Saturday, 21 April 2012

Kindle Direct Experiment #2

Jane: Amused or horrified?

As I write this my second experiment with a free book on Kindle is drawing to a close and I'm very happy with the results. My novella Prude & Prejudice has been free for almost 48 hours and during that time it's been dowloaded 1660 times. While I didn't manage to crack the top 100 in free books I did come close in the UK at #111. My book reached #20 in contemporary romance meaning it was on the first page with New York Times bestselling author Barbara Freethy, and I was listed alongside the top 20 paid books. To be just 18 spots behind Barbara Feethy is thrilling beyond words. While there are a few fly-by-nighters (like me) in the top 20 for free contemporary romances, many of them are established authors with multiple books to their names, adding to the great excitement of ranking so highly.

While I am really pleased with how many books were downloaded, I'm also realistic and realize this doesn't mean all that much in the grand scheme of things. It does show that I'm capable of choosing a title, cover and blurb that people find appealing, but it's not a comment on the quality of my writing or my story. I don't have any reviews yet apart from one from a friend whose opinion I respect (thanks Michelle!), and I'll just have to wait and see if any more come in.

My first self-published short story Written in the Stars was basically an experiment to test the waters of self-publishing.  I have a lot more invested in this novella and I'm proud of its message. Seeing Anders Brehvik on the news coldly recounting how he murdered 77 people in the name of racial purity reminded me of just how dangerous anti-immigration sentiments are. I find it truly terrifying how quickly politicians are ready to exploit people's fears about immigration and race when they want to distract attention or score points against their opponents. Hitler used the Jews as scapegoats for Germany's declining economic position, and look how well that ended. He appealed to the middle-class who were most affected by this decline, and I fear that it is the middle-class who may turn to the far-right as the shockwaves from the GFC continue to be felt around the world.  I just hope this time around people will learn the lessons of history.

I love the fact that Amazon allows you to see what other books people who bought your book purchased. It's the best form of market research. The connection with Pride & Prejudice has undoubtely given my novella a boost because there is a big market out there for adaptations and sequels. I didn't realize just how huge it was until I wrote this book. I find it fascinating and can't wait to read some of the books I've come across. The erotic ones are the most amusing, and my favourite titles would have to be Pride & Penetration (The filthy classics) and Mr Darcy Vibrates.

I wonder what Jane would think?

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