Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Initial Results of the Joe Konrath/KDP Select Experiment

Midnight PDT last night ended the free period for Love, War and a Bulldog, the short story I wrote for Joe Konrath's eight-hour challenge. The giveaways are as follows:

U.S. - 198
Canada - 3
Mexico - 0
U.K. - 19
Germany - 9
Spain - 0
France - 1
Italy - 2
Japan - 0
India - 0
Brazil - 0

Total - 232

OMG, you didn't giveaways thousands of books! Your experiment was a total failure!

No, it wasn't by my standards. Granted, my standards are a lot different that other writers. My ultimate goal is SUSTAINED GROWTH. I'm (hopefully) building a long-term audience. My purposes (outside of seeing if I could write a decent, entertaining 4.5K short story within eight hours) were the following:

1) Give potential new readers a taste of my style. I'm not going to please everyone. I can't because I write in a very niche market. But a free book coupled with a holiday weekend brought the expected number of giveaways.

2) Penetrate new markets. So far I've only sold in the U.S. and the U.K. on Amazon, except for one fluke in Germany back in 2011. As shown above, I've got books on people's readers in France, Italy and Canada now.

3) Spur interest in the Bloodlines series.My perma-free novella, Zombie Confidential, giveaways are up 20% over this weekend, and a couple of copies of Blood Magick have sold.

4) Spur interest in my other books. Spring, from the Seasons of Magick series, sold a copy in Germany over the weekend.

The one drawback was some of my readers are a little miffed that Love, War and a Bulldog isn't available on the NOOK or iBookstore yet. It will be available on or about December 1, which ironically was when I planned to released it originally before Joe threw his gauntlet on the floor.

What I may do for the next Bloodlines short story is make it exclusive on B&N for three months. Just to see what happens.

What I WON'T DO is make any of the novels exclusive to any retailer. That's a guaranteed way to alienate my readers. I view the novels as the main feature and the shorts as the DVD extras.

So what's the final analysis? With the rapid changes in the publishing industry, no one method is guaranteed anymore. What works for you may not work for me, and vice-versa. Don't be afraid to experiment.


  1. Good stuff, especially the new markets. :)


  2. It looks good to me. If that many people bought a cookery book from me, I'd be doing a little dance in my kitchen.

  3. Thanks, Angie! I was rather excited about Europe because I've been doing rather well there through Apple. And now that B&N opened their UK e-store, I've been selling there, too.

    I think the odd $2 surcharge Amazon has going in Europe is part of the problem, and I haven't seen a justification for it. It's not part of the EU VAT. But hey, if they want to shoot themselves in the foot, I can't stop them.

  4. Yay! It's Spooky Whisk time! Speaking of that cooking book, Whisk...

    Seriously though, I was very pleased with the results.

  5. I actually don't believe I have proper training to write a book. I'm still learning tons and tons, but I like that. Someday maybe, but it's just not on my hit list right now.

  6. Training is open to question, but I understand not having the desire. But once I'm settled, I may be bugging you for a couple of your bake receipes. Expecially those scones!

  7. Like I said, I don't feel qualified, at this stage. That's the thing for me. As I write formulas constantly. Just super duper fun. And once you get settled, you're welcome to any of them.