Those of you who are self-published or are thinking of self-publishing may find this author rank chart interesting. It shows how well (or badly) various events affect sales. This six months chart shows the sales performance of all my books combined (7 Cliff Knowles mysteries). The comparison is to all Kindle ebooks in the Mysteries and Thrillers categories, both self-published and major publishing house titles. I don’t know how many authors there are in that category, but I know it’s over 100,000. It’s possible to break down the mystery category farther into Police Procedurals, etc., and of course my rank gets higher in the smaller categories because there are fewer books, but the overall trend is about the same.
I have marked three points where sales spiked. The labels are pretty self-explanatory. The April spike occurred when I lowered the price on all my books to the minimum $2.99 and posted about it on my blog, on various Facebook groups, etc. That spike didn’t last long. The May spike came when I made Cached Out free for a weekend. Amazon only allows that for a limited number of days and only if the book is enrolled in a program they have where it’s exclusive to Amazon (i.e. no iTunes, Barnes & Noble, etc.) I did publicize that through various commercial sites (only free ones this time) as well as the usual Facebook groups and my own mailing list. Surprisingly, that spike has lasted longer. It seems counterintuitive that making a book free increases its sales, but it does. It makes sense about the other books in the series. I’ve noticed that you can’t do that too often, though. Although sales have not stayed all that high after the free promotion, the borrowing of my books through Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime has remained quite high since the promotion, which helps to keep my rank up.