Want to Jumpstart your Ebook Sales?

Well, last week was an interesting week.

Monday, I got an email from Christine who runs The TBR Pile, a book review blog site, where I had submitted my debut novel for review. Based on her comments, I suspect it will be a very nice review, because the blogger who is reading it (it's a group review site) is so enthusiastic about the story that she went out and bought "cowgirl" boots. Here's a picture of the boots:

And that sort of response to a story is why so many writers are compelled to write.

And that was only Monday.

I've had a short story, All's Fair out there. It's a prequel really, to my McKnight romance Wip (tentatively) titled A Dark & Stormy Knight. It's been priced at $.99 on Amazon for the past month because Amazon won't let you list a book for free. You have to offer it elsewhere for free, report that to Amazon, and then wait for them to get off their duff and price match it. A real pain in the patootie.

When I got home from work on Tuesday, I checked my sales (yes, I'm still at the obsessing stage) and saw there were over 6k downloads. My first thought was, "Something's screwed up." Then my brain kicked in and I realized Amazon had finally made it free. I immediately checked my kindle rankings. #2. I know the rankings tell you how well you're selling compared to everyone else, but that was so beyond belief that my brain simply shut down and refused to process it.

My goal with giving  All's Fair away was to get on the Top 100 kindle list, and at that moment, I was #2 on the contemporary romance list. I was ecstatic (and more than a little awed.) By the time I got up in the morning (yes, I checked before I went to work) I was in the top ten of the general kindle list. WOW. Just . . . WOW. I don't think you can buy that kind of exposure.

A week later, All's Fair had downloaded 28 thousand copies.

Can I say that again?

28 THOUSAND downloads.

Now I don't expect everyone who downloaded it will actually read it. Or like it. But enough will. Or so I was hoping. The reviews on Amazon have been mixed (to put it mildly.) Some folks really dislike it, but according to the chatter on the kindleboards, for some unfathomable reason, negative reviews are to be expected when you make something free. The real test is what effect the freebie has on sales of A Knight in Cowboy Boots which was really my ultimate goal.

I don't have access to actual sales numbers (my publisher has those) but I can access a graph of the rankings. Before last Tuesday, the graph looked like the Sawtooth Mountains. The range swung from a hight of 65k to a low of 148k. The day All's Fair became free, the rating jumped to <10k and more-or-less flat lined, when meant it was selling steadily. I started seeing more reviews on Amazon (4 & 5 star reviews).

I would have to classify this little experiment as a great success.

Oh, and the To Be Read Pile's review? (Remember, that's how my week started.) I got great reviews, both for All's Fair and for A Knight in Cowboy Boots.

You can read them here and here.

To top off such an exciting week, Knight of Hearts appeared on Amazon. Hope y'all had as lovely a  Thanksgiving as I did. 

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