This is not Lori Ann Stephens' first rodeo. Well, it is in the sense that it is her debut novel that suddenly shot to No. 1 on the Amazon Bestseller List for Top Free Literary Fiction over the Fourth of July. But that novel -- Song of the Orange Moons -- has existed in print since 2010 when it was picked up by Blooming Tree Press in Austin. Like so many small businesses in an unstable economy, the publishing house unexpectedly and abruptly closed. Stephens felt suspended, truncated, in literary purgatory.
And then came a plan. Stephens had already pursued an ebook publication with ASD Publishing online in an attempt to, as she puts it, "keep the book-child breathing," but despite the efforts, it "sat deathly still on the digital shelf." As an experiment, Stephens decided to run a three-day promotion, making the book downloadable for free for a set period. Though she loved and believed in the novel, no one was more surprised than Stephens when the proverbial stone was rolled away and the book began a meteoric ascension over those three days.