Monday, April 23, 2012

Never Would've Imajin'd

     The last time I sent Emily Taylor for a tour around the world, she created a storm. An Amazon Kindle ratings storm, that is. The Bridgeman went to #11 with 9300 downloads. Victim went to #14 with 14,000 downloads. Afterward, the sales were brisk. My wonderful Twitter world began to talk and spread the word and buy. Not only that, they emailed and tweeted that they enjoyed my characters, the setting of Burchill, and the story (despite the sometimes tough messages embedded).

    My Imajin publisher, Cheryl Tardif, is a genius at marketing, and I say this without bias: I had watched her career as a writer before I even became an author at her new publishing company. She was then, and is now, one of those people who is both creative and savvy. She researches, experiments, and follows the results. Now she brings her authors with her.

    When she suggests something, I do it to the best of my ability. I'm not very tech savvy and I tend to get frustrated with the ins and outs of the virtual world. Rather than looking under another internet rock, I'd rather slam the lid down on my laptop, walk away, and pray the icon I'm looking for will pop up while I'm gone. Lucky for me, I have Cheryl and my husband, Vince, who often intervenes before Laptop goes flying.

    So when Cheryl said, Let's do another Bridgeman promo, I was hesitant, but I did as I was told. We held the promo on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I'm not sure the day of the week is relevant, though I thought perhaps people would be around on a weekend looking for a book to read. Especially if the weather sucked in their part of the world, they way it does in mine currently. Friday night, 9:30 p.m., the stats were thus: The Bridgeman 760; Victim 13277; Legacy (the third in the series who's not yet had her coming-out party) 32614. Only 560 downloads.

Another secret I must tell you. I am somewhat easily crushed. Doesn't mean I don't get back up and fight, but I do have to lay on the mat for a while and nurse my bruises. Virtual or not. So on Saturday, I must admit, I tried not to think about The Bridgeman. Since one of my short stories had been nominated on Thursday for an Arthur Ellis Award, I had lots to keep my spirits buoyed.
But I did have to peek on Saturday night, again 9:30 p.m. The Bridgeman 491; Victim 18297; Legacy 40426. Legacy was actually doing worse! Huh?

    After a busy Sunday morning, I finally peeked at 1:30 p.m. The Bridgeman 516, Victim 17128; Legacy 44060. Readers appeared to be sampling Victim. Perhaps after reading The Bridgeman? Or downloading it for free?

    At 11 p.m., after family stuff on Sunday afternoon and more than one glass of red wine, I spied a Tweet from Imajin. The Bridgeman had hit #21 overall. So in I went to Amazon and checked. I was surprised, thrilled, amazed, puzzled...The Bridgeman was now #6 in mystery & thriller combo; #4 in mystery alone; #3 in women sleuths category.

    What was the huge difference between the other two days and this one? It couldn't all be my hourly (and sometimes half-hourly) tweets. In fact, I was terrified of boring my followers into unfollow-dom. I used World Literary Cafe, which I am certain helped a great deal. I posted on Goodreads, another great service to readers and authors. I did the same all three days, though.

    On Sunday, I paid $20 to Kindle Author.  I'm not sure if Kindle Author made the difference, or whether it was a cool rainy Sunday and everyone felt like reading. It's hard to conduct an experiment when there are so many variables. At this writing, I'm not sure of the number of downloads, but suffice it to say that if The Bridgeman got to #21, a whole bunch of new readers are involved in my series!

    I think I've told you before, I do have faith in my writing. I love doing it, I love sharing it, I am thrilled every single time someone tells me they like my books. But I was never that good at the marketing angle. Then along came my miracle, Imajin Books and Cheryl Tardif, and I am, at a rather advanced age, just beginning my career as an author. Loving every single minute (expect for those pauses on the mat). Never would've imajined!

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