Monday, September 3, 2012

A Race to the Finish Line

Are you a competitor? During a race, are you reaching out for the target with all your being?  If you are, we are alike, so here's a glimpse of the finish line, and of how I feel when I fall short of my target.

Last time I promoted the Kindle edition of Apart From Love, the book has reached its place among the top 100 on Amazon Bestseller Rank list for free books. In fact, it reached #85 on that list, which to me seems nothing less than amazing! Or perhaps, it was beginners luck... In addition, the book was ranked #6 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Contemporary Fiction. So I was hoping that this time around, it would reach even higher. 

I scheduled to promote the book at the end of summer, during Labor Day weekend, which is close to the Jewish new year and the beginning of school year; a time of change and reflection, a time to read. I built an entire campaign around this idea. I let a number of sites that advertise this kind of promotion know the date range. Also, I made  change to the categories of my book on Amazon, a change that proved a costly mistake, which I am in the process of correcting.

As you can see from the chart (produced by Amazon, my book moved from a rank of #85 several weeks ago, down to a rank of  #344 by the beginning of the second day of promotion. However, the book reached #2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Drama > United States, which gave me hope. Then, by the end of the day, around midnight, it reach #371. I told myself that tomorrow I will reach out to more readers any way I can. I said to myself that last time, it was the last day of promotion that catapulted my book into the top hundred. Therefore, the last day would be the charm... Sales would simply create a ripple, a ripple that would widen in time.

And then--then, unfortunately, the free fall happened...

You can see it in the chart: the line just dropped! I asked myself, what happened? have I saturated the airwaves, so that my efforts the previous hours might have ticked everybody off? Even so, that would not have explained such a sharp, drastic change in the curve. And I could see that readers and fans on various social networks engaged vigorously in conversation, tweeting, liking, exchanging notes with me and sharing my posts.  

No, something else was happening. The only other idea that came to mind was that some of the sites that advertise promotion stopped carrying my message, a few hours prematurely. I went to each one of them and indeed, I could not find a word about my book. It was the last day of the promotion, the last hours, and I had no support. It was too late to try to fix the problem. Sales fell off a cliff, and as you can imagine, so did my mood.

I went out that evening, as I always do, for a walk around the neighborhood, which cleared my mind. Coming back home I felt driven, for the sake of my book, and redoubled my efforts in all groups, all social networks. If I'm about to go down, let me go down in smoke! By now I could sense how some friends, living on the east coast, drop off the conversation, because it was way past midnight their time; other friends, living on far-away continents on the other side of the globe, started coming into it.

And somehow, the curve swung up, quite decidedly, during these hours (see the last segment of it, in red.) Having gone through a three-day race, it was now a sprint to the finish line. Perhaps it was my grit; but more realistically, I think it was you! You who shared my posts on your personal pages, spreading my word to your friends. You who left encouraging comments on my posts. You who helped tweet my little chirps. 

So finally at 1:00am, as the promotion expired, this is how the finish line looked on the Amazon Best Sellers Rank list. The book reached #528 Free in Kindle Store. This is a respectable rank, though not the target I was aiming for originally. But despite it all, I feel so elated for having turned things around, and so grateful to you, for helping my novel Apart From Love pull through. 

The book reached #3 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Drama > United States:

Thank you so much! I want you to realize the power you have to let a work of art rise or fall, simply by sharing your opinion. So looking forward, please continue your support, let your friends know what you see here on this blog, and by all means, share me.

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