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Too much information?

It’s been a month since I pressed ‘Publish’ on my first self-published novel and it’s been a month of highs and lows.  When I was traditionally published, I was glued to the Kindle charts, obsessed with the ranking of my latest book, my mood dependent on whether it was going up or plummeting.  Closer to Home once reached the mid-twenties in the UK and, in 2020, was also the most downloaded free book in the English-speaking Amazon world – for about three hours!  My books have sat next to some big hitters and also languished in the digital equivalent of the ‘bargain bin’.  But I had no idea at the time how this translated into sales or page reads.

Now I know everything!

I can see how many pages have been read on Kindle Unlimited.  I can see how many books have been ordered (and returned!) and where in the world my readers live, and I know which days of the week seem to be the best for sales and which times of day the best for page reads.

And all in real time. (Or at least very close.)

So, you can imagine how the almost obsessive checking of chart position has been replaced with constantly refreshing my Kindle ‘dashboard’.  I can see my estimated royalties increase in increments of pence and I know when that reader in Canada hasn’t read any further for three days – have they given up completely or are they just busy?

One of the good things about having access to all this information is that I can monitor the effect of any marketing strategies.  I invested a small amount of money to have a social media campaign organised by a popular crime fiction website.  As my book appeared on their Facebook page and Twitter feed (I know it’s X now but who actually uses that name?) I saw an almost instant increase in sales and page reads and now the campaign is over I’ve seen a small drop off in both.

I’m about to release book two and I’m trying to decide how to publicise this one in a way that will, hopefully, reach a wider audience than Closer to Home. I have a lot of options but not a lot of money, so I’m weighing everything up very carefully as I don’t have the resources to compete with even the smallest publishers.  And I now have a new obsession – pre-release orders! 

Merciless will be available on April 15th. Pre-order using the link below…


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