The snowball effect.


Writer’s blog: stardate: 05.04.2013

Part 1

Two weeks on from my KDP Select programme promotional weekend. (See earlier posts for details). In those two weeks the month changed and so a new month’s sales record was started. In those two weeks I have seen a steady and encouraging increase of sales for all three of the books in my R&M series.

Rope Enough has performed and continues to perform well. It has only fleetingly been out of the paid  top 100 for its Amazon category since the promotion. As mentioned previously, there could be knock-on reasons from the promotion for this but I am more inclined to believe that the book’s presence in that top 100, its visibility, is responsible. It’s also cheap at only £0.77.

Last month – the month of the promotion – with I had 84 downloads of Rope Enough. April is not five full days old yet and already I have made 43 sales. Making a Killing has sold 9 and Joint Enterprise 4.

I do no self-promotion. has seen no sales of any of the titles, yet.

For anyone who is interested in these things I have collated total sales of the three books on the two Amazon sites below. No doubt in my mind that the KDP Select promotion has been a boost.

Amazon Sales Record


Rope Enough – 6

Making a Killing – 4

Joint Enterprise – NA

Rope Enough – 10

Making a Killing – 5

Joint Enterprise – NA


Rope Enough – 11

Making a Killing – 13

Joint Enterprise – 5

Rope Enough – 14

Making a Killing – 10

Joint Enterprise – 3


Rope Enough – 8

Making a Killing – 4

Joint Enterprise – 2

Rope Enough – 11

Making a Killing – 9

Joint Enterprise – 7


Rope Enough – 84

Making a Killing – 20 (351 through free promotion)

Joint Enterprise – 14

Rope Enough – 11

Making a Killing – 3 (219 through free promotion)

Joint Enterprise – 7

April (up until today – 5th of the month)

Rope Enough – 43

Making a Killing – 9

Joint Enterprise – 4

Rope Enough – 0

Making a Killing – 0

Joint Enterprise – 0

Part 2

I am looking again at the first book that I ever wrote. It is a thriller. I wrote it about three years ago and it has been resting in a drawer at home waiting for the right time for me to sort it out. I am glad that I have waited. The overall plot, characters and progression, I don’t find particularly horrible to experience again, but the writing needs a substantial amount of attention. Reading it has demonstrated to me just how much, to my own way of thinking, I have grown as a writer – I want to write improved.

I am reading it on the computer and changing things around as I go. It’s quite nice to get reacquainted with the characters. It’s quite embarrassing to read some of my sentence structures and clichéd descriptions. It’s quite a relief that I waited before doing anything with it.

I have also written the sequel to this book, which I will go onto next. Both are around 100,000 words. Then I think that I will self-publish them.

I have posted before about the difficulty of finding titles for books and this first book has been the bane of my output to date. I have gone through at least a dozen titles that I have been temporarily keen on only to find that after a week or two, a month or two, they just don’t do it for me anymore. I have even toyed with the idea of changing the central character’s name so that I could utilise it (cleverly) in a series of titles as seems to be the fashion. I was going to change him from Sansom to Double. Then Sansom to Counter. Both words combine with others to provide a wealth of opportunities for snappy titles. But he isn’t Mr Double and he isn’t Mr Counter. He is Sansom. The character of Sansom has been a part of my life and as well as liking the name I can’t be so mercenary with it. I have an association with this character that I don’t want to corrupt; I wouldn’t be comfortable selling him out. Is that stupid, I wonder?

Anyway, the read-through has now given me a title that I like a lot, for now. I am going to call this book, Dirty Business. It’s a good fit. It’s short and suggestive. I hope that I still like it in a week. Also it will allow me to keep the title of the sequel, which I have – surprisingly – kept since writing it, Loose Ends. I need to commission the cover art soon, so I have to be sure. I’ll give it another month. By then I hope to have both books ready to go out.

9 thoughts on “The snowball effect.

  1. Well done! I have never shifted 43 copies of any of my books in one month (even in the aftermath of KDP promotions). Hell, I’ve never even sold 43 copies of all my books combined in one month, so this is an impressive feat, even more so because of the lack of self-promotion.

      • Possibly, but I’ve done similar promotions and been at that low price point and it’s done nothing for me (or very little). 43 copies in 5 days means you might have been picked up by one of Amazon’s recommendation algorithms, which means, if this is the case, that you might be looking at some very pleasing figures at the end of the month.

      • Amazon algorithms sound more interesting than that pointless stuff I did at school – and more useful. I’ll have to investigate that. Thanks. Does this mean it’s all a lottery? I’ve been living in a dream-world where I see people on public transport clutching their Kindles recommending my books to random strangers because they can’t help themselves.

      • Actually, now that I think about it, your algorithm suggestion could explain why I have this very noticeable difference in sales figures between and .com. Looking at my figures for previous months has always outperformed and this month I have not had a single sale from the US whereas the UK is, as you can see, a very different story. Interestinger and interestinger.

      • Algorithms seem the most likely candidate for such a sales spike, although never discount the power of word of mouth. 43 in five days is especially good with only one review. Books with lots of reviews also seem to get picked up by Amazon’s recommendation system (or so I’ve read), so this feat is even more impressive. It might be worth doing a little promotional work now, just to try and keep the momentum going.

  2. Congratulations! I know the numbers still aren’t huge, but 8 a day without any advertising beyond this blog is very promising. It seems too high to be random, so it looks like people who picked up Making a Killing for nothing are deciding to pay for more.

    Have you had any more reviews?

    Is that five books in three years? Or six? I guess that hardly makes you Barbara Cartland, but it’s still impressive. I wish I could be so prolific. Do you find writing a series helps? I’ve only ever been interested in writing stand-alone stuff, so every time I start a new book I need new characters and settings.

  3. Thanks. I’m pleased with how things look even though it’s only 26p net a sale. You could be right about the knock-on from from Making a Killing. I suppose one moral of the tale is have three books in a series and then give the middle one away for nothing.

    Absolutely nothing on the review front as yet. But then I’m used to that by now. What I do wonder, though, is how these other authors get literally hundreds? Are they paying for them? Seriously, all three books on Amazon now for a few months – I started listing them in December – and only one review for each from a friend of mine – my ‘sock-puppet’.

    Six books actually! Three R&Ms, two Sansoms and that other thing I knocked out in two months – Bad Sons. If I didn’t have to work I feel that I might rival Babs on the output front, but then again I think that I’d probably suffer a mental breakdown if I thought that my income depended on churning out book after book. A regular job = no pressure.

    Writing a series definitely helped the output. As you say, I’m not inventing new people all the time. But then I can see how that could be problematic when one starts running out of new things for them to say and do. I’ve got a couple more R&Ms in me but I don’t know that I will keep them going for ever. I’d get bored and so would they. I never meant to write a series; it just happened – like most of what I write. It’s a kind of diarrhoea.

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