An Author Has to Have a Hobby

The book went on sale last Sunday afternoon and sales – as I thought they would be – were slow. No one knows me, and A Quiet Life… is my first book, so of course things were going to start slowly.

But I had a secret weapon.

The book is published exclusively through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), an Amazon service which makes publishing your own books really surprisingly simple. One of the options they offer is KDP Select, and one of the things that you can do if you sign up for that is to offer your book for limited periods for free. Now it seems counter-intuitive to offer something for free after you’ve realized that by self-publishing a book you might actually have hit upon one of the only hobbies that makes a profit, but if you pause for a few moments longer, you realize it’s a surprisingly brilliant plan.

What I needed was for people to find my book. I was quietly confident that a small proportion of them would quite like it, and if I could only get them reading it, I might be able to get them on my side. Once they were T E Kinsey readers, they might be keen to buy the second book (which should be out next summer) and my hobby would be self-financing. So offering the book for free on a time-limited promotion is far less stupid than it first appears. Free offer -> more readers -> more people who quite like what you do -> one or two positive reviews -> more readers, etc. I’m sure I should draw one of those business flywheel things at this point.

There was only one downside.

The free promotion began at around midnight PST On Saturday (today) so for me it kicked in at 8am. I saw the price change to £0.00 at around 8.45 (they do say there’ll be some lag). So from 8.45 this morning I have been obsessively refreshing the sales dashboard and watching the free downloads tick upwards. It’s an addiction.

Downloads have been pretty evenly split between the UK and US sites, but there were some from Germany and even one from Japan. I know this because it’s possible to filter the sales figures by marketplace. And I did. A lot.

I had fully intended to put in some serious work on the first story in Book 2 (the book will be called The Spirit Is Willing) but all my free time has been taken up with refreshing the dashboard page and seeing how many more copies have been downloaded.

If you’re one of those downloaders, thank you for giving it a try and I do very much hope you enjoy the book.



A Quiet Life in the Country is available exclusively on Kindle through the Amazon Kindle store at:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

It’s at all the other Amazon Kindle stores, too, and the ASIN is B00O6X5U7K