New Collection, New Cover, and New KDP Select Results

Ok, so I went a bit overboard on the alliteration there, but I couldn’t resist. Been another busy week. I continue to make consistent progress on this editing pass of Shadow of Stone, and I have a new short story collection in the works. I’m not quite done yet, but I do have a cover:


Shiny, yes? 🙂 The artist of this one is Karri Klawiter, who has just started branching out into cover design. If you’re in the market for a ebook cover, definitely check her out! She’s great to work with and very affordable.

My little collection Never Ever After is doing surprisingly well, giving that it’s short stories, which tend not to do as well as novels. It even seems to have started spilling over to my other works.

Anyway, some of the results of the latest KDP Select freebie. I can’t figure out exactly how many books I was able to give away, because accounting got a bit screwed up on Amazon, but it was definitely well over 5,000. The screw-up gave me a happy dance moment a day after Never Ever After went back to paid and I thought I’d sold 250 copies in one day. Nope – just a correction to the data, unfortunately. As a result, I don’t know how many copies I actually sold coming off the free promotion, but the next day I sold 43, the most sales I’ve had in one day on any of my ebooks. I assume the 99 cent price helps.

I try not to obsess about sales and rankings, so I only allow myself to check once a day. The best I saw for Never Ever After was on the third day after it went back to paid:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,706 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

#4 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Anthologies
#15 in Books > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Mythology
#28 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > World Literature > Mythology

But what I think might be helping me more than anything else is being ranked in the top 100 “Hot New Releases in Fantasy”:

Echoes of Betrayal: Paladin’s Legacy
Elizabeth Moon

City of Dragons: Volume Three of the Rain Wilds Chronicles
Robin Hobb

Never Ever After: Three Short Stories
Ruth Nestvold

Indie authors are of two minds where rankings are concerned. I tend to think rankings can be very important to sales, especially if they get you on a list like “Hot New Releases in Fantasy.” Some authors argue that “also bought” is much more important, and having a book go free isn’t worth it because it screws up your “also boughts.” This is true enough: if you look at the Amazon page for Never Ever After, you will see all kinds of genres among the “also boughts,” lots of books that are unlikely to get my story collection any new sales. But I tend to think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. I’ve sold at least a hundred copies, after all. And if you look at the Amazon page for Yseult, you’ll see that the “also boughts” there are much more appropriate, mostly fantasy and historical novels. Amazon’s recommendations seem to correct themselves after a while.

Note: In case you don’t subscribe to Daily Science Fiction, my short story “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Monkey” went up on the web site this week. 🙂

16 thoughts on “New Collection, New Cover, and New KDP Select Results”

  1. Love the new cover, sheik and intriguing. There is so much debate out there about free vs. $0.99 vs. standard pricing vs. best marketing practices, it truly is difficult to know exactly what works. Except for – have a ton of decent material (50+ items) out there and keep adding to it – then, even light sales on each title will add up to something larger. So, I guess, keep writing is the best advice.

    Have a great week, Ruth 🙂

    1. Thanks, Gene! I’m pricing according to length, trying to make sure I have at least a couple of things at 99 cents. I’m also doing my best to get all my previously published stories up so that I can get to that “ton of material.” While of course still writing new stuff. 🙂

  2. you might get 2 here lost connection halfway through posting comment – so here goes as afar as \i can remember I said 50 + Gene i don’t have that many years left:( – I liked your new cover and the link you gace us was very interesting I can’t afford a professional yet but I will def. keep her in mind for when I can – I liked her work

    keep smiling through the cold

    1. I’ll try, Alberta!

      I’m 50+ too, but I figure I still have a lot of years of writing in me. Besides, I already have a lot of previously published material (short stories) and intend to continue to put those storeis up in small collections while working on new stuff. We’ll see if it works. 🙂

  3. Congrats on the great week, Ruth! I’m excited to hear about the new collection. The cover is quite shiny indeed!

    I’m of many minds about Amazon marketing. I tend to think the more ways your work can be found (on a top 100 list, on an “also bought” list, under similar tags — if only Amazon tags worked properly! x-d) the better. As a buyer of books, I have many different strategies for digging through Amazon. I’ll bet the same can be said of other savvy readers.

    Gene sums up my hope/wish/desire for my own work. Get a lot of decent things out there on the market, and see small sales increment up.

    I am looking forward to the next collection! 😀

    1. Thank you, Tracy! Yes, I too suspect there are a lot of different ways for people to find your work, and it makes no sense to discount any of them!

      Just now uploaded the collection. I’ll announce it when it’s through. 🙂

  4. ‘Happy dance’ – he he! I love the new cover. I have to say it’s the down side to being an author these days; promo and all that. But reading of other’s experiences will help me when I’m reading to publish (I hope) X

    I also wanted to say, I’m passing on to you, the Versatile Blogger Award. The post should be up in around twenty minutes for you to collect it along with the rules.

  5. What a great week you have had -oh, and I love the book cover (certainly catches one’s eyes). I’m umming and arrring about whether to put together a collection of short stories I’ve already written as flash fictions or work on them to make them more substantial. I guess if I go with them as a collection of flash fictions I’ll make the book free as all the stories are on my blog already and it wouldn’t be fair to put a price on them. This would give me some exposure and then when I do turn the flash fictions into short stories/novellas I could then sell them… Ruth you’ve given me so much to think about… 😀

    Congrats too!

  6. Congratulations, Ruth. Apparently, your KDP Select promotional really worked out . . . at least in comparison for the one I had about a month ago.

    Hope your sales do nothing but increase from here on out.

    1. Thanks, Doug! I think soon I’ll have to do a post about different avenues for promoting a freebie. I suspect that’s pretty important.

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