accept the offer of publication from Thistle Publishing for my debut novel The Art of Letting Go, I wasn't entirely sure if it would be a success. It wasn't the big, traditional, prestigious deal I'd hoped for, and yet there were many advantages to the offer. One of the major advantages was that Thistle would be able to potentially gain access to Amazon's promotions. This was by no means guaranteed, so I'm very glad to say that this month my novel is indeed being promoted by Amazon for Kindle.
I wasn't sure if I'd be able to tell when my book was being promoted. Turns out it was quite easy. Before Amazon started e-mailing people to tell them about The Art of Letting Go, it was ranked about 30 000th in the Kindle Store. This is in the top 10% of books (there are about 400 000 books in the store), but isn't exactly a headline for my writing CV. Within half a day of the promotion starting it had climbed into the top 100.
Even more exciting than seeing the main figure climb, was seeing how I was doing in the sub-categories. I'm a little sceptical of sub-genre rankings. We've all seen people on Twitter who claim to be a "number one best-selling author", basing their claim on having been number one in Young Adult Paranormal Romantic Crime - or some such sub-category of a sub-category - for a couple of hours one day. However, I like to think that Women's Fiction and Women's Literary Fiction are reasonably big sub-genres and therefore I am proud to say that I have consistently been in the top 10 - often the top five - of them since the promotion started a week ago.
At the time of writing this post, this is what my ranking on Kindle (my novel has not been promoted in paperback so far) looked like:
(69th overall, 2nd in Women's Literary Fiction, 3rd in Women's Fiction and 5th in Mystery, Thriller and Suspense)
Muting the excitement just a tiny bit is the fact that Amazon are selling my e-book for 99p. This is obviously a big factor in it selling well, but I'm also aware that that is about a third of the price a lot of people pay for a hot drink on their way to work in the morning. It's not so much about the value of the royalties as the value placed on my work! But, I'm not complaining really - I'm very grateful to have my work selling well at all!
When I decided to risk a non-traditional contract I worried that my sales wouldn't even reach 100. I'd read somewhere that 400 is the average sales for a debut novel that hasn't been self-published but hasn't had the full weight of a publishing house behind it. I was really hoping to reach this number at least, and so I am especially glad to have easily passed this milestone now and to be accelerating away from it - or at least, plodding away from it!
A big factor in being selected for promotion by Amazon, and for the promotion being successful is the number of positive reviews my novel has got. So if you are one of those people who have bought my book, and especially if you have reviewed it for me, thank-you very much!