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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Stats on Amazon Select Free Promo Days - Treasure Life

My heart skipped a beat this morning at remembering today was the day.  My first-ever 'free promo' day on Amazon. 

Now...for my first check of the 'free downloads' stat on my Amazon author page for Treasure Life (a women's action/adventure story)...

Jan. 25, 2013

10:15 a.m....81!   My goal is to get 500.  I'll be over-the-moon if I make it into 4 digits during the two-day promo.  I'll be grateful for everyone I get, whether I make my goal or not.

1:19 p.m....166!  I sure hope at least a few of these nice people actually read my story.  Some of my local writing group, Goodreads buddies, family and friends have emailed, letting me know they downloaded it.  It makes the day even brighter to feel I've got a circle of supporters.

4:30 p.m...248!   Amazing how consistent the downloads seem to be every three hours so far....

I'm marketing retarded, in more ways than one -- and just learning to utilize the various bells and whistles available to emerging authors; I've never done a blog tour, just started this blog a couple months ago, have used Facebook only socially until recently.  So much to learn in this media world.

Jan. 26, 2013

5:30 a.m....487!   I got so busy with my to-do's and my kids, I didn't check the dowloads again until now. Only 13 to go to reach my goal!

Murphy's Law is riding my shoulders today...I'd love to do nothing but focus on writing my new book and my check Amazon stats, but I got super-busy with my 'real job' the day before the promo.  I have to put in at least 12 hours work to meet some deadlines by end of day. Aarrgghh.

8:45 a.m...512!  I made it past my goal!  Many thanks to everyone who downloaded the book. :)

It just dawned on me to check my book's ranking on Amazon - it's now at #735 overall, which I hear is pretty good...and #34 in Kindle Ebooks Romantic Suspense - WOOT WOOT!!!

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #735 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

2:00 p.m...598!  I had to take a break from my 'real job' tasks to check my Amazon's slower today, but still getting plenty.  At this rate, it might be tough to make the 4-digit dream-goal, but this has been a great experience.  Given that my book is likely being downloaded mostly by women, that cuts out part of the overall reading pool, and also largely leaves out the YA pool, so I think 598 is super!

It's interesting to see how this small increase between 8:45 this morning and 2:00 this afternoon has also jumped up my rating on the Amazon lists...

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #651 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
Jan. 27 - The promo ended at midnight, and the results are in - I had 770 downloads.  Plus I had a few sales of my first novel, which had stalled out last month.  I consider my first run on Amazon Select a success.  THANK YOU to everyone who downloaded Treasure Life!  My Amazon ranking is now at #39 in Ebook Romantic Suspense.  It's competing with other books that are having a free promo, and mine is for sale again at $2.99, (Amazon only allows 5 free days every 90 days). along with well-known best-selling authors' stories, so we'll see how long Treasure Life can ride that 'Top 50' ranking.
My only source of disgruntlement with Amazon is, for some reason, now that the free promo period is over, I can no longer readily see my book's Amazon ranking on the book's home page.  It was posted there quite clearly during the promo period, but it's definitely no longer showing.  I had to surf through the Amazon best-seller list to see where my book was ranked this morning. Hmmmmmm.
I learned a couple of things from this maiden promo voyage.  First, I was bummed to realize I'd failed to check my Amazon ranking for the book before the promo, so can't compare it.  I'll put that one down on the 'be sure to do it next time' list.

Second, there are several resources that recommend a list of actions an author can take to help make the most out of th free promo period, and I only did about half of those.  Next time, I'll be sure and try to cover all of them - a 30 to 45 day window is needed for some, so planning ahead is the key.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


CAUGHT (Pub. 2010) by Harlan Coben is an intriguing page-turner.  This story brings a lot to the table, and in classic Coben style, takes us deeply into the lives of families torn apart by unexpected trouble.

Dan Mercer is accused of being a pedophile and set up by a local reporter, Wendy Tynes, in a sting operation to bring the guy down. We get only a brief glimpse of things from Dan's perspective on the front end of the story, but that quick glimpse leads us to believe he's been wrongly accused.

The story then seques to Wendy's POV as things quickly head south for her when she's forced to realize Dan may not have done the things she's implicated him for.  Even though the charges against Dan are dropped, the fallout has ruined his life.  Guilt sets in for Wendy, and she attempts to get to the bottom of whether the man really did what she accused him of.  Her insistent pursuit of the truth, after the fact, quickly leads to deeper trouble and before it is all said and done, she's unearthed multiple serious transgressions, none of them committed by Dan.

What I like best about the story is the way Coben weaves subplots into it that are quite interesting, but also lead back to the main plot in a significant way.  I also like the multiple 'who dunnit' aspects that ride throughout the story, right up to the last page. In typical Coben style, there are several unexpected surprises at the end.

I enjoy the author's Myron Bolitar series, and was pleasantly surprised that, although Bolitar is not present in this story, Coben brings Bolitar's sidekick Win into play in a minor way, as well as a reappearance of Hester Crimstein, a top-notch tough defense attorney. Both of these characters are great and add to the story even though they play minor roles.

Coben's narrative voice is strong throughout, but he keeps it to just the right pitch, so it adds to the reading pleasure, rather than distracting from the story.  Through author narrative and some great one-liners from several characters, he manages to insert a few light beats, in an appropriate way, in what would otherwise be a fairly heavy read due to the issues that are touched on (pedophilia, teenage drinking, murder, living with the loss of loved ones, etc).

I wouldn't change a thing in this story, or the way it was written - it's absolutely spot-on and I read it 24-hours.  Thanks to my spotty memory, I'm sure I will enjoy it just as much the second time around some day down the road.