On March 9th a “Free” promotion ran for HARD BITE that promised to add 21,000 new readers to the series.
Instead, 31,005 readers were added to the series. Yes, HARD BITE was downloaded 31,005 times by real, targeted mystery readers. How’d it happen? Via Bookbub. I’m not getting paid by these people to toot their horn. I’m just continuing on my tradition of disclosing inside business (as I discover it) of the book industry since most writers enjoy talking about their book deals and money like the Puritans enjoyed talking about sex… That’s a joke… The Puritans didn’t just dislike talking sex, they avoided the issue. Kinda like writers and their contracts, money and deals. But I digress; here are the screenshots. HARD BITE made it to #4 in all Kindle books. It never even made the Mystery bestseller lists, it jumped right off the genre charts and went straight into the Kindle Top 100. Free.
The ad cost around $300. and one week later my reviews jumped to number 85. A couple of one-stars in there to be sure, but the majority are 5-star. Seventy-five people came back immediately and bought the sequel, BITE HARDER. They also bought my self-published titles: CRASHING THROUGH MIRRORS and JUST SO YOU KNOW I’M NOT DEAD. They even bought THE 1ST SHORT STORY COLLECTION. As people continue to read the copy of HARD BITE that they downloaded a week ago on their Kindles, they also continue to come back and buy my other books.
At first, it hurt to think HARD BITE was going to be given away for free. But the benefits have won me over. New readers have made themselves known, contacting me via the website and letting me know they like my stuff. Better than a kick in the pants, no?
I’ve also learned that if you really want big numbers write a cozy. See that cheery, colorful cover in the #1 spot? That’s THE MURDER PIT by Jeff Shelby. It stayed in the Top 10 for a long time. It’s still #46 in Free at the time of this writing and it’s a cute cozy about a nice family who buys a 100-year old house only to and find a corpse in the coal chute. By comparison, HARD BITE is hardboiled, it’s a tough, shocking read, and it’s not for everybody. But those who find it and like it are proving pretty loyal. For all his great numbers, THE MURDER PIT has only one review more than HARD BITE. Readers are more frequently making the trip to the HB landing page and weighing in on what they think.
That’s all I can think of to report. Any questions, I’ll answer ’em in the comments. Hope this info is useful. –Elaine