The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Can you spare a minute of your time?

Watermelon SummerIf Mark's and my informative (I hope) blog posts have banked any social capital, I'd like to cash it today.  I'm going to ask you each for a favor that will cost you nothing except one minute of your time, but it's very important to me, so let me explain why first.

Despite glowing reviews, Watermelon Summer's launch has been much slower than that of my other ebooks.  I realized after the fact that my goal of reaching into a new genre to introduce mainstream readers to homesteading is a tougher sell than I'd at first thought because my core readers are non-mainstream enough that they don't really want to read a mainstream book.  Luckily, you can help me reach those mainstream readers today by following this link and "buying" a free copy of my book.

How will that help?  I use free periods to get my books into the public eye, which creates a buzz and then generally sucks in actual purchases once the free period is over.  The trouble is that it's easier to get into the top 100 (where strangers start to see my book) in non-fiction categories than in fiction.  To get into the top 100 free in the young-adult category, I need to give away about 2,500 copies, which is quite feasible --- Trailersteading has actually soared as high as being in the top 100 free on all of Amazon in the past, which meant I gave away many thousands of copies that day.  But it takes a concerted effort to get there.

Will you help Watermelon Summer reach out beyond the choir?  Buying a free copy is plenty of help, but if you want to go further, you can share this post on facebook (or on the social-networking site of your choice) or on your blog.  Maybe you could even tell a friend who enjoys young-adult books?  I estimate that if each person who sees this post simply bought a free copy, my book would soar to the top of its category overnight.  Thanks in advance for your help!

As a side note, I've started posting a monthly sum-up of my favorite indie Amazon ebooks over on my book blog, and several of those ebooks are free right now as well.  Stay tuned to that blog for more top picks in the months to come.

Anna Hess's books
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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I have been an avid reader of your blog and ebooks for over a year. I grew up in Northern Minnesota and now live in Minneapolis (Where the windchill was -48 degrees this week!), and your blog gives me a chance to live vicariously through your adventures. Thank you for sharing all of the tips and knowledge that you have about Homesteading and Simple Living. When my partner and I are ready to get off the grid, I will use all of the information you have shared.

I "bought" a copy of Watermelon Summer today. Hope if helps your ratings. I am a writer, too, and I am glad to lend you my support.

Stay warm!

Comment by Ivy Wed Jan 8 10:51:19 2014
Just "bought" the free copy. Love your blog.
Comment by Paul Girard Wed Jan 8 11:52:31 2014

I would love to help you Anna but I do not use Kindle....sorry

Maybe a free paperback????


Comment by Edith Wed Jan 8 13:45:38 2014

Thanks for everyone who's helped me move up in rankings! We're getting very close now at 2 pm....

Edith --- Free ebooks are a lot easier to give away than paperbacks --- it would break the bank to give out 291 paperbacks (which is how many people have so far downloaded the free ebook). But you don't have to have a kindle to read Amazon ebooks. You don't need to do anything at all if you just want to support me --- click the buy button and don't worry about how to read it. But if you do want to read, they give you the option of reading in Amazon's cloud reader after purchase, which is right in your webpage.

Comment by anna Wed Jan 8 14:04:55 2014

Okay....I didn't know that.

If I click buy....can you send me a PDF????? :o) I wouldn't want to use cloud either..

I'll go buy now..


Comment by Edith Wed Jan 8 17:04:12 2014
Allllllll right..........I went ahead and got the kindle app...
Comment by Edith Wed Jan 8 17:17:31 2014
Comment by Edith Wed Jan 8 17:32:23 2014
Edith --- Sure, I'd be glad to email you a pdf version while it's free. Just email Thanks for jumping through Amazon's hoops!
Comment by anna Wed Jan 8 17:39:28 2014
I snagged a copy of your book. I was going to buy it. I was finishing up another novel. I am telling my literary friends about your book and Trailersteading. I want to see more homesteading fiction books on the market. I use to be a book editor. I am passionate about finding new genres. I am starting Watermelon Summer next and when I am done I will be posting it to my Good Reads. I hope that gets you more exposure too.
Comment by DeeAnn Thu Jan 9 01:58:02 2014
"Bought" it, and read several chapters last night. It is delightful and engaging, and I think my oldest granddaughter would really enjoy it, so hoping to get her to oick up a copy too.
Comment by Deb Sat Jan 11 02:13:30 2014

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