In the last three weeks we have given away about 6,185 copies of 'The Handbag's Tale,' an e-book from Shalako Publishing which is available on Smashwords, Lulu and Amazon US, UK and DE (Germany.)
At first the US was leading the UK by a ratio of about 3/2, but on the strength of three one-star reviews in the US outlet, the numbers started falling in the US, and then the UK leapt out in front on the basis of a four-star review in the UK store.
How the thing ever got up into the top twenty I'll never know, but presumably when a product is marked as 'free,' it has to pop out into the display stream. I think mine hit at prime time or something...? A few books went out the door and then the attention of Amazon's product-presentation algorythm was enough to keep it there long enough...okay, it's bullshit, but it's good bullshit. Right?
The story popped in and out of the top twenty in the UK store for a little less than three weeks, and it will probably hold #25 overnight, then continue to plummet from there.
What would 35% of $6,185.00 in less than a month actually look like? I don't know, (I'm sort of reluctant to do the math,) but I suspect I could live on it! (At least until I got used to it. Then, I'm not so sure.)
So far the book has garnered six reviews. Three ones and a four on Amazon US, a four on Amazon UK, and a one-star rating on Goodreads. Three ones and a four make for an average of 'two-stars,' then two stars and a four-star average out to a three-star rating, and a one star rating drops that to about...let's call it a 'two and a half' rating by legitimate customers. That's not too bad for our first outing with a promotional product in a whole new genre. (Actually, 12 stars in total divided by six reviews is an average two-star rating, but I like my math better.)
It's very encouraging, and of course I read the reviews. Of course I listen to the customers. It all comes into play when writing, developing, editing and revising the very next project. Which, incidentally, is another Inspector Maintenon mystery, this time a murder that happens when the Inspector is on vacation.
This allows me to peel away the sidekick, work on the character of Gilles Maintenon, and to experiment further with the detective genre.
One of the reviewers used the term 'noir,' and so I looked it up here.
This specifically refers to 'film noir,' where 'noir' in liteature generally refers more to the 'hardboiled' fiction, and I really don't see the story as anything other than sardonic or satirical. When I wrote it, it was meant to be a parody of Georges Simenon's 'Maigret' character, without being disrespectful to books that I liked when younger. The fact that I hadn't read one in years means it is not too faithful a parody, and that's okay too. Also bear in mind a parody doesn't necessarily have to be ribald comedy like 'Space Balls,' or just plain weird such as the legendary 'Apocalypse Now.'
Other than that, I'm happy to be learning how to use the Blogger hyperlinks. The sky is the limit now, ladies and gentlemen!
I tried a few times, couldn't get it to work, and so I went on to things that were easier or more rewarding.
It has been interesting.