I don't know any writer who has given away more stories than me. Long before eBooks I used to give away free PDFs of my book Private Dancer - more than 40,000 copies in all. I believed that the free copies would expand my readership base, and I'm sure that is true. And I've met a lot of readers who have told me that they went on to buy a copy of the paperback after they had read the PDF, either to reread themselves or to give to friends.
Once eBooks took off, I realised that free stories were the best way of attracting new readers. It's a win-win situation all around. Readers get free books that they can just throw away if they don't like them. I get to show my work to a potential new reader. The cost to me is minimal. The cost to the reader is zero. To date I have given away more than half a million stories.
At present I have six books for free on Amazon and on all other retailers through Smashwords. Two of them - Short Fuses and More Short Fuses - are collections of short stories and tasters of other Stephen Leather best-sellers. Blood Bath is a collection of Jack Nightingale short stories all using that title and based on the cover. Contributors include my fellow Hodder and Stoughton author Matt Hilton. One of the free stories is an Inspector Zhang locked room mystery, and I'm also giving away a free Thailand story, Banging Bill's Wife. And finally I'm giving away the first in the Spider Shepherd SAS short stories.
I have just put all the free eBooks together on a new website, designed by my friends at WHITE WAVE WEB SOLUTIONS.
You can visit the new Free eBooks website BY CLICKING HERE