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A Month of “Slip Drive”

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It has officially been a month since I’ve posted “Slip Drive” on Amazon. To date it has made $16.45. In just March it has had 8 purchases. Which really isn’t that bad really. Kind of fun to see. As I’ve always stated, I never expected this story to start bringing in large amounts of cash. That was never the point. I just wanted to use it to test the market and see how the entire process works.

Let me show you a little graph.

The three highlighted areas demonstrate, roughly, the days I set “Slip Drive” for free; February 1st and 2nd, February 14th, and February 24th and 25th. I’m not really sure what to make of that information. The first free days put me high in the rankings but it instantly fell off and started roller coasting. Then, before the 14th sale, it jumped back up and actually maintained a pretty high visibility.

Things slowed, so I finished off my last free days and what happened? Nothing. It continued to drop. The free days didn’t do a thing. So I’m out of free promotion days. And something curious happened. March rolls in and it started rise again. Maybe “Slip Drive” will follow the old adage, “In like a lion, out like a lamb.”

One of two things are happening here. Either Amazon’s tracker doesn’t capture any real data/is slow on updating. Or the promotion days doesn’t mean squat. I’m leaning toward the latter.

KDP Select is an interesting program. But I don’t think it really amounts to much. You can run the same types of programs, more often, with Smashwords. Why bother with the Select program and Amazon’s exclusivity?

Now, I have read that some people have run into problems where Amazon will pick up that your product is cheaper somewhere else–even if it was for a short promotion–and price match. Then, trying to get your Amazon pricing to go back to the original price point can be a real hassle. With lots of emails and phone calls about that.

In the end, I’m still not sure if I think self-publishing is the only way to go. Honestly, I think an author is best to try and do both. Leverage every avenue you have. Set aside some stories for traditional publishing and make others for self-publishing. Locking yourself out of either is not really a good idea.

So, like with most things, a middle of the road approach is the best solution.

Novel Update

I broke through my mental block on CH 7 and wrote fourteen pages of it (for those that don’t know, I actually hand write my work first. So that’s fourteen pages in a ~6.5″ by ~9.5″ notebook. Spiral bound is best bound.

I still haven’t decided on when I want to talk more about the book. And I apologize for how vague I’ve been so far with it. When it gets closer to being finished is when I think I’ll get more into what it is about. There is still a lot of discovery happening right now. For instance, there was a character that I thought had gone away. That he wasn’t needed. But he found his way back into the book. Albeit younger and a bit more agoraphobic than before (can someone be a bit more agoraphobic?)

Thanks for stopping by and joining me on this adventure in self-publishing. There is still a lot more to learn, right? Write.



  1. This is a really helpful blog post for all of us would-be authors out there. I’m in the middle of rewriting my book with the goal of having it ready for submission by the summer and I’ve been thinking a lot about how I should go about releasing it. The self-publishing option seems like it would be legit, save for the chore of marketing the thing. I think the main benefit of getting a traditional publisher would be that they already have the channels to get people talking about your book, even if you’re only releasing an electronic version. Thanks for the info though and keep working at it.

    • No problem Scott. I’m glad that I can give others this kind of information. One thing I’ve also learned about traditional and self-publishing is that traditional doesn’t generally give first time authors that much of a marketing boost. They will get your book into stores, but there will still be a lot of your personal time spent peddling the book to the masses.

      Just something to keep in mind.

  2. Greg Baker says:

    On the other hand, it’s ranked 40k out of 1 MILLION! That’s pretty damned good.

    Consider those numbers a moment. Out of 1 million books, “Slip Drive” ranks higher than 960,000 other titles available on Amazon. You are in the top 5% of titles. 95% are ranked worse than “Slip Drive”…holy crap.

    Those numbers shouldn’t be dismissed. Nor should total sales to date be anything to sneeze at either.

    Assuming “Slip Drive” continues to earn $15 a month for the next 11 months, it will have earned you more than $180 dollars. There’s no way you’d earn that in traditional publishing for a 15 page short story.

    Incredible numbers if you ask me.

    • I’m still not entirely convinced that Amazon’s reports are showing what is really happening. The skeptic inside of me wishes he could see better numbers and more information.

      One good thing that has happened is that Amazon now separates your free and paid purchases into their own columns.

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