Selling books

On 6th February Hector Mackenzie's review and interview in the Ross-shire Journal sent my first published novel, More Deaths Than One, flying up the Amazon.com rankings. In fact from number 350,000 or so, (out of the 4 million books on site), to number 11,000 or so.

Amazon sell 'only' a reported twelve percent of all books sold in the UK but as I, as author, will not be given any idea of numbers being printed and sold until April, the Amazon ranking is the only indicator open to me of my book's ongoing commercial success or otherwise. If I had to guess I would say some 300 plus copies are out there in the hands of the nice folk who have paid for them, and another two hundred printed copies lodged somewhere in the chain awaiting their sale to readers.

Since Hector's review, the book's ranking has dropped steadily and is today at 316,000 - seemingly still on a slow fall. Back to where it began, in fact. This, in spite of much anecdotal praise and six extremely positive reader reviews to date on Amazon, where More Deaths presntly carries a five star rating - the highest possible endorsement.

So where does this leave me and More Deaths Than One? Obviously, I'm disappointed with the falling away of my novel's Amazon rankings but I am in no way discouraged. Set backs are a necessity on any road to success, I think. Still, any remaining convictions I may have held about the world beating a path to the door of the inventor of a better mousetrap have disappeared. (Yes, I truly believe my novel to be that 'better mousetrap'.) Secondly I have learned in the most direct way possible that word of mouth may or may not work for book sales over time but that media exposure is a racing certainty! In fact both are essential for a book's long term sales; one without the other won't do it, but the media has to come first.

So how much of the media have I acquainted with the fact and the great beauty of More Deaths Than One? None at all, south of Inverness. So let's get into gear!

p.s. Please do let me know, should you be the editor of the Times Literary Supplement. I'll send you a copy by motorbike courier today!

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