Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My final KDP results

Last month I offered my short story collection free for two days. I wasn't too disappointed with my results, reminding myself that this was a short story book and not a novel, but the numbers didn't impress me. 634 were downloaded, 590 in the US and 44 in the UK.

Afterwards, a few more sold and a couple were borrowed. A paperback sold, which is doesn't happen that often for this book. One of my single short stories also sold. CHOKE was doing well, but I attribute that to the Agatha nomination.

This time I offered A PATCHWORK OF STORIES for 3 days, and over a weekend. Last time was a Wednesday and Thursday, which someone had recommended somewhere. Much worse! In the US only 282 were downloaded, none bought, none borrowed, and 24 were downloaded in the UK. I did see sales of my single shorts, and CHOKE continued on its way, independently, I think.

I'm glad I tried the KDP Select program and glad I tried the free offers. If I hadn't, I'd never know if I should have or not. Since I only have one novel for sale, I was reluctant to take it out of the other markets for 90 days, which is what Kindle requires for this program. I'm glad now I didn't. When the 90 days are up, May 6th, I'll put PATCHWORK back on the other online sales sites.

The benefit is that 940 people downloaded my short stories. When they get around to reading them, I hope they like them. One happy reader posted an excellent review on Amazon--can't complain about that!

The exclusive thing is kinda silly, when you think about it. With Smashwords, you can make anything free at any time, and nothing is required other than for it to be loaded at Smashwords. Too bad that model isn't the norm!

So, now I know!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Travels with Camille

Please welcome, um, my friend to my blog today. You'll have to decide what to call today's guest. I usually call her Camille, but if you leave a comment WITH your email address you might win a copy of Ada's new book!

As you can see, I love the name of Kaye's blog.  In fact, since I've been following Travels with Kaye, I've stolen quite a few ideas, like her Anti-Bucket list and other writing tips. Thanks for hosting me today anyway, Kaye!

As a writer, my travels have increased tremendously. For one thing, I've gone to conferences and book signings in places I'd never have visited otherwise, like Carmel, Indiana, where there's a wonderful dollhouse museum; and Winona, Minnesota, where a great indie bookstore had our names on a marquee and a reserved parking space in front. Oh, and an unnamed town near our southern border, where they told us not to leave the hotel alone after dark. But even that was interesting. Not so much the stolen luggage in a square state in the Midwest, but statistics tells me it had to happen at least once.

I've also traveled the alphabet through several different names. I guess Camille Minichino isn't long enough to support three series. So I made the trip to new IDs: Margaret Grace for the Miniature Mysteries and Ada Madison for the Academic Mysteries. I've submitted a proposal for a fourth series and can't wait to see to where in the alphabet I travel for that pen name.

For several novels, I've had to travel through time and research earlier centuries. One of my favorite trips was back to Galesburg, Illinois, 1858, to the Lincoln-Douglas debates. I was writing scenes where citizens of my fictional town of Lincoln Point, California (for the Miniature Mysteries) reenacted the debate, and I ended up reading the texts of all of the long debates, plus several other Lincoln books.

I never would have guessed the format for the Lincoln-Douglas debates: one candidate spoke for 60 minutes, then the other candidate spoke for 90 minutes, and then the first candidate was allowed a 30-minute rebuttal. A little different from our sound-bit political debates?

But my best travels are to people, with professions and hobbies wildly different from my own. Talking to people with passions outside my wheelhouse is a great pleasure and a never-ending source of information.

I've spent time with experts on a gun range and hours in a trailer that houses medevac pilots  and nurses. I've talked to race car drivers and equestrians. I've read veterinary magazines and watched tap-dancing videos. One source gave me his set of books on mortuary science and a cop gave me a entire "murder book."

For my latest release, "The Probability of Murder," I had to travel to stores that sell lottery tickets and got to meet the clerks who deal in such purchases. Eye-opening! And a character was born.

Whether they've been of the Please-Place-Your-Shoes-in-the-Tray kind, or the CyberCloud kind, I couldn't write without my travels.

***Tell us about your best or worst travel experience and win a chance for a copy of "The Probability of Murder" by A-is-for Ada Madison.

 Camille Minichino is a retired physicist turned writer.
As Camille Minichino, she's the author of the Periodic Table Mysteries. As Margaret Grace, she writes the Miniature Mysteries, based on her lifelong hobby. As Ada Madison, she writes an academic series, the Professor Sophie Knowles series.
Soon, every aspect of her life will be a mystery series. 
Camille has also published articles for popular magazines and teaches science and writing workshops in and around the Bay Area.Publish Post
Visit Camille (and all the others) at

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Click here to get a copy

Yes, I'm giving away books again this month--March 9-11. But first I'll report here on how last month's giveaway fared.  Then you can call me crazy.

I chose my short story collection because I self-published it completely, ebook and paperback, although all the stories contained were originally published by others. It sells steadily, but not spectacularly. The collection, I thought, might favorably impact my other short story sales. I had no idea if it would affect my one (so far) novel or not.

Since it made a top read list of 2011 (Kevin Tipple's) and has received some very nice reviews, I thought it might appeal and people might be tempted to try out my writing.

Here's what happened, for those writers considering the KDP Select program with the free promotions.

I put A PATCHWORK OF STORIES up free on February 8th and 9th. The accounting I see is for the 11th, but the books actually moved on those two days. A total of 590 were given away. For some reason, I will receive a total of $1.74 for the first 573 and nothing for the other 17. After the promotion, two more copies sold and I will be paid the regular amount for them, which is $1.74 for the $2.99 book. I was surprised that 44 were given away in the UK. There must be some value in getting my work onto another continent.

Some copies of the anthology, ALL THINGS DARK AND DASTARDLY, and one short story, SHIPWRECK, sold the rest of the month. A paperback copy of PATCHWORK was sold, which is rather rare. I sell mostly ebooks of that one. Quite a few copies of CHOKE sold, both paperback and ebook, but that was probably because of the Agatha nomination.

So far this month, I've sold one more short story and some copies of CHOKE.

There are some tangible, probably temporary good results. When I search for my book it comes up on top, which hasn't happened before. It's also discounted right now for $2.51, until it goes FREE ON FRIDAY.

A little about the program. You are required to take down all other ebook versions of the work you put on Kindle Select for 90 days. During that 90 days you can choose 5 days to promote the work with a giveaway. The project will also be part of the lending program. There is supposed to be some funding involved for the giveaway, but I'm not sure yet how (or if) that works.

Given the figures above, I see little carry over and little benefit beyond getting my work out to 634 people who may never have heard of me before. But I have the ability to give away more copies for 3 more days, so I'm doing it--this Friday, Saturday, and  Sunday. I'll see if a weekend gets better results. Or worse. We'll see!