Blog: Best Seller

This week: Stats from FREE Promo, sneak preview from Escher’s Stairs and another FREE OFFER. This week’s title is from an obscure movie but starred James Woods and Brian Denehy, both great actors. What happened to Woods after that recent Lawyer series?

Best Seller
BookCoverPreviewThe big news this week is that I had over 2500 downloads of Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate last week during it’s free promotion during which it made it all the way up to #74 in the Amazon US Best Sellers lists!! I can hardly believe it. Anyway more of that in a moment but don’t despair; the sneak preview is below this section this week.

First of all, my apologies for the late post this week. I was so busy trying to keep up with the unexpected high downloads of Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate; staying up all night to see how high it reached in the ranking and tweeting about the success in every language I could manage, that I didn’t have time to post. I really wish Amazon had a more logical system for feedback on how well your book is selling.
After some research I have found that it actually reached #74 and not #82 as originally posted. It was probably for a few minutes and there is no way of seeing this unless Amazon report it as they did in this case. See image below:

74rank

As I mentioned, one has to stay up all night to be sure you see your highest ranking, and, if you are lucky, see how high it gets in both the Best Sellers ranking and the Top 100 Free Kindles ranking. I made the mistake of not keeping an eye on things last time and I wasn’t goint to make the same mistake twice. Unfortunately my book never made it into the Top 100 Free Kindle lists on the Amazon website which is very odd because number one on the web page listing was only #119 in the rankings and number two was only #1500!! Confused? I am. I did however make it to #74 in the Best Sellers ranking but again this didn’t show up on the website. Furthermore there are books such as this which are always in the Top 100 Free Kindle list. I am not sure how this is possible so I emailed their support and this was their reply:

“We have minimum list prices that we require to accept KDP books for sale on the Kindle Store. However, sometimes we match free promotions on other sales channels, and we may do that in the future for this or other titles.
We’re sorry we haven’t been able to address your concerns to your satisfaction. We will not be able to offer any additional insight or action on these matters.”

Hm, very helpful!
I think it’s possible 1) these authors have died, 2) They have renounced their rights to the work and thus it is in the Public Domain, 3) The book is free elsewhere and Amazon is simply price-matching. I want to offer my first set of short stories for free permanently to draw in new readers (it would be a loss-leader) and method 3) seems to be the only one available to me. So I have made the first set of short stories free on smashwords.com. So far Amazon hasn’t price matched this but I will wait and see.

Anyway for the records here are the download figures for Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate:

US 2495
UK 46
Germany 17
France 4
Spain 1
Italy 3
Japan 1
India 3
Canada 8
Brazil 1

Total 2579

Since the sale ended I have had 15 sales of the book at the £2.99 rate (and about 4 sales of other books).

I am still not quite sure how the downloads took off so fast. Until the third day I had reached about 150 downloads but the curve was tapering off and I was a little disappointed. I decided on the Sunday to pay for a Facebook advert and started this late that night. Until Monday afternoon it had made little difference. I went to get something to eat and when I came back there had been 150 new downloads. I can only guess that something viral happened or perhaps the timing was right in America. As you can see, almost all of the downloads were in the USA. I find Facebook adverts a bit hit-and-miss; my first one wasn’t really good value for money but this one was- perhaps due to luck. If I sell a few more books I will have made back the money I spent and then it will all be profit!

Sneak Preview
This week’s sneak preview is the last from Escher’s Staircase. It’s from the section; Monk. It’s almost the only passage I can post here safely; the erotic content of the rest is far too erotic for the general public. If you like erotic literature, wait until the book is released and then download it! It should be out by the end of the year. I am still not sure if Amazon will ban it or not; the content guidelines say simply:

Pornography
We don’t accept pornography or offensive depictions of graphic sexual acts.

Offensive Content
What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect.

What the hell does any of that mean? My book is not pornography but serious literature. Furthermore they do carry books like Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon and Ada by Nabokov, both of which contain references to incest and other taboo sexual subjects. I don’t think my book is more offensive than these. What worries me is that Amazon might delete all my books as punishment before giving me a fair hearing, simply because I am not well-known. If any other writers have had to deal with such content on Amazon or anybody else has any suggestions, please get in touch.

Escher’s Staircase
Copyright © 2013 by Lazlo Ferran
All Rights Reserved

Whereas the men had not much spare material to construct the pew, they had made it short and consequently the two of us had to sit and kneel close together. Thus it was I could hear each one of her gentle breaths as we prayed.
During one particularly miserable evening, with heavy rain pattering on the wet linen roof, I thought I heard her weeping. I continued to pray but part of me was listening and then I knew it; she was weeping. This was the more surprising since I had come to think of her as a hard woman, belied by her gentle looks. Now I had the almost irresistible urge to look at her. It was however impossible for me to comfort her. Our vows did not permit such interactions between a monk and nun, unless it were in confession.
This weeping reoccurred several times during prayer over the next few days until I could stand it no longer. We were always alone during prayer – the lay brothers were not permitted to pray at the same time as we, so I suddenly turned to her:
“What is ailing you, Sister?” I sounded almost angry. This I regretted.
“It is nothing, Brother. I am old, an infirm. I am prone to various pains and ills. I… I… No, it doesn’t matter.”
Her reply irritated me more than if she had kept silent. Now there were questions in my mind. I tried to dismiss these but they persisted. They began to have a life of their own. It was not long before I found myself having tender feelings towards the Sister. This was confirmed to my conscious mind during an encounter she had with one of the other Sisters.
“What are you doing, Sister Agnes?” she admonished. “That bucket is too full! You are spilling half of it. If it is too heavy for you to carry, get one of the other sisters to help you, or lighten the load!”
“Yes, Sister Justyne!”
Though the girl looked hurt by the rebuke, I felt angry with her, and not Sister Justyne.
‘This is not good!’ I told myself. I began to think about talking to the Abbot about my feelings.
That evening, we both prayed as usual. I recited the Lord’s Prayer, which I usually did first, when I thought I felt something on my hand. I assumed it was a fly and attempted to flick it off. Then I knew it was something bigger. I finished the prayer with some difficulty and glanced to my left. Sister Justyne’s hand was against mine and again she was weeping. Instantly I felt my member stand to attention. I was shocked. I hadn’t felt this for so long that I believed it would never happen again.
“What are you doing?” I whispered.
“We are old,” she whispered. I sometimes wonder how it is women managed to make pithy remarks which somehow seem self-evident. If law courts made decisions purely based on verbal delivery women would make the best lawyers. For a moment I could not think of a suitable response. Then I nodded. I looked into her brown eyes. She held my gaze and for just a moment I believed that what we did was not wrong. It’s effect was like a rock entering a pool. The ripples spread through my soul until the calm water was once again a living, vibrant body of water. I finished praying and somewhat abruptly left for the security of my cell. I prayed right through the night for my own soul. However I did not mention it or confess. I didn’t even believe my own prayers that night.
The following day she grew bolder. I had hardly begun to pray when she took hold of my hand. Hers was cool to the touch but it was so delicate that I felt a welling of emotion. I clasped her own hand between my own and continued to pray. I was praying for both of us. I have to admit that I gave her little hand a tiny squeeze before finally releasing it. Now I was an accomplice. There was no going back. I didn’t even pray for our souls that night and went to work the following day almost sanguine about our secret alliance.

Other News
The Ice Boat Volume I is now FREE until 11 September. It’s my earliest major work; it has many faults but I think it’s of value so download it and give it a go. I have now relocated the manuscript for Volume II so that will be published one day.
I am within a day or two of finishing Escher’s Staircase, at last! This has been a pet project I worked on between other projects, on and off for the last two years. At first it was simply a sketch, then a series of sketches before I realised it might actually make a complete story. it still needs a lot of work but at least I can send an initial draft to two test readers. It has a lot of erotic content but this is not the heart of the book. That is a non-dimensional odyssey of consciousness for one man.
In the next few days I will do the final corrections on Attack Hitler’s Bunker! and then it will be published. The cover is already complete.

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