Category Archives: Goals

The Temporal was $2.99 on sale for .99 (plus borrow for free) at Amazon

I had listed The Temporal for $2.99, but Amazon just price matched it against Smashwords, I guess. Now it is .99.


But I don’t mind. If it means more people reading and buying it, I’m happier–even with less money coming in.

I have five “likes” but so far, no reviews. As you know, reviews make or break an author’s effort. If you are interested in reading the novel for free in exchange for an honest review, please contact me.

Of course, I’d love to get five star reviews, but I’m not going to ask for it. If the work can’t stand on its on, I may be wasting my time and it would be better to know sooner than later.

I’m feverishly working on Book two. I have about 17k words written, and today, I spent a few hours working on the cover for it. I’m hoping to be done with the first draft by the end of June. July and August will be spent in editing. I’ll post the cover as soon as I am done with it.

Hopefully by the time the second book is ready, I’ll get my first The Temporal review!

Hint! Hint!

End of year Kindle eBook Sales

I have mentioned that I have a few non-fiction books for sale for the Kindle, but since these books are not part of my experiment here, I won’t go into details. But I will say this month is the first time I’ll earn over $1000 USD just from the US Amazon Kindle store.

Just a few months ago, I could expect maybe $200-300 tops. It was good, reliable money, but recent weeks even before Christmas have been very good. And Christmas was very, very good.

Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter is still selling at .99. The past two days have only had maybe one sale, but up until then, I’ve had several sales a day. I’m still hoping to make that short story free when the novel is released.

I regret not having the Tanaka novel ready by now, but it and, hopefully, Book two will be on sale this time next year.

So, non-fiction educational ebooks sell well but I don’t see huge spikes in popularity. Sales are steady and constant. I’m hoping–and this is the purpose of this blog–to really see some action with fiction in 2012. Of course, I’l chronicle it all here.

Here’s to a great 2012!

Something about Free Ebooks… and a Tanaka Cover

As I mentioned in the previous post, Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter was free for about two weeks. During that time, a little over 4,000 copies were downloaded. I was thrilled.  Then, the downloads slowed to a trickle so I decided to make it a .99 ebook again. (If you would like a free copy, just ask. I won’t bite, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.) Once the novel comes out, the plan is to make it free again whether through KDP Select or through Smashwords again.

But the week or two it was free has really helped sales.  Instead of 1-2 sales a month (ouch), I’m getting 1-3 sales a day.  I’m anxious to see what we can do when the novel comes out.

Speaking of which, here is the tentative cover and title:

Any thoughts or comments would be most appreciated.


Update on Tanaka Short Story and Upcoming Novel

The novel is in the final editing, smoothing out stage. We are still hoping for a January 15th-ish release.

The Short Story became free on Amazon about a month ago. It immediately shot up to #117 in all Free ebooks. Then, it dropped and dropped.

Around #2,000 I decided to try to make it not free (.99). My idea is, I can make it free again once the novel is out. The short story will have a link for readers to click on their Kindles to check out the novel after reading the short story. And if it works like before, I may get a boost in downloads and that may help with sales of the novel (probably priced at $2.99).

KDP Select is an option and would make it easier to make it free (for five days). But I suspect most people who “borrow” books will get the expensive ebooks ($9.99 and above) and buy the cheap ones. We’ll see…

Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter eBook #2 in Short Stories

I’m still in shock how well the story is doing.  It has been downloaded 2,342 times since Tuesday and is currently #2 in the free Fiction > Short Stories category. (the screenshot below was when it was #3)

Needless to say, Joe and I are thrilled by the response (including two new customer positive reviews).  I keep hoping it breaks into the top 100 Free in Kindle Store… but not yet.

We are working hard on the novel.  It is finished, but much editing still remains.  If you are interested in reading chapters (or the whole thing) and give us your opinion, please let me know.

If you don’t have a copy of the short story yet, grab one for free and let me know what you think.

Sales Report: Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter Kindle eBook

As I mentioned in my first post, I plan to be as open as I can about how my efforts help or hurt sales.  Here is the report for the first 24 hours “selling” Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter as a freebie.

Joe Lemont (a proper introduction is forthcoming) and I have been working hard on the Tanaka novel.   I had wanted the short story to be free as a way to gain readership and hopefully a few sales of the novel.  I learned the best way to make an ebook free on Amazon was to set the price to $0 on Smashwords and then report to Amazon that iBookstore or or whatever has it for a cheaper price ($0).  I also heard it could take weeks or even months for this change to take place.  Not wanting to miss our target launch date of December 15th (we’ll probably have to extend this unfortunately…), I started the process a few weeks ago.

Yesterday morning, I checked sales and saw my normal (non-fiction) titles selling one here, two there.  But there at the bottom, I saw: Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter – 180. 

Ecstatic, I jumped to the Amazon product page and saw the beautiful $0 where .99 had been the day before.  Then I jumped back to the KDP sales page and refreshed.  Two new “sales”! 

Here are the details:

The short story currently ranks in:

#149 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store) [it peaked at #134]
#3 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Short Stories  [this is the best rank]
#23 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Genre Fiction > Mystery & Thrillers [this is the best rank]

Over the past 24 hours, there have been 1,022 downloads.  It appears right now you need about 1000 downloads a day to reach around #150 ranking for all free ebooks. 

My next moves: Finish the novel; upload the novel; update the short story to include a direct link to the novel (I’ll post how to do that soon); market both ebooks

Now, I have a question:

Do you have any idea why my ebook went from #2,369 (when I first spotted it) to #134 overall?  Surely, not every ebook made free does this?  Or is that the norm for the first day and I should expect it to drop to the netherworld tomorrow?

And secondly, would you be interested in reading some (or all) of the novel and give us your input?  If so, please contact me.

Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter for Free

I started this great adventure with a 7,000 word short story about a man named Tanaka who saves his daughter from some nasty yakuza types.  I asked a friend who is good with words and style to edit it.  After much discussion, we decided to go into “business” together and create a novel about Tanaka.  We are almost done with it. (maybe 1-2 months of pure editing left–should really only be about a week of editing, but this is our first big attempt and what isn’t there to fear?)

One early plan was to make Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter free as a way to give readers a taste of our style (and hope they will then buy the novel).  I told Joe, my writing partner, that it would be an incredible sacrifice to make the short story free–it was, after all, created by a mixture of my blood and my sweat and my tears. This is especially heartwrenching considering the .99 short story sold a whopping five copies during the month of October!  All that money… gone.

Smashwords now has Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter free.  I will begin the process of making it free on Amazon too. (Amazon will match the price, if it is $0 at or Apple’s iBookstore.)

Please feel free to grab the short story absolutely free–and if you are one of the five who bought the story this month, sorry.

Progress Report #5 — Week 5

This is actually Progress Report #4, but I was sick last week and didn’t get around to it.  This last week, I had three sales that I can’t account for (always a good thing).  Progress is slow, but I am progressing on the novel.  I hope it will be ready in a few weeks.  More on that process and my co-author very soon!

Progress Report #3 — Week Three

I had three sales this week for Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter.  Whohoo!

Kind of.

Two of those sales are acquaintances.  One is the daughter of a neighbor of mine.  She was in town last week so I told her about the story; she told me she would buy it.  A few days later, I was overjoyed to see an organic sale on!  Seeing her yesterday, I figured out that that “organic” sale was her. 🙂

Still, it was very good.  She said she thoroughly enjoyed it and even went so far as to tell me that she felt like she was actually in the story.  That was nice.  Plus she said to expect a good review from her on Amazon.  (Best news of the day.)

The other sale was from a British author whom I met via Twitter.  I bought his book and although I told him not to buy my ebook (I even sent him a link to download it for free), he did anyway.  That was very kind of him.

The author is Adrian Magson and the book I read was Red Station.  I’ll write a review (glowing to be sure) probably this coming Sunday.

He is very kind and surprisingly responsive on Twitter.

Progress Report #2 — Week Two + Akira Tanaka’s Dream

Week two!

In a day or two, it will be two weeks since Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter went on sale.  Tanaka had seven sales during that time (6 on Amazon and 1 on B&N) and Elraton had one lonesome sale (Amazon).  Of the seven sales for Tanaka, three are confirmed FrF (friends or family).

I was hoping for more after the release of the video, but I guess it isn’t a terrible start.

The novel is coming along.  Here is the (current–may change) opening paragraph:

Akira Tanaka slowly opened his eyes.  He felt water run down his face but not from crying.  Everything was blurry, but he made out the figure of a man rapidly moving his arms in front of him.  As the ringing in his ears subsided, he realized the man was saying something–no, he was shouting something… at him.  Tanaka’s hands were high above his head, being held up by chains.  He was someone’s prisoner and although he couldn’t be sure, he felt that he was naked.

Poor Tanaka never gets a break.  You will be happy to know this is just a dream.  But… he wakes to a real-life nightmare.  (It’s coming)