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April 12, 2017



I noticed that "Holmes on the Range" is one of Amazon's Kindle Daily Deals today. Just out of curiosity:
1. How do books get picked for that? Do you have foreknowledge that that is going to happen?
2. How big of a spike in sales do you see? And then does it usually result in sales of the other titles in the series, too?
3. (Really getting nosy here. Forgive me.) Does your cut of the sale go down substantially or does the reduction come out of Amazon or the Publisher's share? Maybe that's a silly question?
Anyway, congratulations! Or should it have a question mark at the end?


Hey, Jon! In answer to your questions:

1. I knew there was going to be some kind of deal for Holmes on the Range because the publisher, St. Martin's Minotaur, tipped me off a few weeks in advance. I'm not sure if that was the same thing as the Amazon Kindle Daily Deal, though. Maybe St. Martin's Minotaur set the price drop, then Amazon chose it for the Daily Deal. Or maybe there's some kind of pay-to-play thing going on with the Daily Deal. That wouldn't surprise me. But I honestly don't know!

2. I've been watching sales closely (naturally) and what I saw was a very big, satisfying jump for all books for one day followed by a huge drop and a quick return to previous sales levels two days later. So far I've seen no sign of momentum. It's disappointing. But maybe all those bargain hunters will circle back to me later, once they've actually started reading the books.

3. Not a silly question! So good I'm not totally sure of the answer. I get a set percentage per sale from Minotaur, of course, so that's impacted by a big price drop. There's also language in the contract about a change in the percentage for deep discounts, but I'm not sure if that applies to ebook sales. (I don't think it should: It seems more like something that should apply to remainders. But a contract's a contract.) To be honest, I'm too lazy to look it all up. My books for St. Martin's Minotaur never earned out, so I don't get royalties from them. Which means I don't have much of an inducement to track this stuff too closely. A successful sale is great because it means new readers, and what writer doesn't love new readers? But the financial impact might, for me, be pretty minimal. Time will tell....

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