#1 Most Popular Book

In connection with the release of Mrs. PG’s latest book, she ran a price promotion on the first book in this series, featuring a female Oxford professor/amateur sleuth.

Yesterday, early in the evening, she checked the performance of An Oxford Murder, Book 1 of her series, and was pleased to discover that it had a Best-sellers rank in the US Free Kindle Store of #1 for all ebooks, regardless of genre.

A bit earlier this morning, her book was still ranked #1 overall in the US and, on Amazon UK, #3 for Historical Mysteries.

When PG just checked, the book was ranked #4 overall for free books and #1 in Historical Mysteries, #1 in Women Sleuths and #2 in Literature & Fiction, each in the Free Kindle Store. It’s still hanging in as #3 for Historical Mysteries in the UK store.

Mrs. PG has always enjoyed good sales at the launch of a new book and for her free book promos, but this one is particularly good.

With respect to her latest book, Murder at Tregowyn Manor (which is priced at $2.99 for the ebook), most of her sales are coming from the US, as usual, but she’s also generating nice sales numbers from Australia and the UK as well.

PG shares these results for the benefit of other indie authors who may find them useful for their launch plans.

PG thanks all the kind visitors to TPV who have continued to support Mrs. PG’s books over the years since the launch of TPV.

6 thoughts on “#1 Most Popular Book”

  1. Congratulations, warm feelings and good vibes to Mrs PG!

    Regarding launch plans, a perusal of Mrs PG’s site is interesting, in that the blog only features announcements of book releases, contests to win free copies, audio-book adaptations, etc. but does not feature articles or essays, or opinion pieces about the books, the writing process, or about the history on which the various novels are based. I find this particularly interesting in the context of the ongoing debate about what, exactly, an author’s blog is for, and how to make best use of one.

    For example, my idea as a wannabe fantasy author was to write non-fiction articles that expanded upon ideas, events and historical references in my novels and short stories. This might be anything from discussing the historical basis for an event or a character, or expanding on an aspect of bushcraft that we see a character performing in the books, such as harvesting and cooking cranberries while camping in the wild. Essentially, I am thinking about providing an “expanded universe” of information for readers who want to explore in greater depth, not unlike Tolkien’s linguistic appendices, except my stuff is based on real world information rather than anything I’ve invented, myself.

    But I’ve yet to encounter any writing blog or other knowledgeable resource that suggests such a thing. Mostly the advice is to build a mailing list and use it for book promotion, in the same vein as Mrs PG has done. And, arguably, this is the best way, because Mrs PG’s blog is updated rarely, and only with promotional material, and thus she can spend the most time writing and perfecting her novels, instead. All well and good, because the novels are where the action is, and her success speaks for itself!

    I considered the time-management aspect early on, but concluded that having done the background reading and research for the stories already, writing a few non-fiction articles for the blog would only cost me the time it took to write and proofread them (i.e. no additional research should be needed). And I was charmed by the idea of providing an expanded universe of content.

    But does this have any value to readers, and in terms of book sales, in the real world? Or would I just be amusing myself at the cost of time that could be devoted to the next book?

    • I’ve seen other authors do what you’re talking about, re: articles that give more information about the story’s world. I once picked up a review copy of Stephanie Dray’s “Song of the Nile” because I was curious about her bibliography on Roman-era Berbers (turned out I read the same books she listed).

      But her website held more details on other story elements and her book’s heroine, the real-life Cleopatra Selene. I think Dray wrote about the worship of Isis on her blog; Isis worship is the basis of Selene’s magic in the book.

      CJ Cherryh’s website has FAQ’s on her various story universes. I think David Weber (Honor Harrington) and Lois McMaster Bujold do the same. A lot of writers of fantasy and sci-fi do what you’re thinking of. Note the FAQ aspect, where they’re answering common questions readers ask, which suggests reader engagement to me.

      Just as you would ask for an editor or beta reader in your genre, you might consider checking the websites of writers in your genre for website models.

    • Actually, quite a few authors do what you’re suggesting. In my case, one thing I do is post mini-articles (“posts”) about nature’s cycles involving the Solstices and the Equinoxes, as these come into play in my historical fiction and historical fantasy novels. Another thing I did early on for my site is create a “reader magnet” as a PDF that shows interesting facts about New York City comparing 1609 and 2019. So there are lots of author-site options to consider out there. I’d suggest going with your gut on this and just doing it.

    • Ditto on congratulating Mrs. PG. And for referencing that Garry Rodgers’ TKZ post. Maybe Mr. PG can include it here? It’s a solid piece of posting for all Indies out there.

  2. Good comments from all.

    Maybe a little detail about Mrs. PG’s thinking will help.

    1. She has a good mailing list which she believes is her most important way of reaching her readers. That’s where she puts most of her focus and has seen the biggest sales impact.

    2. PG is to blame for Mrs. PG’s website. He built it when Mrs. PG was writing a lot of Regency Romances. He needs to update the look, etc., to reflect the 1930’s Oxford settings for her last three books. He’s been overthinking the whole project instead of just starting to update.

    3. Mrs. PG formerly spent more time on her social media presence than she does now. She has come to the conclusion that her best marketing and income strategy is to keep writing new books in her Oxford series, which have been selling very well.

    4. Mrs. PG has become much more aggressive about paying for promotions for a new book release on various online book sites. She uses several online venues, but BookBub consistently delivers very nicely for her even though it has become more expensive over the past couple of years.

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