After a strong start, things have cooled down in the sales of my novel. One of the highlights so far has been KU/KOLL. What’s that, you ask? It’s basically Amazon’s lingo for the book equivalent of audio streaming. It stands for Kindle Unlimited / Kindle Owners Lending Library. If you pay Amazon a monthly fee for KU, they let you get however many books you want at no charge per book. If you own a Kindle and have Amazon Prime, they let you borrow one book a month at no charge (that’s KOLL).
I honestly had no idea what I was signing up for when I checked the box to enable this. But it’s seriously cool. They use some formula to figure out how many “pages” your book has (since the idea of a “page” is pretty nebulous in e-books). And then they pay the author 0.58¢ for every page. I’ll spare you the math and summarize it this way: I get about 7 cents a chapter. That might not sound like a lot, but my book has proven to be a page-turner. Most people read it in a matter of days. And with 40 chapters, I make more on a KU/KOLL borrow than I make on a print sale. (Not as much as I’d make on a Kindle sale, though.)
So far, the KU/KOLL borrows have not outstripped the regular print and Kindle royalties, but I think over time they could. It’s also fantastic for my ego, because even on a day when I sell ZERO books, I still see page reads in the dashboard (that’s the zig-zag line up top).
I talked to some other authors, and I guess the spike/flatline sales pattern is pretty much standard. You sell a bunch of books to people who already knew about it. And then you sell no books while you wait for those people to start writing Amazon reviews. And after that you start to sell a few books now and then, often in response to promotions like dropping your price for a few days.
But I’m impatient, so I’m going to try something weird to promote my book on Twitter. I think there is a fairly enormous population on Twitter of people who engage in, or are curious about, Dominance/submission (D/s). One particular Dominant’s account has about 25,000 followers, so I think it’s probably in that neighborhood. My follower base has a smattering of D/s people, but nowhere near the size of that population. I don’t want to cater to that population on my main account, since that’s not who I am, personally. Other than pimping my book, I mostly tweet about stuff my dog says.
So the weird idea (which isn’t really my idea, but rather an idea someone suggested to me that I’ve run with) is to create Twitter accounts for my main two characters. Sir (@entropy_sir) and Lisa (@entropy_kitten). I’ll run both accounts as though I were those characters. They will interact with each other, and they will interact with the rest of Twitter.
I started by following most of the people who I know have read my book (either readers from crowdsource editing, or followers who contacted me to let me know they are reading it). I’ll start following more people in the D/s community based on Twitter’s suggestions. Just a little at a time, similar to how a personal account would do it. And like a normal account, I’ll follow back everybody who seems like a real person, and ignore all those follows from porn bots and “parody” accounts.
A few people have already volunteered to help me run the accounts, but I’m going to do it all myself, I think. Last night I wrote a short exchange between the characters:
Writing that was very similar to the process of writing the novel itself. I put my head into Sir’s character and wrote a little poem. Then I thought about what Lisa would say (based on her mood, which I had established in an earlier tweet) and tweeted her response. Then back to Sir’s account to reply as he would.
Some people have already scoffed at how much time this is going to consume. But that seriously only took a few minutes to write. I think I can do this…