I had an idea for a blog post today, and as soon as I remember what it was I’ll write it, but for now, be aware:
It’s 6:30 in the morning where I am. I’m asleep. It’s also Cyber Monday. I’ll keep this short and sweet:
Every single one of my damn books is free today. Go get ’em.
Skylights is free today, in case you haven’t picked it up yet. Go. GO NOW!
August 15, 2022: the Tycho, the most advanced interplanetary craft ever designed by the human race, launches from Earth on an expedition to Mars. The Tycho carries four passengers, soon to be the most famous people in human history.
February 19, 2023: The Tycho loses all communication with Earth while orbiting Mars. After weeks of determined attempts to reestablish contact, the Tycho is declared lost.
2027: Journalist Gabriel Southern receives a message from a mysterious caller: “Mars.” Ezekiel ben Zahav isn’t talking, but he wants Southern to accompany him for something– and he’s dangling enough money under his nose to make any amount of hardship worth it.
SKYLIGHTS is the story of the second human expedition to Mars. Their mission: to find out what happened to the first.
I have had an immensely productive day; it’s almost like I have to go back to teaching tomorrow and I’m trying to keep myself from going crazy. I disassembled and reassembled (correctly!) two different sinks today, for fuck’s sake. I’m like some sort of freakish monster.
Anyway, the two of you who are big number nerds like I am, click for large:
While I didn’t have a 300-download day like I did last month, at least I can be certain that all of those represent actual downloads to actual humans. I broke away from the Siler Saturday formula a bit this month and sprinkled some free book days on various days of the week to see if anything made a difference, and given that my level of promotion on the day where I had 300 downloads in September was just about exactly the same as the two 25-download days in October, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that the main factors in a free promo are 1) how generically busy Amazon is on that day, and 2) how highly ranked the book is as paid the day before the free promo starts. In other words, it’s good to do a free promo right after you have a day with a couple of sales for that book, because that’ll push you into the low six figures if not the high five figures just on the strength of those couple of sales, and I think it gives the book a bit of a bump. Again, though, this is all theory; I don’t have a lot of data.
Here’s how actual paid sales went, by the way. This will easily be my most lucrative month from Amazon, especially once I work KENP money in there– more on that in a minute:
In other news, I’m immensely pleased at how well Searching for Malumba has done. It’s had 24 sales in its first five days since official release, half of which were in print, which is outstanding, at least by my standards. It’s moved twice as many copies as The Sanctum of the Sphere did in its first five days, and it already has more reviews than Sanctum does, although that required an email to my beta readers a couple days after the book came out that I’ll characterize as “pushy” and which reasonable humans would probably call “fuckin’ rude.”
I still love you guys, I swear.
Sanctum continues to be my redheaded stepchild, and I’m not sure why. It’s my only sequel, but it’s a sequel to my most popular work and it’s good, goddammit. I gotta figure out how to market it better. Weirdly, it does just fine when I’m selling it in person– it just struggles online.
Anyway. Let’s talk about KENP. I am fascinated by this. I just started seeing KENP reads recently– note that these are pages read by people who downloaded my books for free through Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program, and that I get paid about half a cent per page:
I swear those are two different graphs. Look carefully, you’ll find the differences!
There are 13 pages for BA Vol. 1 in there somewhere, and that little blip at the end is about 80 pages for Malumba. Every single other KENP read I’ve had is for Skylights. Now, Skylights, cover-to-cover, is 535 “Kindle Edition Normalized Pages” long, which is what KENP stands for. Note that that means that on October 26 two different people read the book goddamn near cover-to-cover, or at least a lot of people read smaller chunks of it.
KENP doesn’t pay well– those thousand pages in a day of reading earned me less than six bucks– but overall for October I’m looking at about another $20something on top of what I made from sales. Which isn’t nothing, I guess? And I’ll freely admit that, while I love selling books, it’s actually even neater to log in and discover hey, someone’s reading one of my books RIGHT NOW, because that number was smaller than that earlier today.
I’d love to know why Skylights is the only one getting any love, though.
Let’s not bury the lede: my book Searching for Malumba: Why Teaching is Terrible… and Why We Do it Anyway is now available at Amazon in both a Kindle ebook version (4.95!) and, if I may say so, an incredibly handsome print edition (15.95!) The first essay in this book was written in 2001, guys, and this book has been in the back of my head for a very, very, very long time. If you’ve ever enjoyed anything I’ve written about anything, please, please check it out. You won’t regret it.
(There should be some reviews popping today, too, and a few promotional thingies over the course of the week. I will, uh, be being kinda noisy about it. Just buy it now and then ignore me for the next couple of days. 🙂 )