Monday, June 18, 2012

A Wild Six-Day Ride

Last Wednesday I put Doctor Luke's Assistant on a 5-day free promotion at the Amazon Kindle Store. This benefit was available to me since I enrolled it in the Kindle Select program. After thinking about it for two months, I decided to go with all five days together, rather than use my allowed five days in different batches. Which is the better way? Beats me.

The first day I had what I thought was a decent number of downloads. I don't remember exactly. I could go back and check my various Facebook updates to see. On that day it rose to fifth in its genre free list, and to around 315 in the list for all free fiction. I thought that was pretty good. The next several days saw a slow reduction each day in the number of downloads, with drops in rank in the various lists. By the end of Saturday I think it was 10th in genre list and around 590 in overall list.

Then Sunday it took off. I'm not quite sure why, but as Sunday started I was was wondering if it how hit 2,000 downloads. By the end of the day it had 5,039 downloads. Wow! A friend from Suite101.com, Karen Berger, gave it a nice interim review on the Facebook page for Suite writers. I kept making a few posts on Facebook and on my two blogs, trying not to be a pest about it but wanting to let people know about the free promo.

What caused it to take off? Maybe Sunday is just a better day for downloads—with more people using their work-free day to look for book bargains. I did a Google search for it this morning, and found DLA on many websites, what are called aggregator sites. These look to aggregate news and hope people come to their sites for news, with the views generating ad revenue for the web site owner. It appears several sites aggregate free books available, and DLA appeared in quite a few of them. So maybe that contributed. A friend in North Carolina gave it a plug on his Facebook page, and perhaps that helped also.

The free promo was to go off at 2:00 a.m. Central Time this morning, though Amazon advises resetting back to normal price may not happen immediately. I woke up at 1:47 a.m., and decided to make a quick check. At that time it was #1 on its genre list, and I think #131 overall; my eyes were a bit blurry. When I rose for the day at 5:45 a.m. I checked it. The free promo had been off for almost four hours, but it was still listed in the "bestseller" lists: #1 in genre, #3 in Religious Fiction, and #56 in all fiction. That made my day.

The wild ride has continued today. At my check at home I had no sales of anything this month. By the time I got to work and checked at 7:15 a.m., the Kindle report showed three sales of DLA. Woohoo! That's after one sale in the 2 1/2 months it had been for sale. By 10:30 a.m., it stood at ten sales. I just checked it while writing this post, and it's now 11 sales—except it shows one return, my first return of anything. So ten net sales. I only know where two of these came from.

So what happens next? First, I need to stop compulsively checking sales! The newness of actually selling something will pass, I'm sure, and with it the compulsive checking. I'll monitor reviews on Amazon and see how they are going. At present it has four 5-star reviews. I'm sure I'll get some reviews more critical than that, which comes with the territory. Some readers have asked for background information on how I came to write the book and do the research. I've written some blog posts on that, but from a long time ago. Perhaps I'll take this week and write that information afresh.

And, perhaps I'd better get off my duff and go to work on the print version. I put that off because of the work, and because of how expensive the book will be as a POD book, due to its length. But I have some beta readers to thank by presenting them a print book, so I'll do that work. And, I suppose I should begin thinking about other books in what I'm calling my Church History Novels series. I have the sequel partly programmed, and have brainstormed two or three after that and one prequel. I don't have them in my publishing schedule right now, but need to think about it.

And, I don't plan on quitting my day job. Ten sales a day, even if it continued at that pace (which it probably won't), is not a writing career.

4 comments:

Martin P Wilson said...

That's great David.

I am looking forward to reading it. I have it on my Kindle ready for my upcoming holiday and I will review it while I am away. Hopefully we will both get a boost from the review.

I am inspired to get on with my publishing my first ebook; a new edition of obe of my print (non-fiction, business) books.

All the best

Martin P Wilson

David A. Todd said...

Thanks for the comment, Martin, and best of luck with your self-publishing endeavor.

Poppy-Poet/Writer said...

Hey Dave, can't remember if I told you or not, but I posted about your book on my Twitter page and included "free" as a hashtag, meaning anyone on Twitter who searched for "free" stuff, not just on my followers list, could see my post and click on the link. Hopefully, that helped. I always try to help my fellow authors. :)

David A. Todd said...

Thanks for the plug, Poppy. Who knows exactly what caused it to greatly increase in downloads on Sunday, but I'm sure your tweet added to it.

Sales are still occurring, though not at the pace they were on Monday.