Monday, February 27, 2012

The Mystery is SOLVED

You all know that I share numbers when I can.

This past weekend, The Reluctant climbed the Amazon charts for a second time. That happens with books, but usually it involves a well known author lowering the price to gain exposure. Then, when the book is high on the charts, they bump the price back up and make some money off the chart position.

That could not happen with The Reluctant for two reasons: I am not that well known and the book is NO CHARGE already. I could overcome the lack of name recognition, maybe, but there ain't no lowering a price from “Free.”

My first book, “The Reluctant,” went free on Amazon in mid-January of this year and by the end of the month, downloads totaled around 18,000. I was surprised and happy by that success because the book is supposed to hook the reader for the second book and beyond. At its zenith, “The Reluctant” hit #2 in Action/Adventure and Contemporary Fiction. The highest I saw it go was #23 in Fiction and #40 in over all eBook downloads (as far as I remember).

In February, downloads tapered off and I was expecting to do 2000 downloads for the month. I figured the book had already gotten its moment in the sun. There were a lot of people filling up free on space on their new Kindles in January so that drop in downloads was expected.

On the 24th, PixelofInk featured the book as a Friday Freebie. I missed it. I follow the website and follow on Facebook, but I am in the middle of a blog tour and writing the third book so my time is limited and it simply slipped by me. I did, however, start getting emails from fans telling me that my book was climbing the Amazon charts again. I was amazed because I had just started promoting it with the tour and that tour should not have made that much difference. I give good blog, but not that good!

Since the Friday Freebie feature on PixelofInk, the book got a 5,000 download boost and jumped back to #2 in Action/Adventure, #48 in Fiction, and #67 in eBooks over all. With some help (Serge! You are a mench, bud), I just figured out that it had been featured on the site. That was the correlation I had been looking for to explain unexpected second bump in downloads.

I think the impact was mitigated because the listing of “free” was changed to “Offer Expired.” It has not expired and will not for some time, but do not consider that a complaint (I just saw that they fixed that!). The feature was MUCH appreciated. It returned the book to the Amazon charts which is rare for a free book.

I gained at least 5000 potential new readers from that little feature. “The Willing” is on a promo price of $.99 (down from $2.99) until March 15th and it will be interesting to see if there is any impact on actual sales of that book.

Now....go check out PixelofInk. Let 'em know you appreciate their service.



  1. I love PixelofInk and check out their offerings every day before I go to work.
    My kindle is loaded up with more books than I'll be able to read but I've got a whole lot of interesting books ready to take me away at a moments notice.

    I, as well, was surprised that I missed the listing of The Reluctant and only happened to find it because I was searching for free Horror books on PoE. Luckily, the 1st book listed for that Friday fell into the genre and when I opened the link I saw your book (and your nemesis Bubba) staring at me in the face.

    It's funny because a few weeks back I was meaning to strike up a conversation with you to see if there was any way you could send them an email or something to see if they'd feature your book as a "free" book of the day or whatever.

  2. I'd never heard of Pixelofink but I went there on your suggestion. I got a Kindle copy of Bubba & the Dead Woman. Thanks, Splitter!

  3. My book's ratings are higher than Bubba's... :)

    Just kidding, I'm not in competition with Bubba...although I WOULD like feedback from those of you who read it. Please.


    1. Do you mean feedback on the Bubba book or yours? I'm serious!

  4. I missed this, FD, sorry. I would like feedback on Bubba. I hear it is hilarious.