A damn good writer.
Last weekend, he used three of his “free days” in the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing Select program to try and boost the sales of his international thriller, Mushroom in the Sand.
In advance of this, he spent a lot of time preparing. He fine-tuned his genres/categories so that the book, if downloaded in large numbers, would be listed on as many of the Amazon subgenre bestseller lists as possible. Meanwhile, he placed ads in BookBub and Freebooksy to appear during those three days to maximize exposure.
The book went free at 12:01 a.m on Friday, October 18th. To help him out, I tweeted the news that the book was free several times to my 60,000 Twitter followers.
The downloads took off like a rocket. By Friday night, the book was already #1 in several categories, and continued to climb in others.
Over the weekend, the novel had over 25,000 downloads!
Here is a summary of its bestseller list performance in Kindle Store eBooks:
#1 in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers – all weekend
#1 in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers > Conspiracies – all weekend
#1 in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers > Military - all weekend
#1 in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers > Espionage – all weekend
#1 in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers > Terrorism – all weekend
With performance like this, I don’t have to tell you that Farsheed was excited to see what would happen on Monday morning when the book went back to paid status.
Well, the novel has now been back on the paid list for three days, and has sold a grand total of...are you sitting down?
That’s right, 14 copies! At $5.95, the royalty payments will amount to about $60. This doesn’t begin to even cover the costs of the two ads he placed.
Now, before you start thinking, “Maybe it’s not a very good book” or “maybe the subject matter is boring” etc. let me stop you right there. This is a novel about what would happen if Iran actually develops a functional nuclear weapon. You can’t get much more timely subject matter than that. The story is fast-paced and extremely well-researched. Readers of spy novels and thrillers love it. The book has earned 50 reviews on Amazon, averaging 4.7 stars. I know for a fact that Farsheed has never bought reviews or even exchanged reviews with other authors—every one of those 50 reviews is legitimate, from ordinary readers.
As an author who has a fair amount of experience in publishing, I can only come to one conclusion about all this, which is pretty obvious. I personally don’t think it’s worth giving Amazon exclusivity and removing a book from B&N, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords, Google Play, Sony, Flipkart, and all the other ebook retail sites (which is required) to be included in this program.
What do you think?