a little bit of magic…

This is not a picture of fairy dust. But it is a picture of magic. My kind of magic.
This is not a picture of fairy dust. But it is a picture of magic. My kind of magic.

It feels like fairy dust has been sprinkled on my little publishing endeavor.

Two days ago, I offered Pause to Rewind free on amazon for a day. And, like the wave of a wand, everything changed. With every passing hour, the downloads climbed and climbed. Until, at one-thirty am, I had to finally tear myself away from the amazon sales rankings and go to bed.

In one day, over 40,000 people downloaded Pause to Rewind. It became the most read free kindle book on amazon. It ranked #1 in medical fiction and #1 in family fiction. So excited was I that, for no logical reason, I kept punching my husband in the arm. There was also a lot of jumping up and down. And some fist pumping.

Next morning, I contacted my self-publishing genie, Catherine Ryan Howard, and asked her if I should cut the normal price of the book from $2.99 to 99¢. She said one word: ‘Do.’

Two days later, Pause to Rewind, is still the #1 Bestseller in Medical Fiction on amazon.co.uk, where there is a tiny orange flag to say so, on my author page. The excitement! On amazon.com is #4 in medical #33 in family fiction and #925 in the Paid Kindle Store.

This blows my mind.

I had offered the same book for free, three weeks ago, for four days, and while downloads jumped nicely, the blip was not spectacular and fell away immediately afterwards.

‘What has she done differently?’ You may ask. I may, also, ask. And have done. I can think of four things:

  1. This time round, I paid to advertise on BookBub that Pause to Rewind was free.
  1. I had about 27 reviews on amazon.com and 17 on amazon.co.uk, by this time. Earlier, I had maybe four or five on each.
  1. I lowered the price immediately after the promotion. (Thank you, Catherine.)
  1. I had started a 21-day meditation on the Energy of Attraction with Oprah and Deepak. I use their first names, here, because they do, not because we are buds, (unfortunately).

I should also say that, on both occasions I have offered my book as a gift, people have been lovely on social media, tweeting, sharing on Facebook and saying good things about the book. More than anything, this adventure into self-publishing is showing me, again and again, the power of the people.

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You know who your friends are…

Why the photo of a seagull? Well, I still haven't learned how to use images from the internet with permission. This is one of my own and, well, I like it.
Why the photo of a seagull? Well, I still haven’t learned how to use images from the internet with permission. This is one of my own and, well, I like it.

When writing Pause to Rewind, my eight-year-old daughter fell suddenly, seriously and terrifyingly ill. We were stuck, our lives on pause. I remember every phone call, every visit, every card, every gift. During the darkest of times, I learned who our true friends were.

Almost two weeks ago, I announced news of my ‘adventure’ into the world of self-publishing. I did not admit to being terrified – in particular of how I would cope with the whole technology side of things.

A friend volunteered a morning to help me set up my WordPress account. (Yes, I know this is not rocket science to normal people). One reminded me to include a link to amazon so people could buy the book (yes I’d forgotten). Another gave me a crash course on ebook promotion (I’d never heard of BookBub). Others tweeted and shared news of Pause to Rewind on social media. My favorites were the people like me, those struggling with technology, who contacted me wondering how to download an ebook – my ebook.

I have always believed in People Power. Now I am truly feeling it. Had I ignored my fears and not boldly gone into the world of self-publishing, I would never have known the love and support that is out there. If anyone reading this is thinking of diving into a new world, in the words of Starsky and Hutch, ‘do it!’