Last week I wrote about KDP Select and how I was going to whore my first novel, ‘Joe Café’ out to the masses. Well, I thought I’d give y’all a bit of an update. Because I was shocked at the results. I used two of my five days of promotion (when it is free for everyone not just ‘Prime’ members – and I think Amazon may pimp it a little bit). During those two days it was downloaded 6,500ish times in the US. Almost two hundred times in the UK. Twelve times in Denmark (Germany, sorry – McNally!). And once in France. It also rose in the rankings, to number 13 in Literary Fiction at one point. I want to say it hit #3, but I don’t really remember. It was a hectic two days. Would I do it again? Oh yeah.
In a million years, I never would have imagined that so many people would download the book. I am not so naïve as to believe that all those people will read it, but so what. Even if a fraction of them read it, that’s good. Just having my name out there is good. Finally ‘selling’ more than one copy a month in the UK is good. I can’t really think of any negatives. Some people asked if I was bummed that I didn’t get paid. I really could care less. The money from my book sales doesn’t even cover half my rent. So, it’s not like I slaughtered my cash cow. And the publicity has got to count for something.
I think this was the right move for me at this time. I have a new novel just out. I am hoping some of the ‘Joe Café’ cheapskates will buy ‘The Biker’. And my sales for ‘The Biker’ were pretty good during the giveaway, too. I wouldn’t recommend this if you are publishing your first novel, but, for me, it is working just the way I wanted it to.
The rise in ranking was interesting, too, because it made me realize how freaking stupid the book industry is. For 48 hours, and probably still, my book ranks higher in the Kindle store than some of the greatest novels of all time. Dickens can pretty much kiss my ass. Seriously, though. That was the only depressing part of this exercise – the realization that WAY more people have read ‘Twilight’ than have read ‘The Brothers Karamazov’.
We are becoming a little more illiterate with every year that passes. It saddens me. It also scares me a little. I want to sell books, but I don’t want to write about asexual vampires. I also realized how many people are just hitting up the Kindle store and downloading free books. This scares me, too. My book is usually $3.99. And it sells like molasses in January (actually molasses sells pretty well year round). Readers are starting to expect free. And that is bad news for us.
But in the short term, I’m optimistic. Maybe I got some new fans. Maybe the Coen Brothers will read it and make a movie and I can tell all of you to go to hell and drink the blood of peasants mixed with top shelf vodka. Or maybe there are thousands of copies of my book on people’s Kindles that will never be read. But it sure is fun watching the numbers come in.
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