Why I made all my books free (and title release for book 5!)

If you go to Amazon/Smashwords/and-the-like you’ll see that my four books are now all available as FREE DOWNLOADS, and this is a PERMANENT change. (The paperbacks still cost money, because I’m unable to give those away, but I adjusted the prices so that I make nothing from them. Literally nothing.)

Why the heck did I do that?!

Because I felt, intensely and undeniably, that I should.
Because as I’ve stated elsewhere in my blog that I didn’t come up with this story; it was gifted to me.
Because when you’ve been given a gift, freely, you don’t then go around charging other people for it.

I’ve spent thousands of hours trying to improve these “gifts,” these stories. I started the series five years ago and spend an unconscionable amount of time developing them to the point that they’re just this side of readable. And while it’s been an enormous undertaking–I’ve never worked harder or longer on any other project besides motherhood–I’ve enjoyed it immensely, and felt incredibly blessed.
It’s been my therapy, when my sister and parents were ill and dying.
It’s been my escape, when we were severely underemployed and struggling.
It’s been my motivation to study deeply some theories, philosophy, and writings I normally wouldn’t.

It’s been a complete joy, a pure blessing. A true gift from God.

And I need to give that gift away.

It’s not like I ever made big bucks from this series anyway. I barely paid off my computer from the proceeds one year.

But something I read just the other day affirmed what I’ve been feeling for a long time now. Those words come from the Book of Mormon (yes, I’m a Mormon–a practicing Christian, as I’ve confessed before). When I read the following in my studies the other day, I felt a cosmic slap upside the head:

 29 He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion.

 30 Behold, the Lord hath forbidden this thing;  . . .

 31 But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish.

~2 Nephi 26: 29-31 (emphasis added)

As I’ve stated here in my bio, I believe in the concept of Zion—a group of people that are of one heart and one mind, where individuals choose (unlike socialism and communism) to share all things freely so that there are no poor among them, and are focused on improving their minds and increasing their knowledge, not their possessions. And I also believe creating this kind of society is doable in our future.

That’s why I’m writing. That’s why I’m so excited–and anxious–to get out Book 5, titled Safety Assured Leaving East of Medicetti (the enigmatic nature of the title is explained in the book; here’s a hint–it’s a code). I still hope to release in Spring of 2016. I had planned all along to make Book 5 permanently free, and held on to the idea that I can make a buck-fifty on the other books, no problem.

No. No, I need to be as open with all of my books.

Safety Assured book 5 PreCover

This isn’t the OFFICIAL cover yet. But this was the magnificent sunrise only this morning, and I realized it’d be a perfect background for Book 5 in the meantime.

To be honest, I was hoping to make some money because we’re crushed by an enormous student loan debt which we have no hope of paying off. I should be a brain surgeon with a debt like that. (Fortunately for all people requiring surgery, I’m not.)

But I’ve decided to have faith that if/when God wants me to pay off that debt, He’ll provide us with the right opportunities. Selling the inspiration He’s given me is NOT the way, however.

I have three other books kicking around in my head completely unrelated to Forest at the Edge, and maybe through one or all of those we’ll finally come into the money that will allow us to get out of the debt.

So today I happily announce that my series–which people either LOVE! or HATE! based upon the feedback I’ve been getting online and privately–will always be permanently free.

Enjoy! (Or bash, whatever.)

6 thoughts on “Why I made all my books free (and title release for book 5!)

  1. While skeptical at first, I have come to absolutely adore this series. They are substantial and and make you think.
    The intricacies of the characters amaze me. I love how you not only show what they are thinking, but also feeling. I’ve been able to relate to Marhee’s thoughts and feelings more than once!
    I can’t wait for the next book to be released. Thank you for making them free. I probably wouldn’t have been able to experience this adventure otherwise! I hope to someday also purchase the ‘real’ book series. A boxed set or nice hardcover set would be awesome! (but I know that would probably be costly.)


    • Thank you for writing! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the series. You have no idea how much it means to me to hear from readers. Sometimes I feel like I’m writing to the wall, and days like this, the wall responds! Makes it all worthwhile, it really does.
      (Someone else now requesting a boxed series. Well, since it’ll take me a few more years to finish out the series, by then there may be some less expensive options for all of us. I’ll keep watching for those options.)


  2. While I”m happy to buy them, I’m glad you’re doing what makes you happy.

    I plan to buy the series in paperback once the series is finished (any plans for any “special edition”, “box set” or something I wonder.

    As for book 5, it’s quite a difficult code I sense.. hehe


    • For you, Doug, I’ll create a boxed set! (First, I’ll learn how to make one.)

      I worried you’d struggle with that code, but then I realized–Hey, it’s Doug. He can crack it.


  3. I have enjoyed the books and I appreciate that you have them up for free. Your stories remind me of a set of book by Ari Heinze. Just wanted to say thanks and to tell you that I am excited for the next one.


    • Thank you! I so appreciate hearing from readers–totally makes my week. I’ll look into Ari Heinze. I haven’t heard of her before.


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