So the weekend before last, I totally blew it. I had a 99 cent sale. My second. It was the first sale after the publisher moved me into the LitRPG category, and that move did great things for my overall numbers. This time I wouldn’t be competing against Harry Potter and (strangely enough) Game of Thrones for the top ten spots in the category. Okay, I totally still would since all TV and Movie adaptations are there as well, but they don’t fill that category quite as completely. Anyway, I was really looking forward to the data.

I set up several ads. Many podcasts announced the sale just before the sale went live. I had a few feeds promise to drop an ad into their feed the day of. Then, I completely forgot.

I can’t tell you what happened. My Christmas vacation started. Rogue One came out. My alert to remind me to check on them went awry. I set everything up a week or more in advance and when the day came up and my alert didn’t fire, I just completely forgot the date.

I remembered when there were just a few hours left in the sale. I checked the numbers. It would be inaccurate to say I’d sold nothing, but the blip was hardly noteworthy. I probably sold as many books the first two days after we shifted categories as we did during the two days of the sale.  A hiccup, really. I just completely messed up.

I should have checked those feeds the moment I got home that  first night as it started at midnight. I should have sent off friendly reminder emails so the ads hit the feeds first thing in the morning Saturday. A little late, but not too far off. If I’d been on the ball, we probably could have saved the sale.

But I didn’t.

I was pretty depressed that day, for three or four hours. I just couldn’t believe I’d messed up so badly. I generally don’t make mistakes that big. I kicked myself for hours. Probably didn’t help that one of my friends took that moment to light into me about how I should be with one of the big three publishers, as if I needed to be reminded about twenty-five years of failure and rejection at that moment.

But, I decided, that I needed this data too. This failure data. Now I know exactly what I sell when I have a sale and I don’t push it with timely ads (and what I sell is Bupkis.) For you to know how effective something is, you need a baseline. I now have an idea just how spectacularly effective my first sale really was, because my second sale was a shocking realization that if I do nothing to draw attention to the promotion, there is no attention.

Now, I’ll point out that the publisher does do some to draw attention to these sales as well, but this was a publisher-wide sale, so my book was on sale with at least 20 other titles at the same time (probably more, I didn’t count). If I hadn’t done anything on that first sale, they probably would have still driven some attention to the promotion, but now I know what the draw is of the Amazon sale by itself, and that is almost nothing.

So now I have my baseline. Now I know just how little mention even a day or two before the sale actually does to drive sales. This is all good information.

I just need to use it properly, going forward.

The next installment awaits...
Slouching Towards Amazon: LTUE Post Mortem