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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Writing (WINNER!) Wibbles

Let’s get the cool stuff out of the way first—the One World, Two Ages raffle results! I’ve emailed the winners, and am looking forward to giving out stuff:
1st prize: Jim Zarling
$20 Amazon gift card
Accidental Sorcerers eBook
White Pickups eBook
Water and Chaos eBook (ARC)
Heroes and Vallenez, eBook by Angela Kulig (ARC)
2nd prize: Nicole Lee
Accidental Sorcerers eBook
White Pickups eBook
Water and Chaos eBook (ARC)
Heroes and Vallenez, eBook by Angela Kulig (ARC)
3rd prize: Tony Noland
Accidental Sorcerers eBook
Congrats—and happy reading—to all the winners!

I must have been crazy to commit to releasing two books, even if they were “only” novellas, two weeks apart. But things are going well enough since then. Both books had minor issues in Smashwords that prevented them from getting into Premium right away… but Accidental Sorcerers has already made it to iBooks. Funny, how Smashwords implies it’ll take Apple longer than any of the other stores to list your Smashwords book, but it’s actually the fastest in my experience.

So how are the books doing?

I put The Crossover on Smashwords Sunday night to get it a little head start, and to have a link already pre-digested for Amazon when I obeyed their suggested to “tell us about a lower price.” Since Smashwords doesn’t seem to have a problem with revealing numbers, I’ll say that 82 people (as I type this) have downloaded their free copy in the last three days. That’s a little better than one per hour. I’m hoping it’ll really take off once Amazon price-matches.

As for Accidental Sorcerers, it plodded along until the blog tour got going. Since then, it has been climbing Mount Rankings pretty steadily, sometimes taking a step back before taking two steps forward. It seems like the purchases have been increasing along with the ranking, which keeps it moving pretty steadily. After two weeks and a day, it has come this far:

I really need to stop checking the numbers every waking hour, but it’s so much FUN when they’re moving in the right direction! Besides, some funny things turned up. At first, Smashwords was doing fairly well keeping up. Every third Amazon sale, I’d get a Smashwords sale. Then Amazon kept going, and Smashwords didn’t. And, on average, I see a book returned for every 31 sales. That’s more entertaining than annoying—I figure someone hit the wrong button, or might have sent it to the wrong Kindle (forgetting that you can pull a purchase to any of your Kindles from the cloud or archive).

It’s also doing much better than White Pickups, which leads me to wonder why. The Truckalypse gets great reviews, but not many sales. I can think of four factors, ranked by my guess at probability:

  1. I’m right about a 99¢ eBook being an impulse purchase.
  2. I got some good (i.e. popular) blogs lined up for the blog tour. The interview with Patrick Satters was retweeted a LOT, for example, even if he said it didn’t get the usual volume of pageviews.
  3. The cover art doesn’t do the story justice. (This is Angela’s #1 guess.)
  4. More people read YA Fantasy than adult paranormal.

It’s most likely a combination of factors, perhaps all four, with different weights. We’re working on a White Pickups cover art reboot, as part of the run-up to launching Pickups and Pestilence in April. If sales immediately take off, I’ll move #3 up to #1.

And I owe everyone who has bought my books so far (and in the future) a huge THANK YOU!


  1. Woot! Looking forward to it!

    And congratulations on the sales numbers - looking good!

  2. The dragon story is its own popular subgenre. The Dragon of the front cover will pull in a lot more interest than a pickup truck.

  3. Thanks, Tony! Hope you enjoy the prize.

    Good point, Russell. As I said, we're going for a new cover come spring.

  4. Hi Larry – Your “tip of the hat” acknowledgment in the renamed “Crossover” was nice. Real class. Congrats on the two releases !

  5. One per hour is good for a self-launch so early into a career! And it's good to read that things picked up for one book as the blog tour ticked along. That would suggest it's actually working, which is rare, if Twitter griping is to be believed. So congratulations, Larry!

  6. Well done so far and I really hope that it continues to be a success for you - the story deserves it! ^_^


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