Mark Terry

Monday, August 20, 2012

More E-Book Stats

Just something to ponder.

As you remember, about two weeks ago I made the first Derek Stillwater novel, THE DEVIL'S PITCHFORK, free as an Amazon Kindle e-book for 24 hours. In that 24-hour period it was downloaded 8,576 times. Awesome.

Last week, I put the first Austin Davis novel, HOT MONEY, for a free download for 24 hours. It was downloaded 506 times.

Yes, that's amazingly different.

Then, over the weekend, I put my children's fantasy novel, THE BATTLE FOR ATLANTIS, for free download for 72 hours. In that period it was downloaded 665 times.

Okay. I don't know why they're so spectacularly different.

I have a few guesses.

1. There are 6 possible books to download for the Derek Stillwater series, so people saw it as a potential opening for a bunch of reading. Maybe.

2. Most likely, because THE DEVIL'S PITCHFORK has a number of very good reviews on the Amazon website, with an average of about 4-1/2 stars, as well as a Kirkus review. I've heard that the reader reviews matter and it's probably true. The cover is good, very similar to the cover it had when it was first published by Midnight Ink in trade paperback.

3. In terms of HOT MONEY, I'm not sure. I think the cover art is good, but maybe readers don't respond to it. Maybe the idea of a political consultant as a main character turns people off. Maybe the idea just doesn't work for readers. I honestly don't know. It's never sold terribly well and then I found I had difficulties even giving it away. That does make me question the wisdom of writing another novel featuring Austin. We'll see. I'll be doing further freebies with this book over the next couple months.

4. THE BATTLE FOR ATLANTIS. I was surprised by how slow this went, although the overall numbers were okay by the end of three days. I honestly suspect the issue here is that kids just aren't reading tons as ebooks. At least not yet. I think the cover art is particularly good, I think the concept is good. It's possible the book description doesn't quite do a good enough job. There's one review and it's quite good. My guess on this is simply that kids don't download ebooks, free or otherwise, their parents do, and their parents aren't interested. There may be other factors I'm not aware of.

It does make the PITCHFORK download seem significant, though. And I'll be doing that again over the next couple months.

It also makes me think I might want to focus on Derek Stillwater novels and action/adventure/espionage-type books of that sort, since that's clearly where my readership is.

THE DEVIL'S PITCHFORK ....... 8,576 downloads in 24 hours
HOT MONEY................................ 506 downloads in 24 hours
THE BATTLE FOR ATLANTIS...665 downloads in 72 hours (pretty evenly spread, too, about 220 per 24 hours)

7 Comments:

Blogger dperdue6865 said...

If I had a kindle, I would have downloaded "Hot Money", expecially after reading your other writings. However, I own a nook and I do not even see "Hot Money" offered to buy. I have no problrem paying for books, especially from exceptional thriller authors, they just have to be available for me to buy them. Will "Hot Money" be available on the nook anytime soon?

6:49 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Hot Money is somewhere in a line of books I'm waiting on for the Nook format. In order to be able to offer a book for free on Kindle, you either have to be a publisher, or you have to give Amazon at least 90-days exclusivity and join the Kindle Select program. I put it off for a while because I'm not totally cool about the exclusivity part of it. But since Hot Money wasn't available in other formats anyway, I went ahead and tried it.

I'm experimenting to see what I can do to bring my readership up in general, and the free downloads is a pretty good way to do it. My former publisher made The Fallen (the third Derek Stillwater novel) free for a couple weeks at Christmas last year and that seemed to be the thing that gave my books an overall bump in general. So instead of selling 5 to 10 copies of each book per month, I was suddenly selling 50 or 60 or 70 copies per month. So I'm trying it myself to see if I can get those numbers up overall.

It seems to work, although I'm a little skeptical how well it would work for people who only have one or two books available. Since I've got 10 or 12 available, the numbers add up and feed themselves, or seem to.

Hot Money will be available for Nook hopefully later in the year.

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Scott said...

It would be interesting to see where the people who downloaded each title were "coming from", so to speak - blog, facebook, twitter... I don't check your blog daily and missed the Stillwater promotion. But I check facebook almost every day and noted the Atlantis promotion from there. Had I seen the Stillwater promotion on FB (I wasn't your friend there at that point), I would have probably gotten that one as well.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Scott,
The Devil's PItchfork will be free again for a day or two pretty soon. Stay tuned.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

Something to ponder for sure. I appreciate the information. We might need to start rethinking what we're doing in this writing household.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there a speceific order your derek stillwater series should be read.

4:00 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Technically, no. But, The Devil's Pitchfork and The Fallen are strongly linked. The order of the books are:

The Devil's Pitchfork
The Serpent's Kiss
The Fallen
The Valley of Shadows
Dire Straits
The Sins of the Father

That said, Dire Straits is a novella which is also a prequel - it takes place in 1991 after Derek left the military and joined the CIA.

4:12 AM  

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