So, here I am, almost a week since my two-day free promotion with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Program. If you recall from an earlier post, the “guarantee” of offering your book for free is that you rise in visibility and when returning to paid days, your sales will jump. Trust me. I did a LOT of research on this phenomenon. It’s worked for many, many people. Unless people are not sharing negative results with the public on the internet, it seems that the program works for most people.
It did not work for me.
After 414 downloads of my middle grade novel, Confessions of a Corn Kid, over a two-day span, I had exactly 5 sales in the last week when the book returned to a paid offering. The price over the last week has spanned from $.99 – $2.99. Here are some comparisons I would like to make.
Cost of a tall mocha latte from Starbucks $3.20
Cost of a McDonald’s Big Mac: $3.29
Cost of our local Matinee at the Movies: $6.50
Cost of a typical I-tunes song download: $1.29
Now, my point isn’t that reading my book will satiate your palate like a mocha from Starbucks or fill your belly like a Big Mac or fill your minutes like a movie or your ears like a beloved song. But, it might. Right? However, I’m an unknown. I’m not yet a brand. Despite the success of my picture book in a very specific niche market, children’s grief, my middle grade novel is but one of thousands in a sea of other authors just like me screaming for attention. This is a tough market! I am a parent. I get it. I trust big publishers to vet the content of the books I buy for my middle school child to read alone even when I myself don’t read beyond the blurb. But what about an unknown author like myself who also happens to write middle grade books? What vets us and gives us a chance to be seen? The answer: REVIEWS. This is where the Kindle Direct Publishing Program still has time to prove to me that it works, even for authors who write middle grade fiction. Those 414 downloads were not the 1000s that adult fiction writers sometimes get, but they still made me very excited. Now, I am hopeful, that of those 414 readers, some will take a few minutes to write a review. You see, reviews are what prove our worth in the sea of unknowns. I am not “Scholastic,” or “Random House.” I am Marcy Blesy. Would I love to be Scholastic or Random House? Of course. However, for now I am my own brand with no house to pave my path. I must pave it on my own with the help of my readers. I never ask for 5 star reviews. I ask for reviews.
Are you an author? Are you a reader? Today, choose one book that impacted you, whether for minutes or days. Tell the author. How? In an Amazon review. I recently wrote a review for Richard Peck’s book, A Long Way From Chicago. I highly doubt that Richard Peck needs my support to further his publishing career, but don’t even the “top dog” authors deserve to be told how awesome they are and how memorable their characters were? I think they do. And, even more, the indie authors need to hear your thoughts. Won’t you write that review??