I accidentally ran a book promotion

How does one do that by accident? Well. That’s a story.

It started with one of my bi-weekly checks of my Amazon author page & KDP account. I check them not because I expect news sales or reviews, although those are nice bonuses. I do it because I don’t trust Amazon.

Every so often I find something has gone wonky (WTF that’s an old cover?! WTF happened to my titles unlinking?) And then I have to work to fix it.

On my late March Zon check, I discovered the Kindle edition of Sharp Edge was mysteriously priced $0.99 on amazon.com (US & int’l both.) That was a big WTF, but it wasn’t a correctable WTF, (Amazon reserves the right to reprice product) I shrugged & ignored it.

In April Sharp Edge was still 99 cents, but I learned someone bought a copy online during C2E2, and I was compensated from my $6.99 list price.

Now, the only thing better than knowing a new reader has discovered my books is knowing their purchase is STICKING AMAZON WITH A LOSS. (tiny loss, true, but still.)

So back in April, I wrote the post below about the weird pricing thing on my Fediverse account, @kmherkes@Wandering.Shop.

If you like stories about people getting superpowers at midlife, moms fighting bureaucracy, & teens saving the world, I wrote just the thing for you: The Sharp Edge of Yesterday.

I included a splash graphic & the explanation that it isn’t a sale, it’s just Amazon WTFery & who knows how long the deal would be around.

Somewhat to my surprise, as “social media promotion” only VERY rarely results in sales, I connected with a couple of new readers. BIG YAY!

This brings us to Monday when I was having a bad day & doing every dull task I could think of to distract myself. I did my Zon checks & learned Sharp Edge was still sale priced.

And I thought, why not mention it to the Fediverse again? So I did.

And now I’m mentioning it here because MOST things I’m blogging here are cross-posted (to? from? With. Definitely with.) my Fediverse account. That environment is more interactive, but in general I consider both outlets to be like telephone poles in two different neighborhoods> I staple my little flyers on both, but don’t expect much response from either.

Anyway. Someone there sent me the happy message “Bought!” early Tuesday, so I checked sales again late in the day.

And. Um. Wow.

I haven’t sold that many copies of Sharp Edge outside of conventions since release back in 2021, and a double handful of folks bought Rough Passages, which is a dollar off (also mysterious) but still costs real money.

Visibility matters, I guess, is my point. That, and something like “Behold the magic of word-of-mouth over the internet!”

All I did was talk about my happy thing in a forum where the only algorithm is “people personally sharing things they like with other people.” I tagged it so it would reach an interested audience, people saw it & shared it, and eventually it reached some people who wanted it. Happy dancing!

Advice on social media promotion implies–when it doesn’t state outright–that if your promotion isn’t working, you’re doing it wrong. And that’s a big fat lie. This was a nice refreshing reminder to me that if I am not reaching people, it’s MILLIONS of times more likely they aren’t seeing what I wrote in the first place.

Anyway. So that’s what I’ve been thinking out lately.