Update December 28, 2011
As of today, 19,000 copies of my freebie have been downloaded from all sites where it is available. It never did go free in the UK much to many fans’ disappointment, but there you are. To my absolute delight I am still seeing sales numbers climb for the rest of the series. What a joy it is to know that your work is appreciated! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Update November 11, 2011
Yesterday Amazon put the pricing back on “Hard Press’d” and all of my novels continue to climb in sales. Thanks to Amazon for the screw-up. I didn’t even have to buy them dinner, and I could afford it now!
Day 1 of this saga was Oct. 29 when I opened my Kindle report to check on sales (I habitually do this every morning–not OCD, like most authors I just love seeing ANY numbers there).
Low and behold there were almost 3,000 downloads of “Hard Press’d” but, when I looked at my page on Amazon, I saw that it was listed for $0.00. Uh oh, I thought!
The two weeks earlier I had temporarily made this novel free on Smashwords, and I thought that Amazon had caught it on their system price matching. I thought, well, let’s see if it brings in some sales of the rest of the series (it is nice have lots of other books out there on my page including 5 in this detective series).
I kept watch and the next day it was going head long toward 10,000 and was #10 on their list of FREE Kindle books. Once I found out how to find that figure on Amazon, I checked and day 1 it had been #8. Well, there was a WHOLE BIG BUNCH of dancing going on here! And, yes! The other books were starting to sell. More and more I could see that through days 2 and 3 dozens of sets of the series were selling.
Then an author friend of mine who had been yippee-yahooing over my recent numbers sent me a link he found reporting that authors were experiencing this. Amazon was making their novels free when they caught THE PREVIEW link on Barnes & Noble’s site and their system misinterpreted this as a free book.
As I told my friend (by now it was day 3 or 4) I’d be NUTS to report it. You can’t get a freebie in Kindle to save your life. The minimum they allow us to set a book is $.99.
So…I’ve left it there at FREE, and in one week sold over 620 copies of my other books and given away 16,200 free downloads of “Hard Press’d”. Not only is the series selling, but I’ve sold every e-book on my listing on Amazon.
Then the same friend (still yippee-yahooing over my success, even though it was then down to 101 on the list and sliding daily) sent me another link advising me that an author had it happen to him, and he contacted Amazon and had his price corrected after noting angrily that they had given away 5,000 copies of his book.
I advised my friend that one man’s garbage is another woman’s treasure and I’d be stupid to change anything. He saw great wisdom in this and noted that the man hadn’t been able to give away 1/3 as many books as I had. (He’s a little biased on my behalf.)
As of yesterday, Hard Press’d was #3000-something on the list and, imagine my surprise, this morning it is #668 on their total list of Kindle e-books numbering 750,000!
There you have it! The whole story of my accidental success. And each day, as the count on freebies slows down, the number of sales of the others climbs in greater numbers.
Another bonus was that I started getting some reviews, too. We all know how difficult those can be. What? Are people just LAZY these days or what? Ahem—off my soapbox now! Anyhow, I got a scathing 1-Star from someone because she didn’t like me changing POV which my entire series does very purposely on my part to get the detectives’ POV, the victim’s and the killer’s throughout the story line. Well this person got tooooo weary (note to reader: read this phrase in long drawn out weary voice) of trying to figure out these changes and stopped reading it. And, being the sensitive and creative soul we writers are, I went off the deep end for an afternoon.
The same friend sent me an e-mail with the logo from a t-shirt his wife found in a dog-lovers’ catalog:
“I took my dog’s advice: If you can’t play with it or eat it, pee on it and move on!“
I moved on!
One 5-star for “Hard Press’d” and a 4-star “Read it y’all!” for “Elusive”later I quit whining and I moved on! I am now convinced the former reviewer just is a lazy person who needs a very linear story-line, which my writing isn’t. In other words, she doesn’t like my style–but that’s ok–I don’t think I’d liked hers either! (If you hear a raspberry here, yup–it’s me!)
End of the saga!
Now I’m hoping Amazon-UK makes the same mistake!