Sunday, October 28, 2012

Blog 19 A tsunami of benevolence?

As I write this, a 2 metre wall of water is about to hit the Hawaiian islands, so this title could be either wildly inappropriate or an unintended Google search hit.

Anyway, the tsunami of which I write concerns the 48 hours last Monday and Tuesday during which my debut thriller 'Milkshake' (available at all good bookstores called Amazon) was available for free download.

This is a nail-biting time for an author who is not self-published. With no access to the hourly figures and no idea how things are going, all I can do is blindly promote and wait, like mission control waiting for Apollo 12 to emerge from the radio-blackout silence of the dark side of the moon.

At least I got a sense that things were going well, since the figures on the 'Free' kindle chart appear alongside the book listing for the duration of the free promo. Milkshake appeared to reach number 5 in the US Amazon 'Action & Adventure' chart, which was promising.

After two days the promo came to an end, with the book, as hoped, a lot further up the real Amazon chart, where hopefully it will draw greater interest and therefore actual sales.

So what about numbers? well my publisher tells me 1200 free copies were downloaded on Amazon UK and US. Surprisingly the vast majority on the US site, since usually sales are far greater in the UK.

So with 1200 copies now scattered across the world, the next stage is to wait and see if any get read. The first indications came earlier today, when, within  the space of a few hours I received (on the US Amazon website) firstly a 4* review from Minnesota, followed a short while after by a 3* review from New Delhi.

I have no problem with the free promotional periods. Along with the previous ones, there must be several thousand copies of 'Milkshake' on Kindles around the world. The thought of my debut book being read by so many complete strangers is both thrilling and also vaguely disturbing.

The sequel 'The Destiny Stone' should be out early in 2013 and I console myself with the expectation several thousand copies will be instantly purchased by those eager to find out what happens next.