Format

I’ve been busy since last week, getting files formatted and polished for the upcoming release. Book 3’s Kindle .mobi file is all formatted and uploaded; I’m currently looking at a PDF of the paperback version to make sure everything is in order there before final approval (which, thank goodness I am, ’cause I just noticed a pretty glaring typo in the title for Part Three of the book).

It’s got me going back to reexamine the eBook files for the first two books, just to ensure consistency (I did this with the paperbacks already; when I got the rights back to The Invisible Crown, I re-formatted the paperback completely so I could (1) understand how book formatting really worked and (2) so I could credit the new cover artist). What I’ve discovered is that I…wasn’t very consistent with how I set up the first two books’ .mobi files.

Yesterday, I fixed up The Hidden Throne‘s eBook file and re-uploaded it; that corrected version is now the one available on Amazon.

But I apparently never did anything to Book 1 other than slap a new cover on it and call it a day (probably because I didn’t put the new cover on it until a few months after the rights had reverted back to me). I’m having to go back and create a whole new .mobi file from the original text, setting up all the chapter breaks and the hyperlinked table of contents and all that. Thankfully, it’s a simple matter of copying and pasting from the original Word document into a Scrivener file, though I then have to fiddle with all sorts of formatting details to make it look right.

The upshot will be greater consistency in formatting and styling across the three books. The downside is it’s a tedious pain in the ass. But I think it will ultimately be worth it when everything is all done and all the books have a more uniform formatting.

Analytics

So, I performed a bit of an experiment over the weekend, offering up The Invisible Crown ebook for free through Amazon.  If we’re measuring success by the number of downloads, it was fairly successful (for me; for other authors, these numbers would be abysmal [side note: I always misspell “abysmal,” because I always assume it should have two “s”s in it, like “abyss.”  But it does not]).  Anyway, I thought I’d share the results and a couple of thoughts I’ve had about them.

2017-05-05 14.06.04.jpg

Oooh, but that “sales” ranking though.

First of all, totals: Over the course of the three days it was available for free, the book moved a total of 111 units.  Considering the first month and a half it was available under Royal James, it only sold a total of 9 copies, I’d say those numbers are pretty good.

But I noticed something: the drop off after the first day was steep.  On Friday, the first day the book was available for free, it was downloaded 76 times.  Saturday?  22.  By Sunday, it was barely doing double digits (13).

I’ve seen this before.  Back in the before times, when I was first self-publishing and had no idea what I was doing, I did a couple of free weekends, and they usually went the same way: lots of folks jump on it Friday, then the steep drop off through the weekend.  What it tells me is that Friday is probably the best day to do these.

It’s also made me think a bit about my price point.  When I resubmitted the book to Amazon through Kindle Direct, I left the book price where Royal James had set it.  Now, I wondering if maybe dropping it a dollar or two might be beneficial and cause more people to take a chance on it.

More than anything, I’m realizing I still need to do lots of marketing and get lots more reviews.  Maybe a couple of the folks who downloaded the book this weekend will come through?  Time will tell.