Tag Archives: free

Why I will always do some work for free.

You’ve probably heard the saying ‘if you love something never do it for free.’ And the various renditions of said quote. Well, I disagree. Pretty much entirely.

I love my job. I get to wake up in the morning, put my jammies on, sit down on my couch, load up my laptop and go to “work.” I make stuff up for a living. What’s not to love about that?

So why exactly do I do it for free?

It’s no secret that not everyone makes the huge figures by writing. There are hundreds of books released every day, and only a small percentage of those ever make it onto the best sellers lists. So in theory, I should be charging for every piece of work I do no matter who it is for. But that’s not the case.

I have three short ebooks that are free. I recently gave a short story to an anthology for free. I have given numerous short pieces to charity anthologies, and all for free. I will never see a penny in royalties for those pieces of work. And these aren’t shorts that took me ten minutes to write, didn’t get any editing, and don’t have covers or formatting. These are short stories between 1000 and 4000 words that have been edited, the free ebooks have covers and have been formatted. I have put hours of work into each of those pieces. All for nothing.

And that’s what isn’t true. they have not all been for nothing. What many people seem to think is that if you aren’t getting paid you aren’t getting anything out of it. That is not true.

People are far more likely to give my other works a try if they have enjoyed one of my free short stories. My name is out further about in the world due to the anthologies, and my shorts being included in charity anthologies has helped raised money for people in need.

So far from getting nothing out of working for free, I am getting exposure, the chance to reach new readers, the opportunity to help others when I perhaps don’t have the money to just give to charity. Not to mention the feel good factor of helping others.

Which is all why when people say if you love something never do it for free, I would like to remind them all that just because you don’t get any money out of it doesn’t mean you didn’t get something out of it.

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Filed under Michelle Birbeck, Publishing

Tuesday Teaser, Playthings

It’s that time of the week again, time for teasers.
This week’s teaser is from my latest short horror story: Playthings.

My heart was no longer trying to escape through my chest. Instead it was beating steadily, pumping in an even rhythm that was ready for excitement at a moment’s notice. Ready for the thrill, for the need to rise up and show my heart what it was really like to want to escape. And what it was like to be given the chance.

And currently, Playthings is free if you buy it through Smashwords through until the end of this month.

Check out more Tuesday Teasers at http://sherri-hayes.blogspot.com/2014/07/tuesday-teasers-readshare-excerpts.html

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Filed under Michelle Birbeck, Short Stories

Armchair BEA 2014: Giveaways!

Today is giveaway day at Armchair BEA, so to celebrate, I am giving away some ebooks. How many depends on how many people want them. And for the next couple of days, the second book in The Keepers’ Chronicles will only be $0.99.


Details below:


The Phantom Hour:

phantom hr cover

Mark has listened to his wife’s torments for long enough, and tonight he aims to shut her up for good.

But when the clocks go back, will his actions remain?

Or will the resetting of the hour reset his deeds?

Enter code: US68V until May 31st here.


A Glimpse Into Darkness:

A Glimpse INto Darkness

Set in the U.S.S.R in 1964, this short accompaniment to The Keepers’ Chronicles explores the missing years from book one. Lost without her mate, Serenity Cardea is barely clinging to what little sanity she has left. Every day is a struggle, and the only thing keeping her going is the family she surrounds herself with and her duties as protector of the balance between the races.


Deep in the Russian wilderness, the Wolves are in trouble. They’ve gotten on the wrong side of a group of vampires, and now their village has been burned to the ground. With Serenity’s help, they are forced to flee their home and start again.

Enter code: LY97K until May 31st here.


Last Chance sale:

Last Chance

With her race saved from the brink of extinction, Serenity’s life could not be better. Married, finally, to Ray, and back in London for the first time in a century, retirement isn’t coming easy. Being a housewife was never in her make up.

But when Lizzy calls to say the Keepers’ records have been stolen, retirement is preferable over the danger they now face.

Targets once more, Serenity’s isn’t inclined to sit back and let her brothers and sisters face the losses she witnessed, but the order to move an entire race comes at a price.

Whoever is behind the threat, they show none of the mercy The Seats once did. No broken families left to suffer the loss of parents, aunts, uncles. This time they’ve gone too far, and when they take the lives of the race’s children, Serenity’s mind is made up.

This time they will be no threats, no mercy.

This time there’ll be no survivors.

Enter code: RR87M to get it for $0.99 until May 31st here.


Some short stories that are free anyway:



Every six months, Amber and her friends head off to the beach for a night of drinking and fun.

But their plans soon change with what appears to be a horrific accident.

Things soon turn from bad to worse. And the question that remains is; was the death of their friend an accident?

Or is there someone else isolated with them, picking them off one by one?


Survival Instincts:

The happiest day of Leanne’s life turns sour, forcing her to run for her life.


The Perfect Gift:

Finding the perfect gift for friends and family is hard enough, but when your friends have such specific tastes, it can be murder.


So grab a free short story and get reading!


Filed under Michelle Birbeck, Short Stories

Armchair BEA 2014: Expanding Blogger Horizons and Short Stories

Expanding Blogger Horizons


In which Armchair BEA is pretty much my entire expanding horizons plan! I’m not big on advertising and these fancy affiliate things where people can click through to Amazon and I get money for it. I’m more a let things plod along at a nice pace and see where it goes.


But for those who want to expand on what they’re doing, there are options. Advertising on sites, joining NetGallery (Where my new book The Stars Are Falling is currently), offering incentives, and contacting authors. The list is pretty much endless, and doing everything on it will most likely take over your entire life.


Short Stories and Novellas.


I’m pretty much going to ignore the Novellas part because I’ve never written one, and rarely read them.


But short stories is something I know a lot about! I love them. This whole blog began because I wanted somewhere to review short stories, as most bloggers seem to exclude them. I have no idea why, because if you’re ever stuck for something to read or have very little time or want to fill your blog whilst you’re away, short stories are awesome. Quick, easy to read. Quick and easy to write. Cost very little in comparison to some novels. What’s not to love about them?


For me, the cost of my short stories depends on the length. If they’re under a few thousand words, then they’re free. If they’re over that, then they’re $.99. I would much rather charge a low price for a short story than a high one.


Another advantage of short stories for authors is that they are a great, cheap introduction to your work. A small investment for a new reader to see if they like your style, your stories, and you in general.


All in all, I love short stories. And speaking of short stories, here, have a free one! It’s called The Perfect Gift, and it has literally just gone up on Smashwords.

tpg cover


Filed under Michelle Birbeck, Short Stories

Free Books!

Yep, it’s exactly what the title says; free books.

Over the next 12 days in celebration of The Last Keeper’s second anniversary and the upcoming release of The Stars Are Falling, I am giving away not one but two books! The first is a signed paperback copy of The Last Keeper, and the second is an advanced reader paperback of The Stars Are Falling. Both will be signed, and both will be shipped anywhere in the world.

So what do you have to do to get your hands on these books? Simple! Click enter to win below.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Stars Are Falling by Michelle Birbeck

The Stars Are Falling

by Michelle Birbeck

Giveaway ends May 15, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

If you haven’t got a Goodreads account, you can sign up for one for free.

And that’s pretty much it. Really simple, really easy, and at the end of it, you could end up with two free books!



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Filed under Michelle Birbeck, Publishing, The Keepers' Chronicles

The Keepers’ Chronicles

I’ve been working on The Keepers’ Chronicles for over five years now. From conception to publishing, to planning out the rest of the series and the short stories, it has been one hell of a journey. Part of that journey is being laid out in the Blogger Book Fair that kicked off today. As my characters are well travelled, and the theme of the fair is travel and far away places, it all fits in rather well!

And even now, I am still learning. New things every day, or so the saying goes. And to a certain extent that is true. It is nice to learn new things every day even if those new things are a relearning of something you already knew.
Anyway, I am getting off topic. What did I learn today? Well, today was a relearning sort of day. I should always remember that when making announcements I should make them all at once, especially where voting and awards are concerned! Because I went head over heels and shouted from the mountain tops that The Last Keeper is up for a readers choice award during the Blogger Book Fair. And in the midst of it, I forgot to check for my short story, A Glimpse Into Darkness.

And guess what? yep, that’s also up for an award!

So here are the details!

A Glimpse Into Darkness is up for Short Story Horror.

The Last Keeper AND Last Chance are up for Fantasy Mature 1

So if you would, please go vote! And don’t forget, A Glimpse Into Darkness is FREE from Smashwords all month!

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Filed under Michelle Birbeck, Short Stories, The Keepers' Chronicles

Free ARCs

Last ChanceEveryone loves free books. From short stories to full length novels, not much beats something for free. So today I am happy to say that there are some free ARCs of my novel, Last Chance, up for grabs! So where do you need to go and what do you need to do?

Click here http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1288272-r2r-173-last-chance-open join the group, and drop a message in to say you would like the ARC. Read it, review it, and that’s it!

And what’s more, once you’re part of the group, there are loads of other books that are up for grabs, so you can keep your ereader stocked for weeks!


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Filed under Michelle Birbeck, The Keepers' Chronicles

Free Short Stories from @ReadWave

By now you might have realised just how much I love short stories, and especially free short stories. But all too often trawling through the countless free shorts out there can leave you with a headache and a whole pile of unreadable stories. So when Rob contacted me regarding his new service, I had to agree to write a post on it.

So what is ReadWave, and why should you be interested in it?

It’s a new platform, which showcases the best stories from exciting new authors, and if you sign up to their Story of the Week, you will be given a hand picked short story every week straight into your inbox.

Why short stories?

Not all of us have the time to sink into a full length novel and lose several hours of the day tantilising ourselves with new worlds. But most of us have some time, be it on the bus, on a lunch break, or whilst the washing machine finishes off, and that time can be passed reading short stories. They’re short and to the point, easy to read, and don’t take up your whole day.

How do ReadWave pick the stories?

Each of the free stories in the Story of the Week feature will be hand picked by a team of editors. So you know it’s going to be something you can enjoy sinking into for a few minues, without the trouble of searching through the thousands of free stories out there.

What to do now…

As ReadWave is availible on all mobile devices, all you need to do is sign up and read.

Will I be signing up?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is, who doesn’t love free books of good quality?

I’m an author, can I submit to ReadWave?

Just go to the site, upload your story, and wait and see if yours is picked!

So there you have it, and fancy new service for readers that will save you the hours of trawling through story after story in order to find one that is well written! Just click on any of the links above to be taken to their site!

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Filed under Guest post

A Reasonable Man, by Oscar Hughes

Short, Sweet, and Snappy Review:

Title:  A Reasonable Man

Author: Oscar Hughes


What I liked: The message of the story

What I didn’t like:  The beginning

Recommended Read:  Yes

Rating:  4 Stars


The short story explores the unforeseen reality of the American Dream as it depicts the conflict between sacrifice and success.

Michelle’s Review:

I read this short story over the holidays, and once I got past the start of it, I really enjoyed it. Now, it’s not the sort of story I would normally pick out of a line up; it isn’t full of death, doom, gloom, and body parts. However, it conveyed a message that I found not only profoundly accurate, but also enlightening.

There was only one downfall to this story, and that was the start. When the story opens, the action and character’s dialogue gets very confusing. At times it is hard to tell who is speaking, to whom they are speaking, and what exactly is going on. But this only lasts a page or two, and once you are past the rocky beginning, everything evens out nicely and becomes a lot clearer.

So what exactly is the story about, and why was it so enjoyable? Well, the synopsis says it all; A conflict between sacrifice and success. Some people will give up everything in order to attain what they consider success, but it isn’t always worth it. In today’s world, where everyone is so driven to make money, buy a house, have kids, and work towards this idealised life, I think this story highlights exactly what the consequences of such a life can be. For me, it is a well written story that accurately portrays what people think is the perfect life, and what that life actually entails.

Overall, I give it four stars. Short stories with morals may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this is well worth the read.

Click on the book cover or search on Amazon to download the book for free.

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Filed under reviews, short reviews

Hunter by Joy Johnson

Short, Sweet, and Snappy Review:

Title:  Hunter

Author:  Joy Johnson

Genre: Thriller/paranormal

What I liked: the ideas behind it

What I didn’t like: the lack of explanation

Recommended Read: yes

Rating: 3 stars

stars sssstars sssstars sss


Graza and Xrallar are two gargoyles living in modern day society. Their war with the human Hunter that wishes them dead is only surpassed by their hatred for each other. Set in the dark confines of one fateful night, two will live and one will die as they face each other in their final battle of wits against wills

Michelle’s Review:

The ideas and the betrayal in the story made for an enjoyable read. However, I felt like it should have been longer. It left me wanting more from the characters and the story, and because those things weren’t there, I felt it was a bit of a let down.

There were concepts and ideas mentioned in this short that were only mentioned. There was a lot of potential that was missed in this story. Back story that would have made for an exciting look into the minds and lives of the characters. History of the characters that would have explained a lot more regarding why they were doing what they were doing.

Having said that, I enjoyed the read and as it is a free read it is one that I would recommend. It certainly passes the time and makes for an interesting read. Click the book cover to go and download it.

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Filed under reviews, short reviews