Last month, my younger son graduated from the University of Arizona with a master's degree in education (his undergraduate degree was in biology). Since he’s decided he doesn’t want to teach, he faces more than the usual challenges in searching for a job in Tucson.
Even though he’s finished his classroom learning, he’s now getting an education in the school of life.
During May, I had my own learning experience. You may recall that I tried an experiment, offering my novel By Leaps and Bounds free on Amazon for three days. I’d revised and updated the previously published romance about an injured ballerina falling in love with a police detective.
I hoped for a few thousand free downloads, rewarding my readers and possibly gaining some new ones. What I got—hold on—were 38,000 downloads. The book hit Number One on Amazon’s free contemporary romance bestseller list, and Number Three on the overall free bestseller list (they also have paid bestseller lists, of course). I was stunned.
Of course, I don’t get paid for these, so how did it shake out for the rest of the month? Sales of the book increased dramatically, as did sales of Old Dreams, New Dreams, which is previewed at the end. Also, some new readers published positive reviews of the book on Amazon, which helps sales. (The single negative was a one-star review because it wasn’t “fine literature.” Well, duh.)
Of the free downloads, about 2,500 were in the UK. Previously, of my self-published books, only my Regency romances were selling there. Since the experiment, By Leaps and Bounds has been moving on a par with the Regencies, and some of my other contemporaries are selling as well.
I don’t see the sales figures on my Safe Harbor Medical series, since those are reported to Harlequin. However, a reader in Ireland emailed to say she’d just discovered the series and is posting her positive reviews on Goodreads. So that might be a result.
Will I do this again? Probably, although I don’t plan to give away books very often. Still, I’ll keep this in mind as a possibility.
In the meantime, I’m joining a group of self-published authors in reducing some ebooks to 99 cents on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for a special summer stock-up promotion June 8-22. Six of my titles will be included: A Lady’s Point of View (Regency), Unlikely Partners (romantic comedy), Capers and Rainbows (romantic comedy), Touch Me in the Dark (paranormal romantic thriller), Danger Music (mystery) and Echoes (paranormal thriller).
What else did I do in May? In addition to teaching and revising another previously published book I plan to reissue soon, I finished writing the tenth book in the Safe Harbor miniseries. Can I go take a nap now?