The knock-on.

Writer’s blog: Stardate: 29.03.2013

Friday morning is turning out to be a good time of the week for me to write a blog-post. It’s usually quiet here in the Istanbul City Zoo monkey enclosure: all the week’s cleaning gets done by Thursday, the resident vet has paid her weekly visit, fresh straw has been laid for the weekend and the manager sees his mistress on Thursday nights and doesn’t often pitch up to work until just before lunch.

The sun is shining and it’s quite warm here already. It has been suggested that the temperature might get up to seventeen degrees tomorrow. If that were not indicative enough of spring approaching the males are eyeing up the females with a primate’s hint of a leer.

On Monday I blogged of my weekend’s free listing experience regarding one of my titles with Amazon’s KDP Select programme (see two posts previously for details. I’m not doing it all again.)

One of the things that I was interested to learn from this exercise was whether the two days of giving my book away for free would have any discernable impact on subsequent sales of the other two titles that I have listed with Amazon that are in the same series.

At the end of the promotion my figures were as below:

Rope Enough – 36

Making a Killing – 5 sold (351 free downloads)

Joint Enterprise – 7

Rope Enough – 8

Making a Killing – 3 sold (219 free downloads)

Joint Enterprise – 5

Currently, Friday morning 10.20 (GMT + 2), my sales figures are as below:

Rope Enough – 63

Making a Killing – 13 (2 units borrowed through KDP select programme).

Joint Enterprise – 8

Rope Enough – 11

Making a Killing – 3 (0 units borrowed through KDP select programme)

Joint Enterprise – 7

I like these figures – the UK ones. I don’t have the statistics for previous months’ sales (of course I could look then up but it isn’t really necessary) however, I can say that the number of copies of Rope Enough that have been sold since Monday morning – essentially only four days ago – is probably more than I have sold in total in the three months or so that it has been available. And there is the curious figure of eight copies sold of Making A Killing in the same time frame – a very healthy number when compared to previous month’s sales. As well as that book having been free last weekend I did increase the price of it from £0.77 to £1.53 last week.

No noticeable effect on sales in the US market. Again, this is a little odd as over the months my US sales have always topped the UK sales. But then again, as far as I’m aware, Rope Enough did not stray into any charts this week on the site (see below).

Since the promotion I have slipped in and out of’s top hundred rankings with Rope Enough in the crime, police procedural category. And when one hovers on the periphery of this, two or three quick sales can see a book move several places (up to seventy-nine for a short while). I only mention this because it seems reasonable to venture that at this end of the top hundred rankings it really is only a matter of a few odd sales that can make a difference, not dozens or hundreds. Something that I didn’t know.

On a personal note, yesterday I finished my second edit of Bad Sons, my latest crime/thriller novel. In two read-throughs I have changed very little – nothing of the structure or the plot; really, just vocabulary, punctuation and fleshing out some details. I’m not sure what to make of that. I have the same positive feelings about the overall story, its telling and unfolding as I did with each of the R&M books and I take encouragement from that. They didn’t turn out to be so bad in my opinion and the opinions of a good many people who generously left feedback.

I have a bit of a dilemma with this book now. Do I ignore it for a couple of months then come back to it and see how it reads, as per general perceived wisdom, or do I just go ahead and add it to my self-publishing portfolio? My heart says publish, my head says wait.

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