1000 Sales, Giveaway, Mini Writer Conference, and a Puzzle Piece

Hush Money went over 1000 total sales last night, within 12 weeks of release, and, naturally, I’m very happy about that. I’ve passed my break-even point as far money I’ve put into the book. Next financial goal would be to earn enough to pay for the art and copyright for Heroes ‘Til Curfew.

That’s going a little better, in that I think I’ve figured out why anything I manage to write has been so chock full of suck lately. Now that I know the problem, if I can figure out how to work through it, I should be able to get back to writing like crazy to get this book out by late December/early January.

I was really inspired by our mini conference over the weekend, which some people would call lunch, but whatever. Those of you who follow Kait and Lauralynn will already know that we drove from all directions to a central point to have lunch and spend a few hours talking about writing and indie stuff. Then Lauralynn and I met Zoe, who wasn’t able to make it to the lunch, and spent some time with her, too. I had a lot of fun. More importantly, I have been living so mojo-free since September, that it was a really big deal for me to get inspired by all the writer talk and actually whip out my notebook to jot down some ideas for my WIP when I got home.

The last bit of news I’ve been meaning to come and tell you comes from a lovely email exchange I had with one of my readers who is also an ebook enthusiast, just as I am. Except that, rather than stamp her feet over availability issues like I do, she just has multiple e-reader devices. Possibly this makes her my new hero.

Anyway, I’m not going to clip the email because I neglected to ask her permission, but she told me that she found me in a “Hot New Releases” list on her Kindle. I was on the romance list, on the 41-60 page when she found me, read the excerpt, and bought the book in mid-October. This coincides with the period of crazy sales I had on Amazon at that time.

Thank you, Amazon!

So why did Amazon put me there? Why Amazon does anything could probably be its own In Search Of… style TV series, but my theory here is about reviews. There’s been a rumor going around that 20 is the magic review number that gets Amazon to start recommending your book to others. I don’t know if that’s true. But I looked through my reviews and I can see that I got my 20th review on October 4th, so just after 8 weeks. I had also broken into the top 1000 for the first time by September 28th. Maybe it was a combination of those things that inspired Amazon’s algorithms to choose my book for that list.

I don’t know anything about the list itself, like how long I was on it, how often it updates, etc. I had broken into the top 1000 a two weeks before my reader saw my book on the list, but the sales I had around that time I know I was on it were the days I was firmly in the 600-700 range, when I hit my current best of 623.

Long story short, those reviews really count, and that’s as much of a lesson for readers as it is for writers. If a book made your day, if you want an author you enjoyed to succeed so she can keep writing, an Amazon review is a big deal and something that doesn’t have to take a lot of time.

Writers, make it easy. I should start counting the number of sites and blogs I visit where authors talk about their books and don’t link directly to the book on Amazon, or even mention anywhere one can purchase it. Admittedly, half of these are traditionally published authors who may think facilitating purchases is not their job for some reason. I don’t know. I’m not suggesting pop-up ads (don’t make me hurt you), just don’t make me search. I’ve got a lot on my plate.

[ETA: Now that PubIt! is finally here, a lot of us have been looking to generate more reviews over there for the Nook crowd. If you’d like to copy and paste your Amazon review to the PubIt! listing, I’d be grateful.]

Oh, did I say giveaway? Ok, in honor of the 1000 sales, how about if I send out a signed, paperback copy of Hush Money to someone who leaves a comment between now and October 31st.


Filed under book review, Heroes 'Til Curfew, Hush Money, Increasing Kindle Rank, self-publishing, Talent Chronicles, tips, what not to do, writing

19 responses to “1000 Sales, Giveaway, Mini Writer Conference, and a Puzzle Piece

  1. Lauralynn Elliott

    1000 sales in 12 weeks is awesome! And sometimes people complain about Amazon, but they really do a lot of things that help authors. But the biggest reason you’re doing well is the quality of your book. One of my best friends is reading Hush Money right now and she’s promised to leave a review. :0) I’m sure she’s liking it as much as I did.

    Hey, people can call our conference lunch if they want, but we did talk shop! And I learned some things. And then you whipped out your notebook and started writing. Sounds like a conference to me. A fun one!

  2. Aw, thanks on all counts.

    Yeah, seriously. I’d say Amazon is totally in it for Amazon, but it’s a mutually beneficial relationship; I appreciate that their drive to expand their markets and earn more profits provides me with this opportunity.

    Next conference there should be tshirts or something.

  3. Congratulations! I’m sure you will achieve your next goal really soon too πŸ™‚
    I still didn’t buy your book (or any book recently – financial problems), so if i won, that would be great. But if i don’t, i’m still planning to buy it πŸ˜‰

  4. Pingback: Need Help With Marketing? Join the Indie Book Collective | Kait Nolan

  5. I read the ebook of it and LOVED it! I would love to win a signed paperback of it (if this is International).
    Thank you!

  6. Super interesting analysis of what gets an ebook into the “hot young thangs” list, as I like to call it, from Amazon. How great and amazing that you’ve made so many sales in so short a time!

    By the way, I would kind of maybe really love to win a signed copy. But if I don’t win, I’ll buy one anyway.

    • Not sure I’d go so far as to call my er, um, maybe it’s ’cause of this?? musings an analysis, but I’m glad it was interesting. I think the Amazon machine is really fascinating, and unfathomable yet fun to speculate about.

      I would LOVE to send the whole world a signed copy. And a Coke. And keep it company…


  7. Stacey Wallace Benefiel

    Congrats! That is super sticking it to Brad!
    I’m soooo jealous of your lunch date/high powered indie talky-talky meeting!!! Um, maybe next time put me on speaker phone, okay? πŸ™‚
    Dude, I’m stuck at 18 reviews for Glimpse and would so love to test out your 20 reviews theory. Ha!
    Yay to the Yay! again on selling 1,000.
    I love exclamation points.

    • Should I set up Amazon accounts for my cats so they can review it? They’ll look like this:
      Barnum 5 stars- I guess this was good because my mama couldn’t get up to feed me for a long time when she was reading this book.
      Bailey 5 stars- This book made my mama lie on the couch for hours and I got petted. Purrr.

      and then I could set up one for the dog:
      Beau: 3 stars- I would give this book 5 stars if mama would buy the paperback so I could eat it.

  8. Marta

    Congratulations, Susan, this is such wonderful, wonderful news, I am thrilled for you!!

    Seems the first step towards world domination was achieved! πŸ˜€

  9. Andrew Mocete

    Congrats Susan, that’s great news. That’s how it should always be; write a good story, tell people about it and then it sells.

  10. Pingback: Giveaways, myths, toddlers with scissors, and orange frosting. « Stacey Wallace Benefiel

  11. Congrats! I am so happy for your success!

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