[UPDATE: As of mid-July, I removed my stories from Barnes & Noble's site. Though I liked the upgrade to the interface that came when B&N's Pubit migrated to NOOK Press, my resentment about the way payments were handled (see below) led me to, at least for now, remove my stories.]
Hm. In the past week, I've sold six e-book copies of the bundled "Helping Them Take the Old Man Down" and "Clockworks." I've sold two copies of e-book "Unearthed."
When I put these stories online, stories that had already appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, I didn't know whether people would seek them out—especially since I'd provided "Helping Them Take . . ." as a free PDF on this site for a year before trying to sell copies. I'm glad people have found and enjoyed the stories, which have gone through (usually explicable) sales patterns, with, for example, sales of the first two bundled stories taking a jump when "Unearthed" was published in Asimov's.
So what has given rise to this recent spate of purchases? And, a separate puzzle, why have I sold three copies of the bundled stories via Barnes and Noble (through which I have not made "Unearthed" available)? I had recently considered removing those stories from B&N: only 10 percent (at most) of my sales have come through B&N, and authors are paid only once they hit each 10-dollar bar—at which point it takes many months before one is actually paid. It's an awful arrangement. Amazon (via Kindle and the Kindle app) have in place a much more author-friendly, sane system.
Recent purchases at B&N did bump me up to that next 10-dollar sales point, so at some point, I'll actually see that money. (It's not about the money, it's about how people paid for something and then the money just sits with B&N; I'm grateful that people feel they ought to pay for the reading experience—especially since every reading experience is a risk, more likely ending in disappointment than satisfaction—so for them to not actually have their kind gesture reach completion seems unjust to me.)
The Pulpster, the journal released each year at Pulpfest (coming up at the end of July), contains a piece I wrote about my Old Man stories. I expect that will generate a few more sales, so I'll leave up the stories, for now. I'm working to complete the fourth story in the series, so I probably ought to leave the tales up at the online sites for new readers who want to understand the full background when (if) that story is published. But I intend to get the fifth and final story finished more quickly, and I don't intend, at this point, to put the fourth one online, in the hope that all five stories will (once the first three are withdrawn from e-book publication) instead be published in book form by some visionary publisher. (Heh.)
If you've read and enjoyed these stories, please let me know. And if you're looking for a copy of "Unearthed" for your Nook, just get the free Kindle app and download the story to your computer.