon) wants exclusive rights for ninety days.


LibraryThing and BookLikes don't charge for their giveaways but they generate about a third of the results and, as I mentioned, you have the labourious job of sending out individual emails with your e-book attached to the winners.    


I have six works on Smashwords - five novels and a play. I decided to go for broke and offer them all free for the month.


Just a brief aside here. Have you ever noticed how people without success pour over meaningless minutiae like the numbers hold the secret to fame and fortune if only they could decipher them? No? Well, I have, probably because I've begun to do it - and now you get experience it.


The Smashwords giveaway was interesting to me on a number of levels - though, like I said, not likely interesting to anyone else.


This was the first time all my writing (barring one of my better novels yet to be released by the publisher) was presented to the public in one place, at one time and on equal terms.


Here's how they faired in regard to free downloads:

Harry's Truth - A Play in One Act - 33

Saving Spirit Bear - What Price Success - 31

Abandoned Dreams - 22


Loving the Terrorist - Beyond Eagleridge Bluffs - 20

The Big Picture - A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic - 18

Forest - Love, Loss, Legend - 13


What does it mean that my one act play, Harry's Truth, only sixty pages, ranked first? Or that Saving Spirit Bear, my first novel with the least positive reviews (and rightly so) was second? What does it mean that the better I write the less popular the book?


Any suggestions?


Other than those conundrums it appears giving away one hundred and thirty-seven books does not generate any reviews - at least not on Smashwords, or likely on any other site for that matter. Free, it appears, is the equivalent to no value - or, more specifically no downside.


Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.


Links to associated sites:


Kindle Select








My novels and play Harry's Truth - A Play in One Act, FOREST – Love, Loss, Legend, The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic and Abandoned Dreams and

The ECO-WARRIORS series:

Book 1, Saving Spirit Bear – What Price Success?

Book 2, Loving the Terrorist - Beyond Eagleridge Bluffs

Book 3, Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients

are available as e-books and paperbacks at


Cover Art of books by self-published authors at


Video book reviews of self-published authors now at

Not Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews:


More of my original photographs can be viewed, purchased, and shipped to you as GREETING CARDS; matted, laminated, mounted, framed, or canvas PRINTS; and POSTERS. Go to:


View my flickr photostream at


Or, My YouTube channel if you prefer photo videos accompanied by classical music