Uprising official announcement!

Today I can reveal that Uprising, the sequel to Firestone will be released upon the world on 24th December 2012. As an added little bonus, here is the cover that will go with it. Again it is by the very talented Todd Hebertson. I hope you like it!

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It’s in the title.

Right you are everyone. I am now officially announcing the title to the sequel. Coming soon to an Amazon near you… Uprising!

For those of you have read Firestone, the title is enough to give you a hint of what to expect from this follow up. Watch this space for more details as the release day (tba) comes every closer!

I do have to say that I am quite excited about this novel now. It is shaping up into quite a story!

My thoughts on KDP Select

Well, it’s been a few days since my giveaway of Firestone, and the final numbers are in. Across all countries I gave away 1155 copies of my book. This got me to around 350 in the charts, and considering the lack of reviews and lack of take up from big Free Promo sites, this is about as good as can be expected.

The main goal of my promotion was to garner some reviews rather than new sales as the post-promo visibility is pretty much zero. The number of free downloads has no impact whatsoever on paid sales rank. Only the popularity rank is affected by free downloads. 1155 downloads is nowhere near enough to gain any sort of momentum in the popularity ranking, so unsurprisingly I have had no sales at all since the promo ended.

If you are reading this wondering if you should make your book free for a few days, then listen to these two pieces of advice.

1. You need to have a good number (10+) reviews before you start.

2. Getting your book listed on Pixel of Ink and/or eReader News Today is an absolute must!

Now, to get listed on either of those two sites you need to have reviews. You can do all the blogging, tweeting and facebooking possible and still not get the momentum you need if neither of those sites pick you up. I managed to get my promo picked up by a Twitter user with over 100,000 followers, which in turn was retweeted almost 150 times. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the impact of that tweet, despite it reaching over 250,000 accounts was probably only about a dozen or so downloads. Compare this to Freebooksy, the biggest site to pick up Firestone which resulted in approximately 500 downloads and you can see the importance of exposure on places where readers *actually* go to find free titles.

Am I happy with my results? Yes I am. I knew I wouldn’t be picked up by either of the major sites. I hope to get some reviews over the coming weeks and a few new readers that will be interested in the sequel when it comes out.

23:30. 87.5 hours done.

Just a quick update tonight as I’m up early for work. Will post in more detail tomorrow…

US: 800

UK: 215

Germany: 24

Italy: 1

Total: 1040

Also, got my first 5 star review today!

This is a great debut from a new fantasy author. Usually i’m not really into fantasy, dragons etc BUT i really did find this a great read that got me engrossed in the story pretty quickly. I don’t really want to give anything away so i’ll make this short and sweet.

If fantasy, dragons etc is your thing give it a read, IF NOT, give it a read anyway as i’m sure you will enjoy it.

Looking forward to the sequel.

Happy days!

Midnight. 64 hours in

Well it’s been quite an interesting day. I was ready to give up on the promo when I noticed that I was suddenly getting a ton of downloads in the US. I tracked it down to http://www.freebooksy.com who featured my book today 🙂

Here are the latest download figures…

US: 600

UK: 167

Germany: 19

Italy: 1

Total: 787

A little over half way through, so I think I might get past the 1000 download mark!

Currently 956 in the US and 353 in the UK. Ranking seems a long way behind the downloads today!

Midnight. 40 hours in

So, it’s midnight(ish) on day two of the promo. I’ve tried to concentrate on the UK side of promotion today as its “easier” to move up the UK lists as there are fewer titles to compete with. As of now (bearing in mind the rankings are approximately 4-6 hours behind actual sales) here are how things stand…

US: 265

UK: 100

Germany: 13

Italy: 1

Total: 379

UK ranking overall: 437

US ranking overall: 1110

UK Fantasy Top 100: 39

It wouldn’t surprise me if this is the peak.

First 12 hours of the promo

Firestone has been free for around 12 hours now and things are about where I expected them to be (not as good as what I hoped for). I’ve done a few tweets and posted on some Facebook pages and found a couple more websites to submit my title to.

Here are the 12 hour figures:

USA: 97

UK: 22

Ger: 5

Total so far: 124

Onwards and upwards!

Going free for 5 days: An experiment

Tomorrow I am putting Firestone up for free on Amazon for 5 days. This is somewhat of an experiment, and given that sales are very slow, I feel I have nothing much to lose.

I will be posting my progress on here during the course of the promotion, and I hope it serves as help for anyone else planning to give their ebook(s) away in the future.

There are many discussions that argue what days are best to run a promo, and how long it should run for. I don’t have anything new to add to that, but I have decided to run for the full 5 days, from Friday through to Tuesday. There seems to be more free books given away on a weekend, so in my wisdom I am starting on the Friday to get a headstart on the weekend trade, and hope that by the time all the 2 day weekend promos finish on Sunday night, I get a little kick up the rankings on the Monday and Tuesday.

Due to not having many reviews (ok, I have 1) I don’t expect to be picked up by any of the big sites, but I have posted to about a dozen of the smaller ones and hope to be picked up by a few of them at some point over the five days. I will be tweeting and facebooking during the promo, every download will count!

One other quick thought I have had; today Amazon announced the Paperwhite Kindle and the Kindle Fire HD release for the UK, so as the media picks up on that over the next day or so, it might increase “kindle traffic” on the site and herald a good weekend for ebook sales (free or otherwise) moreso than a “normal” weekend. Here’s hoping!

So what is my target? I would love to get 50,000 downloads, but as I mentioned about the reviews, I don’t expect to get anywhere near that. So I think anthing over 1000 would be great, and anything around 3-5000 would be super fantastic. I would also like to get in the top 100 for Fantasy (as a whole, not just a Fantasy sub-category).

So, wish me luck!

REVIEW: Friend Request

Friend Request by David Wailing explores a concept that interests me a lot- how far technology will integrate into our lives and those we share our lives with. Set 10 years from now, the author sees us all wearing visors (I want one, when are they in the shops? huh? huh?) that provide a digital overlay of data relating to what is going on around us, and our lives are all run for us by computer programs called “autos” that live in our uber smartphones.

I really enjoyed the story and I like the ideas and images conjured up of what we can expect from technology in the not too distant future. I did, however, struggle a little with much of the story being written in present tense as opposed to the traditional past tense. I understand that this is perhaps to give the reader a sense of the future happening now, but for much of the story I found my brain rewriting the prose into past tense as that is what I am used to. Technically, the use of present tense is all correct and there are no slippages and therefore is well written. It is only personal preference that I would have liked to have seen the whole story written in past tense.

Overall, this is a great little story and I would like to read more by this author. The premise is great, and there is plenty more that can be done with this 2022 world. I think reality won’t be too far off the mark when we catch up with this fictional world.

I gave this 4 great little futuristic stars. Smile