Wow. I can’t even.
I mean really.
Twelve authors who were already Amazon bestselling authors in their own individual rights. Check.
Twelve brand new, never-before-published novels. Check.
A dynamite cover image. Check.
Solid deadlines. Check.
Tons of promotion. Check. Check, Check.
But still, how do you know when you’ve done enough? It’s impossible to. Our pre-orders shot out of the gate 90 days before the set released on June 28, but things slowed down once our most eager fans had reserved their copies. We promoted on book sites and picked up more pre-orders, but there was definitely a sagging middle that made us wonder if the goal was remotely within our reach.
With two weeks left to go, we began to promote more heavily again. Guests on book blogs. Facebook ads. More promotion sites. More tweets. More sharing in Facebook groups. A six-day Facebook event. The big question in our group was always the same. “How do we reach beyond our core readers?”
We watched with bated breath as the pre-orders went “live” overnight June 27-28. Watched as the set’s rank climbed to reach #1 in Christian contemporary romance on Amazon. Waited to see what the best over-all rank would be. That was #384, and I was sure that wouldn’t be enough to break into the top 150 for USA Today. That lovely #1 category banner only lasted a day.
It couldn’t possibly be enough.
USA Today requires books to be available on multiple retailers, not just Amazon, so any books ahead of us enrolled in Kindle Unlimited (exclusive to Amazon) were not competing for a USAT spot. And Amazon also attributes rank as pre-orders come in, not as the sales go “live.” This means that our sales rank didn’t ever reflect the thousands of pre-orders that were actually “sold” simultaneously.
It couldn’t be enough! But it was. We were ecstatic on Wednesday afternoon as the weekly roll-out on USA Today went live. Not only had we made the list, we’d nailed a significant spot at #79! (The list goes to #150.) You can see the USA Today bestselling list for this week here (71-80). Or, if you prefer, here is the PDF version of the list.
I binged on gingersnaps. Today, it’s back to normal.