breaking away from the pack

Breakaway Media author J. Carson Black cracks Amazon top 100

By on March 20, 2011 in J. Carson Black

Thriller crime fiction novel Darkness on the Edge of Town by J. Carson Black
It’s been a wild ride this week for Breakaway Media author J. Carson Black. On Wednesday, March 16, Darkness on the Edge of Town made #90 on the Amazon Top 100 Best Seller List, thriller category, all books.

Darkness on the Edge of Town also made it all the way down to #305 in Amazon ranking for all books/all categories, and #6 in Books and #6 in Kindle in the police procedural category. Great to see the book on the list positioned with greats like Lee Child and Dan Brown.

So what happened? We can only look back at what we did leading up to the 16th and try to draw some conclusions. We dropped the other two books in the Laura Cardinal Series to 99 cents (Dark Side of the Moon and The Devil’s Hour). And in that one day, over 300 books were sold. Darkness on the Edge of Town is the first book in the series and the flagship–it sells the most–for now.

It’s not easy to stay up with the “big boys” on the Best Seller list, hard to sustain that, but the efforts have paid off very well. That day, we did go on the Kindle discussion boards and promoted The Devil’s Hour like crazy, some Dark Side of the Moon, and some Darkness on the Edge of Town. And Darkness was the biggest beneficiary. We also promoted the three books together, playing the value card of 99 cents each.

The other two books are doing very well. The sales numbers have already more than tripled from last month and we are on track to increase sales for J. Carson Black five-fold this month over last. eBook readers appear to be a value and cost-conscious bunch, which is fine as long as the sales numbers are there.

So then the Amazon listmania people picked up on the book and it’s being reflected on three listmanias, and now Darkness on the Edge of Town is in the “people who bought” pages with several of the top sellers.

We can only surmise it was some weird feeding frenzy, but it did get the Laura Cardinal Series noticed. We’ve heard some anecdotal evidence that in the eBook market sometimes a sort of viral push gets going and a buying flurry results. It’s short term but the benefit is that it gets our books into the hands of a lot more people who buy more books and tell their friends who buy books….

It appears that once you can create a sort of “Echo Chamber” where readers are seeing your book everywhere and hearing about them, it becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It’s a build, a slow build, but the evidence is there that once you take off, you REALLY take off. We’re waiting for our turn to break into the five-figure monthly sales range.

The motion has already started. Today, Darkness on the Edge of Town received its first Amazon review in three years (since it’s original Penguin/Signet mass market edition debut), a five-star review. Keep ’em coming.

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There Are 2 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Nice work, Glenn! Keep trying new things. It’s a dynamic market and your insights are valuable.

  2. Trying new things is key. And learning from those who are breaking new ground, like JA Konrath. It’s a turbulent time. New York Times best selling thriller author Barry Eisler recently turned down a $500,000 publishing deal from his publisher to keep his eBook rights and self-publish. And eBook author Amanda Hocking, who has blown off the self-publishing roof, recently accepted a $2 million deal from a traditional New York publisher. Amazing times indeed.

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