In January, 2012, I repriced the Kindle edition of Courting Kathleen Hannigan to the oh-so-trendy 99 cents and got a great bump in sales—up to 11 from the 4 the month before and 11 for all of 2011. Well, ok, this is a “backlist” book, having first been published in paperback in 2007 (three quarters of the initial run sold; some still remaining at $10/99 (new) on amazon.com.) From January through July, 2012 I sold 43 Kindle copies, and am, of course, happy for the new readers. But where’s that magic that others have found in promotional pricing? I’ve just confirmed for myself what I always thought—it’s not the price that matters. It’s something else. It’s word of mouth.
I think there is an alpha reader out there whose recommendations to a single alpha friend creates a viral sensation? It can’t just be that her with the most Facebook friends wins…. Someplace out there is that anonymous reader, that opinion maker, who turns a successful enough self-publication into the kind of spontaneous sensation that The New York Times and Wall Street Journal report on. (I understand the established media can’t review all the self-published material out there—it would be nice, though, if they reviewed vetted, independently published materials like those from She Writes Press. Ridiculous things go viral. Does anyone know who the maven is who can start such a trend for quality, character-driven women’s fiction? I need to know. My second novel, Warming Up, is forthcoming this fall from She Writes, in paperback, and also e. We’ll be relying heavily on WOMM—word of mouth marketing, and I’d like to have a word with the alpha reader and book-recommender. So if you’re that person, let me know. Have I got a book for you!