WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Reading lessons

Here’s a fun fact. You know which of my books is the most successful? The answer might surprise you.

The truth is, it’s Our Children Are Not Our Children – my collection of “five tiny tales of our times.”

Why is it so successful? Why are copies flying off the virtual shelves every week? Because it’s frickin’ free, that’s why!

How successful is it? It’s sitting at No. 84 (38!) right now on the Literature & Fiction/Satire list, or, it would be if Amazon showed free books on their lists. I’m not sure why Amazon bothers ranking free books when they can’t be seen on the lists by people who scan for reading ideas there. Just one of the many mysteries surrounding this biz.

But even though hundreds, maybe thousands of people have downloaded Our Children Are Not Our Children, it still has just twelve reviews, and few if any of the downloaders appear to have purchased my other books based on having read the freebie. Because those books cost money. A tiny tiny amount of money.

Anyway. There you have it. I can honestly describe myself as “bestselling author, Kevin Brennan,” if I stretch the meaning of “bestselling” a little bit.

Considering making In No Particular Order free too. What have I got to lose?

17 comments on “Reading lessons

  1. pinklightsabre
    September 27, 2017

    “Bestselling,” emphasize air quotes…weird.

    • Kevin Brennan
      September 27, 2017

      Maybe I should go with Top 100 Author and lose the air quotes …

      • pinklightsabre
        September 27, 2017

        Do it. Quotes suck, generally.

  2. kingmidget
    September 27, 2017

    Congratulations!!

    Er … it’s a frustrating thing. I continue to sell a couple of downloads of One Night in Bridgeport every week. If I increased the price to 2.99 or 4.99, that would stop. Meanwhile all those traditionally published authors get to sell the Kindle version of their books for 11.99, 12.99, and more. Sigh.

    • Kevin Brennan
      September 27, 2017

      I haven’t paid more than 10 bucks for an ebook in a long time out of principle. Their scheme has backfired! 😝

  3. islandeditions
    September 27, 2017

    Which is why I have long tried to convince everyone to read our books based on not how many copies sell (bestselling) but on how many are actually read – and then recommended to other readers (most read). But no one is listening to me … Bestselling lists were first created by publishers in order to sell more books – not to encourage more reading of those books. So why can’t authors and readers create their own way of judging the validity of any book, and its worthiness to be added to a reader’s to-be-read list? But I’ve always been whistling into the wind, though.
    https://islandeditions.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/most-read-vs-best-sold-my-purple-cow/

    • Kevin Brennan
      September 27, 2017

      No wonder I hardly ever read bestsellers! 😉

      • islandeditions
        September 27, 2017

        Remember, I worked in the biz, and at that time we went out with catalogues of new books to sell to booksellers and librarians, touting that such-and-such was sure to be a “bestseller” … before the books were printed. How did the publishers know that? A lot of the ranking of those “instant bestsellers” came about, not due to actual sales of the book to readers, but based on the advances we sales reps were able to get our customers (booksellers) to commit to ordering. By suggesting that “Oprah might be interested”, those orders from the booksellers immediately increased.

  4. John W. Howell
    September 27, 2017

    How about “Best Gifting Author?”

    • Kevin Brennan
      September 27, 2017

      Hey, not a bad idea. Makes me sound generous … 😉

  5. Audrey Driscoll
    September 27, 2017

    My free books (one substantial and a few short stories) have always done way better than the ones with a price. And there aren’t that many reviews, but the ones it has attracted (on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads and Smashwords) have been pretty positive. I suppose the market for books by unknown authors, however competent, is saturated. Those expectation adjustments are starting to get painful. I do like “Best Gifting Author.”

    • Kevin Brennan
      September 28, 2017

      I think you’re right about the saturation factor. In readers’ eyes, there’s just no reason to pay for an unknown quantity. Fooey!

  6. 1WriteWay
    September 28, 2017

    I like Best Gifting Author too 😏 I wonder if it’s a cultural thing. Most people in this country think art should be free to the consumer in part because art doesn’t “produce” anything … like widgets. I understand that there are so many self-published unknown authors that most readers are hesitant to plunk down even $1.99 for an ebook. But still, I would think a true reader, one who really values good writing, would have happily invested in your other books after reading your freebie.

    • Kevin Brennan
      September 28, 2017

      I guess there’s just so much free reading out there that people who download Children move on to the next freebie instead of plunking down two bucks for Fascination. Oh well …

      • 1WriteWay
        September 29, 2017

        As a consumer society, people are most focused on quantity vs quality. Some people might just like to accumulate books for the sake of accumulating books. After all these years of reading blogs of self-published authors, I’ve kind of given up trying to understand today’s “readers.”

      • Kevin Brennan
        September 29, 2017

        And what’s the point in accumulating ebooks that you’ll never read? You can’t even see them on your shelves! 😡

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This entry was posted on September 27, 2017 by in Publishing and tagged , , , .
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