Contemplating the Drastic

I need an intervention.  Probably.

Once Amazon discounted Forsaken By Shadow back to $1 over the weekend, I really expected my sales ranking to climb back up into the 1k range and hang out there for a while.  And it did make it up into the low 1ks by Sunday afternoon.  By this morning I’m in the middle 5ks.  I don’t have any explanation except that I haven’t been as visible online in the last few weeks because I’ve had a real life job that’s taken up all my time, and I’m thinking that the $1 vs. $1.99 price point really isn’t making much of a difference in terms of prompting people to buy or not.

Yesterday I kept checking my sales practically every 5 minutes by the end of the day, hoping some people would buy a copy and temporarily arrest the downward slide.  I was positively morose by bedtime (hence the need for an intervention).  Clearly, I need to unplug from these stats.  My checking every 5 minutes isn’t going to do anything to raise my sales rank.  It just depresses me and pulls me out of what I really NEED to be thinking about, which is the next story.  It is probable, that over the next six weeks, my ranking may slide even further.  Way down in the 5ks, I’ve lost a lot of the visibility my higher sales rank afforded, so for the most part, people who buy it right now are actually looking for it probably rather than just stumbling across it by browsing.

My time isn’t getting much freer (despite the fact that I’m done writing the lectures and crossed nine whole things off my To Do For Semester list yesterday), so I need to focus on the next story.  I don’t have time for another blog tour or to do more than my usual Twitter stuff.  But I do have Forsaken By Shadow. I am an indie.  I don’t have a publisher telling me what I can and can’t or should or shouldn’t do with it.

One of the things I’d thought about doing in advance of the release of Edge of Shadow was serializing Forsaken By Shadow here on the blog in weekly installments.  There are 24 scenes in Forsaken By Shadow. That’s 24 weekly posts and we’ve got fewer weeks than that remaining in the year.  I am thinking about going ahead and starting now, doing it scene by scene rather than chapter by chapter.

It is quite possible that the bulk of you who actually come visit here have probably already read Forsaken By Shadow, but it’s also possible that there are new folks swinging by who might stumble across the weekly installment and like it enough to spend a $1 to find out what happens.  Plenty of other indies have had success giving stuff away, so I might as well try it.  It’s something I can do on my established platform that won’t take me a lot of extra time.

And in the meantime, I’m going to start making a list of all the places you can list a freebie for when the novelette is ready.  I’ll be releasing that under a Creative Commons license allowing for non-profit distribution.  If you’ve got any places to recommend, let me know in comments!

7 thoughts on “Contemplating the Drastic

  1. Kait, I feel your pain. I’ve dropped down to about 3,600. I can’t explain it either. And I’ve not changed any pricing. One thing I can tell you is to stop checking constantly. It just makes you feel worse. I’ve finally learned to stop doing that. And I’ve started just checking my sales and only occasionally checking rank. Remember, ranking also takes other author’s sales in consideration, too. Maybe there’s been some other authors getting a lot of new work on Amazon that’s affecting our ranks.

    We are definitely hindered by having one or more other jobs. Writing is, unfortunately, not how you and I make our livings. Maybe someday….but for now, you are going to have to chill a little and not go nuts over this. When you release Edge of Shadow, those sales and rankings will go back up. And I think the freebie you are planning on releasing will help, too. But if you keep dwelling on this, it will affect your writing. Focus on your projects and look forward to good things to come. They WILL come.

    1. I’m normally not this bad. I’d gotten down to two or three checks a day. And then I started checking more during the test week of the new pricing and then yesterday was just kind “no way…9 whole hours without a purchase?” I’ve only let myself check once this morning. Gonna focus on the next story. Well class stuff first and then the next story.

  2. You should put the first chapter of your book at the end of someone else’s book (who writes similar stuff to you) and have them do the vice versa. If you like my book, try this other author. You may only write one or two books a year, but some readers read that in a week. Share your fans.

  3. Good luck Kait! If you do do that, you know, we’ll all link to your serial posts and maybe others’ll link off us and… chain reaction?

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