Hey, you with the Kindle…lookin’ for a date?

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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JD Mader is a Contributing Author for Indies Unlimited and author of the novels JOE CAFÉ and THE BIKER. For more information, please see the IU Bio page and his blog:www.jdmader.com.


Author: JD Mader

JD Mader is an award winning short story writer and novelist. 'Joe Café' and 'The Biker' are out now, as well as 'Please, no eyes'. and the collaborative 'Bad Book'. Mader has been writing for half his life and has no plans on stopping any time soon. Learn more about JD Mader at his blog and his Amazon author page.

18 thoughts on “Hey, you with the Kindle…lookin’ for a date?”

  1. Similar experience for me, but it does feel dirty giving away all those free books. The morning (days) after are fun though as you watch your book bring in real sales that weren't there previously. Good luck.

  2. My experience was way different than yours.


    Since my freebie I've sold a whopping three books…two of the short story and one of my novel. The best part though is that I did receive some good reviews, and based on a comment, definitely at least one new enthusiastic fan, so for that alone it was worth it.

    Good luck on future sales!

  3. Congratulations JD. This is wonderful news and sounds similar to the results I have heard from others. Let us know how future sales go for you for both of your books!

    Emmly Jane

  4. Hi JD,

    I did pay for the Biker and didn't get into the giveaway, but I think it was worth the price. I really enjoyed the story and the character.

    My only problem was with your characterization of the Vietnam War Vet. I think it is because I am married to one of those guys and have met my share of Vietnam Vets in my lifetime. They may have PTSD, but I wouldn't want to get one of them mad at me.

    I expected your Vet to show up and kill your problem… So when someone else showed up to do the killing I was disappointed… 😉 Very good read though.

    Yours, Cyn

    1. Thanks Cyn! I appreciate your reading The Biker. If you wouldn't mind leaving a review on Amazon I would appreciate that as well. And between you and me, Jo plays a MUCH bigger role in the sequel. 😉

  5. The big question is whether or not giving away your book for free results in higher sales in the long term. My gut feeling is that it won't. All that is happening is that increasing numbers of Kindle users are downloading only free books. And that, in the long term, will be disastrous for new writers….

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