A little more than six weeks ago I collaborated with 10 authors and helped create Christmas on Main Street, an anthology of 11 Christmas stories. Most are novels. Some are novellas. There are a few short stories. We were each responsible for our own covers and editing, but one saintly author made our cover, another did all the formatting, one was responsible for running the ads, and two are handling the money. We are all promoting.
For the last month, our anthology has bounced around number one on three of Amazon’s lists and has pretty consistently hung around #50 on Amazon’s bestseller list over all. Here are the stats as of right now—December 18th, 3p.m.
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Holidays
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Inspirational
#3 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Collections & Anthologies
Why do I think our collection is rocking the lists?
It’s a bargain. 11 books for .99 cents. It’s hard to beat the economics.
It’s timely. (Hey, it’s Christmas. People like Christmas stories.)
It’s got a great cover.
Something that I didn't give much thought to, but in hindsight I think makes a huge difference is we didn't know each other when we started. We don't belong to the same (physical) writing groups. For the most part, we don't even live in the states. In fact, Susan lives in Canada. This means that we don't all drink out of the same reader pool.
And we’re all promoting. Last week when I was too sick to lift my head after an almost lethal confrontation with a dose of cold medicine (Nyquil is no longer invited into my house) my writer friends continued to work their marketing magic.
Why did I do this? It wasn't for money. I didn't know if I would make enough money to buy a doughnut. My goal was/is to gain readers. No one is going to read my books if they don't know I write books. Thousands of readers now have a copy of one of my novels on their ebook device.
Six weeks and more than thirty thousand sales later, I can say:
I never could have done this on my own. Even if I had 11 books to bundle, I wouldn’t want to. I don’t want to give all of my books away for 2.7 cents each.
I’ve seen a dramatic uptick in the sales of my other books, more than a 200% increase in sales. Which may sound bigger than it is considering my lackluster sales, but yeah—a 200% increase looks good on any spread sheet.
I have learned a lot from the flood of emails from the other writers in our set. They have marketing know-how and savvy that I’m still trying to grasp.
And I will definitely do this again.