BookBub Postmortem


Now that the dust has settled from this week’s Multiples of Six (by Andy Rane) BookBub promotion, it’s time to look at some of the numbers, not only in terms of sales, but reviews and other intangibles.

Book Sales

Before this week, Multiples had languished around #400,000 in the Amazon store, with the occasional sale coming once or twice a month. Divisible had a little more consistency as past readers would discover it. But, it was still only 4 or 5 copies a month at best. On 9/1, Multiples went free (normally $3.49) and Divisible went on a Kindle Countdown sale at $1.99 (normally $2.99).

                            Multiples (KU/KOLL borrows)            Divisible (KU/KOLL borrows)
September 1      404                                                             9
September 2     47,294 (9)                                                409 (2)
September 3     9,044 (9)                                                   114 (13)
September 4     3,083 (15)                                                 78 (10)
September 5*   61 (18)                                                        37 (16)

5-day total        59,825 (51)                                                647 (41)

*Free ended early morning of September 5, so sales on this day were back to full price for Multiples.

Now, on top of this, I’d kind of forgotten about the audiobook for Multiples. The numbers haven’t fully caught up, but as of this writing, I added 143 audiobook sales as well. A pleasant side effect.

Divisible climbed as high as the upper #200s on Amazon on 9/2. It’s still hanging strong in the lower #1000s and is still in the top 15 of its sub-categories (Thriller/Assassinations, Spies & Politics/Assassinations, and Spies & Politics/Political). Multiples had a nice little boost of paid sales when it came off of free and I always expect half of those to be returned as I think someone clicked “Buy” thinking it was still free. But, it’s in the mid #2000s now and in the top 20 of its sub-categories (Thrillers/Assassinations, Spies & Politics/Assassinations, and Thrillers/Conspiracies). Hopefully, hanging around the top 25 of a few of the Thriller categories will help keep it going for a little while. We’ll see.


At the beginning of this little venture, Multiples had stood at 21 reviews, the last of which came 13 months ago. This, despite having given away thousands of copies in 2012. As I write this, I’ve added 10 reviews (8 five-star, 1 four-star, and 1 one-star). Even more special to me are the three new reviews for Divisible, which had been out for 9 months, sold ~100 copies, and had no reviews (2 five-star and 1 four-star).


Traffic to my website has certainly increased during the week. Lots of searches for this crazy Andy Rane guy and his writing. 😉 Also saw a bump in newsletter subscribers, which is nice. And, lastly, the big question has been about book 3 to close the trilogy out. Well, this rush has sparked the flames of that story once more and I’m going to start focusing my efforts on completing that novel.

In the end, this wasn’t just a boost in visibility, but a bit of a boost to my own ego. I have no delusions of being an amazing writer. I just want to tell entertaining stories. This was a reminder that, despite how I feel sometimes, I seem to be doing an ok job. 🙂

Thanks for the support and I hope my fellow indie authors find this information valuable!

Wow… BookBub… Wow

That’s pretty much all I can say. As you might have seen yesterday, I ran a BookBub ad for book #1 in my suspense thriller series (Multiples of Six by Andy Rane). The first book was released back in 2011 and did reasonably well over the years (~1200 actual sales). But, being a slow writer, I saw little to no response when I released book #2 in the series, nearly 2.5 years later. I then went on a run of failed BookBub submissions. I’d gone down the free road with Multiples in the past. I’d probably given away just over 20k copies of that book prior to yesterday. So, in my mind, it only made sense to run a sale promotion instead of a free promotion. I wanted my $0.99, darn it! Well, it wasn’t to be, and after countless rejections, I finally asked for a free run. Apparently, I just had to say the magic word (free!) and that would’ve gotten me in long ago (kidding, but it kinda felt like that). Finally, the BookBub folks relented and let me into the pool.

I decided to add an incentive to buy book #2 in the series by lowering that book’s price, in a Kindle Countdown Sale, from $2.99 to $1.99. The joy of the Countdown is that you still get your regular royalty rate, even if your sale price is less than $2.99. So, I would make $1.39 on each copy of the sequel that sold. This was going to be how I recouped the BookBub fee (US$250 for a free thriller). That meant I would need to sell ~180 copies to break even.

I’m a closet optimist. I wear the pessimists mask in public, but I’ve always got high hopes, no matter what. But even I was leaning toward pessimism on this one. I thought the exposure would be good, but I held out no hopes of getting some of the kinds of numbers that romance authors see on a regular basis (a 40k free run is very common for romance, from what I’ve seen). I’m happy to say that my fears were alleviated by midday on Tuesday. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

In preparation for this week, I had notified several sites of my book going free (Pixel of Ink, Ereader News Today, to name a few). So, I was pleased when I cleared 400 copies of Multiples on Monday alone, with 11 sales of Divisible. Eleven down, 169 to go! Not sure where they came from, as I couldn’t find a major site listing my book, but it was a nice start and pushed me up to just over #1000 in the free store by late Monday. My expectations at that point were at least to get into the Top 100 Free list on Amazon. Knowing BookBub’s past successes, I thought I could get that far.

Then I woke up Tuesday morning to a surprise. At 7:24, Multiples was already at #610 on the Free list. I watched the numbers climb slowly during the morning, despite telling myself I wouldn’t keep checking. What can I say? I’m weak. I was really waiting to see what happened when I got the suspense/thriller email from them. It arrived around the same time it normally does, at least for me; ~11:45 AM. That was when things got crazy. Like, stupid crazy.

It was so torrid for a while that the rankings couldn’t catching up. Two hours after I’d received my email, I’d crossed the 20,000 unit mark. Amazon was still saying it was ranked higher than it should have been. I left the house and my KDP dashboard behind for a while in the afternoon. If it was this crazy during the afternoon, what would happen as evening approached? When I returned, I saw what I could have only hoped to see.

Number 1 in Kindle Store-2

Multiples was the #1 free book in the entire Kindle Store. No categories to get in the way. Just #1 overall. It’s 11:08 PM Tuesday evening as I write this bit. I have given away 44,718 copies of Multiples of Six, and sold 379 copies of its sequel, Divisible by Six. It’s now 11:38, and I’m entering this into WordPress. In the half hour that’s elapsed, the numbers are now 45,190 and 382. 472 books in 30 minutes. And that’s slowing down! Oh yeah, and I made my ad fee back… and then some. 😉

As I polish up this post on Wednesday morning, the ride isn’t quite done, but we’re on that slow coast back into the station. Tuesday’s grand total for book #1, according to Amazon, was 47,295. I’m not sure where their cutoff for the day is, but I’m guessing 12 AM PT. Today, I’ve added another 1641 copies in the wee hours, giving me a 60 hour total of 49,343. Oof! Book #2 fared well overnight and reached 409 units sold on Tuesday. Another 16 have sold this morning, giving me a 60-hour total of 434. Multiplied by $1.39 = ~$603. Not bank-breaking by any means, but not too shabby either.

Multiples of Six is still #1 on the free list as I post this. Later, however, someone else’s book will appear on BookBub and more than likely push me out of the way. Sure, I’ll get some play for a few days. My sale lasts until the 5th on both books. But the rocket to the top is over. Looking at Monday’s BookBub freebie, Jackpot by Susan Fleet, it’s still at #14 on the Free list. I’ll have to see where I stand in 24 hours. For now, though, I’m just excited to see how long the tail end lasts. At this point, it’s not unrealistic to expect over 55k total giveaways, possibly more. The ‘Bub turned out to be everything I had imagined it could be. Now, as my wife said, “Guess you’d better get your ass in gear on book #3, huh?” Yes dear!

If you’ve got any questions about my experience with BookBub, I hope you’ll ask them in the comments below. No secrets here! Or, if you’ve had experience yourself, please feel free to share! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

Thank you BookBub!

Number 1 in Kindle Store

#1 Overall Free in the Kindle Store

The day is young and my suspense thriller is sitting at #1 Free in the entire store! Wow… behold the power of the ‘bub. 😉

As of 4:20 PM Eastern, I’ve given away 28,443 copies of Multiples. And I’ve sold 240 copies of Divisible, its sequel, which covers the cost of the ad.

Oh, and I get a bonus 1-star review because of foul language on the first page. Sigh! At least future readers will know if they read the reviews. I think I smell a future blog post topic! 😀

More free books!

It seems like I’ve been giving away a lot of books lately. Well, I have…and it’s sort of addicting. 😀 If you’re interested, I am currently giving away book #1 in my pseudonymous suspense/thriller series. Multiples of Six is available for free on Amazon Kindle for a limited time (9/1-9/5). This full-length novel was released under my pen name in 2011 and was well received. There is also an audiobook, which can be added for just $1.99 with purchase of the ebook.  Book #2 in the series, Divisible by Six, is on a Kindle Countdown sale during this time as well, for just $1.99. And, last but not least, you can still sign up for a free signed paperback copy of Divisible by Six over at Goodreads. Phew! So much free goodness! Thanks for stopping by and feel free to share with your friends and neighbors. 😉


Like Suspense Thrillers? I’ve Written Two!

Both of the suspense/thrillers that I wrote under my pseudonym (Andy Rane) are on sale through Amazon for the next week (7/1 – 7/7) for just $0.99 each. Hope you’ll take advantage and pick them up or pass the word along to someone you think might like them. They are full-length novels and books #1 and #2 in a 3-part trilogy.  Just a word of warning, they are not YA, and thus why they were written under a pseudonym. They aren’t gratuitously violent, but the language is definitely R-rated.