Procrastination: I’ve hit new heights (or lows)

I won’t be the first writer to wail about procrastination, nor will I be the last… but my procrastination just hit new heights.

I had every good intention of writing for an hour or so this afternoon, as Son Number 1 is at AusKick with his father, and Son Number 2 was quite happily watching a movie after playing with a friend for most of the afternoon.

I fooled myself with the obligatory: before I sit down with the laptop I’ll just check Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Amazon, oh, and my email. Twitter for me currently involves checking 4 sites that I take care of; and Amazon means (of course) US and AUS. Then I decided to update Goodreads with the new book I started this morning, ‘Mark of the Dragon Queen’ by Katie W. Stewart.

Lily is a founding member of Hearts n Wined, a group for West Australian authors, and readers who love West Aussie settings in their books.
Lily is a founding member of Hearts n Wined, a group for West Australian authors, and readers who love West Aussie settings in their books.

Then I discovered a bright glittery new logo on Facebook made by our own Jennie Jones to do with Hearts N Wined – the West Australian author and reader group that I’m part of. Jennie has made a gorgeous logo for HnW that I could upload to my page… so I did… and you can see it if you visit the ‘About Lily’ section of this site. Oh stuff that – you can see it if you look right here!!

Then, I learned that another group I’m part of, the very cool and wonderful, www.naughtyninjas.net are planning a mad nudie-streak at the upcoming Romance Writers of Australia Conference… so I had to have a bit of fun tweeting about that.

Then I thought about dinner for a while, but decided it was too early to cook dinner yet, and I really *should* get out the laptop. So out came the laptop. I opened it.  Turned it on. And then thought: I will sweep out the carport.

Because, I mean – that job hasn’t been done in 18 months since we’ve been living in our rental house, and so NOW is the perfect time to sweep it out? Yes?

See. It’s sad isn’t it.

Then, once said sweeping was finished, I had to blog about it.

Which means today’s wordcount… is ZERO! But the carport is very clean. And I do intend to do some writing tonight!

*Sigh*

And now it’s time to cook dinner.

Maths and Stats: Kindle Free Promotions

Last week I made a big decision. I took Fairway To Heaven off its Smashwords distribution, which included iTunes & Kobo & Barnes & Noble etc, and put it exclusively with Amazon in its KDP Select program for a 3-month stint. I did it because by far my most sales of my books comes via Amazon, and because I wanted to try the marketing packages that the KDP program offers, specifically the free promotion you can do for up to 5 days during that 3-month period.

There are also ‘Countdown’ offers, but I haven’t tried these yet.NewFinalFair#2

My novella, The Goodbye Ride has previously been free before, and I wrote about the downloads this achieved in a post about a year ago. You can read that here. Given the only time I can tolerate maths seems to be when it relates to book sales, sales rankings, or free downloads, I thought I’d update that post with this weekend’s results.

So, my promotion was from 30/5/2014 to 2/6/2014 (3 days). In total over that period, 8255 people downloaded Fairway To Heaven. This is more than double the downloads of The Goodbye Ride when I first used the ‘free’ option at Amazon last year.

I am having many thoughts about this entire self-publishing caper at the moment, but one thing I do love about it is – you get access to your own statistics, and you can see exactly where the sales are coming from. So here’s the breakdown: amazon.com (7773); amazon.uk (162); amazon.de (50); amazon.fr (1); amazon.esp (6); amazon.it (4); amazon.in (29); amazon.ca (90); amazon.br (4); amazon.au (36).

My biggest surprise, the sales of Fairway To Heaven in the US. 7773!!

My second biggest surprise, the sales in Australia. Seriously! Only 36 Aussies wanted to read a contemporary romance set in Australia? I thought we were the sport-loving country!? I wish I could claim it’s because thousands of Aussies have already bought my book, but (sadly) that wouldn’t be true. Although certainly some have. (Thanks Mum)

Sometimes having this data gives you more and more questions. Why is the Aussie interest not there? Is it the title? (Too golfy). Is it the cover? (Too risque/trying to be too clever?) Maybe Australian readers want their romance covers with a woman on the front, a man on the front, or a woman and man on the front. Or a cat.

See! It does a girl’s head in, and it completely messes with an author’s brain!

My goal in providing Fairway To Heaven for free is to expose more people to my work. If they won’t take a chance on a new author with their hard-earned cash, then hopefully they’ll try my work for free. If they like it, they might tell their friends, or mention it on a forum somewhere, and/or buy my other books.

Until the weekend I had only 4 or 5-star reviews for Fairway To Heaven, most from people I know in the writing community (bless them) – and all of these were wonderfully positive about the book. I’m very proud of Fairway, but it is different for ‘a romance’… and this might be part of my problem. Don’t people say that there’s a formula for romance, and break it at your peril?

By making the book free, I now run the risk of finding opportunistic readers, who clicked my book only because it was free, even if they don’t read romance or have no interest in an Aussie book. It may languish in their Kindles forever unread. It might be read, and loathed, or not finished. (And that too is something they could tell their friends). Double bad whammy.

So there are pros and cons all the way, but I tell you – one thing about doing these type of promotions – it makes the weekend a good fun ride, and it gives a girl some very small numbers to look at on the rankings. And for me, that makes a nice change.

The best I saw it on Amazon.com (US) during the promotion was at No. 35 Free, & No. 2 in ‘sport’. That’s pretty special.

If you picked up Fairway To Heaven over the weekend, thank you for giving my book some of your time. I hope you enjoy it. I’d love you to drop me a line and tell me what you thought: lilymalone@mail.com

Cheers!