The Butterfly Storm is Half Price!

ButtStorm700x700CenteredSet in sunny Greece and on the beautiful North Norfolk coast in the UK, The Butterfly Storm has frequently been described as ‘perfect for holiday reading’, so I thought it was a good time to do a summer promotion. Until the end of this week – Friday 8th August – The Butterfly Storm is reduced to just 99c/99p and can be downloaded here:

What Readers Are Saying About The Butterfly Storm

“I Loved this read with a capital L.” ElaineG, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer

“Beautifully written, carefully researched and expertly plotted – what more could you want from a book?” Joanne Phillips, author of Can’t Live Without 

“Beautifully precise in its descriptions, yet never dull, this is one book you will not be able to put down and will remember long after you’ve read the last words.” Elaine Jeremiah, author of The Inheritance

The Butterfly Storm CoverFinal300X450

 

 

Maisie, What Have You Done? – WIPpet Wednesday

ButtStorm700x700CenteredI don’t think I’ll ever manage to post an extract from A Long Way From Home which doesn’t find Maisie and co. in some kind of trouble. Today’s WIPpet is no exception and a bit of a tease because it’s rather short. Maisie is with Edward, a new friend, and they’re in a villa in Roman Britain trying to find Lizzie. I’ve been creative with my WIPpet maths and I give you one paragraph from chapter 12. The one paragraph for it being the first month of the year, and chapter 12 because 1+5+1+1+4=12 for the 15/01/14.

 

Edward practically rugby tackled me to the ground. “Now you’ve done it.” He grabbed my hand, pulled me to my feet and started running along the hallway back the way we’d come.

 

My main focus this week is actually on The Butterfly Storm because I thought I’d give a KDP free promotion another go. I was blown away by the results I had last August and I’m hoping for the same again this time – although I’m not holding my breath. My promotion runs for 5 days from today until Sunday 19th. So, if you’ve not got a copy and fancy a free read then please download it (or tell your friends about it if you think they’ll like it). Any tweets or shares on Facebook will be much appreciated. Thank you!

Back to WIPpet Wednesday… Along with some tetchy flying monkeys, the very welcoming K L Schwengel hosts WIPpet Wednesday over on her blog, My Random Muse. Get creative with your maths and choose an extract of your work in progress that has a link in some way to the date and post it here if you’d like to join in. Happy writing and reading.

 

Succeeding at Self Publishing – A Case of Trial and Error

ButtStorm700x700CenteredLast week I met up with local writing friends Elaine Jeremiah and Jade Reyner. All three of us have published our debut novels this year: Jade published Twelve Days – The Beginning in April, I launched The Butterfly Storm in June, and Elaine’s novel The Inheritance was published just last month. One of the things that dominated our conversation was how to get our books noticed on amazon. Visibility is the key but it’s a constant battle to one, get your book noticed in the first place, and two, to maintain a presence on amazon.

Eight weeks after I published The Butterfly Storm I did my first free promotion. As I wrote in a post not long after the promotion ended, putting my book for free more than exceeded my expectations and resulted in nearly 20,000 downloads in just three days. The post promo results and benefits that followed were incredible with The Butterfly Storm averaging 100 sales a day for around three weeks, making it into the ‘Movers & Shakers’ chart, and becoming a bestseller in the contemporary romance, literary fiction and women’s literary fiction categories. Of course I expected that post promo boost to die down after a while and although it’s been selling at least one copy a day since it dropped lower in the rankings, I’ve been thinking of ways that I can increase my visibility again.

On Friday I reduced the price by half to see if it would make any difference. Friday morning The Butterfly Storm was at about 30,000 in the amazon rankings and by that evening it had jumped to around 6,000. Although there’s not been a massive increase in sales since, there is most definitely an increase both on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com (where it had pretty much being doing nothing). I have got a paid promotion running on kuforum all week but until today I’d done nothing to promote the fact that the book is reduced until the 31st October. My aim is to make it into the top 5000 over the next week or two. I will let you know how it goes.

What strategies have you used to help promote your book or books and how successful have they been?

So, After the Free Weekend This Happened:

ButtStorm700x700CenteredIt’s been an amazing week for lots of reasons and after taking nine years from starting to write The Butterfly Storm to actually deciding to publish it, it’s been very exciting to see its journey over the past two months since I launched it. The same way as I wasn’t sure what to expect when The Butterfly Storm became free last Friday, I entered unknown territory when it went back to paid on Monday. To briefly recap Monday’s post, The Butterfly Storm was downloaded 19,823 times over three days and ended up at #1 in the UK free kindle chart, which was so much more than I could have hoped for. Prior to the free weekend it had sold a grand total of 86 eBooks.

Monday

I knew it was going to happen but it was still nerve-wracking to see The Butterfly Storm lose its top 50 ranking in the US and #1 spot on the UK free kindle store on Monday morning and drop all the way to #292,711 in the US paid kindle store and #79,936 in the Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 09.34.56UK (lower than it had been pre-promotion). Needless to say I stat checked at regular intervals throughout the day and was incredibly relieved when it began to climb back up the charts. By 11pm it had sold 20 copies in the US and ranked at #13,062, and had sold 33 copies, plus had seven borrows in the UK and ranked at #987. There had been actual sales and my nerves began to calm.

The Importance of Categories

Sales continued slowly in the US and steadily in the UK throughout Tuesday but by the evening and into Wednesday morning sales had all but stopped in the US and The Butterfly Storm, although selling in the UK, was heading the wrong way down the rankings. I began to get a little worried as despite having had a massive jump from #79,930 on Monday morning to #926 on Tuesday morning it hadn’t appeared in the popularity chart.

What did happen though on Wednesday was The Butterfly Storm made it into the top 30 of literary fiction and women’s literary fiction in books and the UK kindle store. It’s actually thanks to Joanne Phillips that I changed the category the book was in from family life to literary fiction on Monday after she mentioned in a comment on my post that The Butterfly Storm had only been ranked in one category (romance) whilst it was free rather than two. This is when I discovered that family life is only a category in the US. If I hadn’t have changed the category to literary fiction The Butterfly Storm would have been far less visible and what happened next I doubt would have happened.

Women's Lit No. 31 20 Tues 13th at 12.07.55

Moving On Up

By Wednesday evening with The Butterfly Storm making it into the top 20 of literary fiction and women’s literary fiction (in books and the kindle store) the sales took off in the UK (it had pretty much stopped by this time in the US). The Butterfly Storm started climbing up the rankings again and by Thursday morning it had reached #225 in the kindle store and was in the top 10 of literary fiction and women’s literary fiction, plus it made it to #58 in romance and #7 in the movers and shakers chart.

So, by 9.30 this morning The Butterfly Storm ranked at #124 in the kindle store, #4 in literary fiction and women’s literary fiction (books), #5 in kindle literary fiction, #36 in romance and #43 in movers and shakers. And as for how many I’ve sold since Monday?

  • US: 37 sold and 1 borrow
  • UK: 480 sold and 57 borrows
  • Italy: 1 sold
  • Canada: 2 sold

This all means that I’ve broken even and have covered my proofreading, cover and promotional costs and The Butterfly Storm is now making money. It’ll be very interesting to see how things go over the next few days. Sales are definitely better in the evening, presumably because the majority of people are at work or have other things to do during the day than download books, so I’ll see what happens. Plus I’m not allowing myself to look at the stats until much later today. Well, I’ll try not to look at least.

Well I Wasn’t Expecting That – Results of the Free Weekend

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 09.34.56Around 9am on Friday 9th I watched as The Butterfly Storm lost its £1.98/$2.99 price tag and disappeared from the amazon rankings altogether. *Gulp* what had I done? But literally within minutes the downloads started and I breathed a little easier. I have to say though, if I thought I was bad at checking the sales stats before, I’ve been addicted to clicking on my ‘month-to-date-unit-sales’ over the last three days.

The very generous Joanne Phillips, author of Can’t Live Without and the soon to be published cozy mystery, Murder at the Maples, did a very helpful post after her first KDP Select promotion last year with a breakdown of how it had gone, so I thought I’d do the same. This weekend has surprised me in a very good way. I was hoping to achieve at least 1000 downloads over the three days; the final total has actually been a staggering 19,823:

  • US: 12,336
  • UK: 7,264

I’ve also had 79 downloads in Canada, 90 in Germany, 19 in India and a handful in France, Italy, Spain, Japan and one in Brazil. The really interesting bit will be to see what happens to the sales in the next few days now The Butterfly Storm has gone back to paid.

Screen Shot 2013-08-11 at 16.04.53So, over the past three days I’ve gained nearly 20,000 new readers, whereas there had been a grand total of 86 sales pre-promotion. There have already been a couple more reviews posted on amazon, including a 5* review from a ‘top 100 amazon reviewer’ who wrote ‘I Loved this read with a capital L.’ I made it into the top 20 of the US free kindle store, the top 10 of contemporary romance and was #1 in the family life genre on amazon.com. But the most exciting thing by far was from Sunday afternoon, right through to this morning, The Butterfly Storm topped the UK free kindle chart at #1.

Amazon.co.uk contemp romance Sun 11th at 16.06.48

A special mention has to go to my friends on facebook (Sam, Soula, Helen, Jason, Donna) who did an incredible job of getting the word out and promoting The Butterfly Storm to their friends, particularly the very lovely Paula who has been a woman on a mission helping to get as many downloads as possible over the past three days. Thank you!