On Friday night, I was hanging out at a friend’s place and decided to hop on his wifi and check on sales of Twenty-Somewhere at Amazon. The count was 13, as it had been for a few days. Disappointing, but okay.
Twenty minutes later I went home, got on my laptop, read emails, checked sales again. (Yes, it’s addicting.) Now the count was 113. I laughed.
“What’s so funny?” Andy asked.
100 sales in 20 min? Yeah right. “There’s some sort of crazy error on Amazon,” I said.
I refreshed the page, expecting the error to be corrected. Instead: 145.
Blink blink. What on earth is going on?
Turns out Amazon made Twenty-Somewhere free. See, they have a price-match policy, and I had set Twenty-Somewhere to be free on iTunes for the months of Sept and Oct. I knew it was a risk that Amazon would catch on, but 6 weeks had passed without their noticing, so I thought I was home-free.
As I saw my sales climbing by the hundreds — or my downloads, really, since it was free and thus I was no longer earning royalties — I began to panic. What does this mean? How long should I let this go on? What if everyone hates it? What if this gets me blacklisted from any agent? What if what if what if?
Not wanting to (over)react too soon, I took a shower. I read some threads on the Writer’s Cafe forum of KindleBoards.com. I thought.
And I remembered that Twenty-Somewhere has always been my lab rat. An experiment in writing for fun, then in New Adult fiction, then in epublishing. Now in pricing. Sure, I hadn’t planned this new investigation, but that didn’t mean I had to cancel it. Why not ride it out for the rest of the month and see what happens?
So that’s what I’m going to do.
about 9,000 over 10,000 copies have been downloaded in less than 48 hours, putting Twenty-Somewhere at #9 on the Kindle Free list. To me that’s… staggering. Of course many of those downloads will never translate into actual reads. As a Kindle owner, I know there are “freebie hoarders,” and my story will sit forever in their Amazon Cloud.
But what if just 1% of those people read it? And what if some of them like it? And what if some of them come here to learn more about me and my writing?
(Or, in my fantasy, what if a Hollywood producer reads it and wants to make it a TV show?)
Who knows. Maybe absolutely nothing will come of this. That’s okay too. It’s a learning experience, and that’s what I want to do: learn. Adapt. Be open to possibilities and opportunities.
I expect it will be a month before I even begin to understand the effects of this. I’ll do my best to relate any findings here. In the meantime, I’ll still be finishing up my YA manuscript and then querying agents. With my birthday and Christmas both coming up soon, you can probably guess what’s on my wishlist.