Monday, 29 July 2013

The BEST time to download a FREE ebook?

The last 3 days of the month and very beginning of the next month are for some reason a poor time for people to buy ebooks. Could that be because people are waiting to be paid at the end of the month and busy paying bills at the month start? If that's the case then the end of a month would be the best time to give away books.

So here's my contribution to help you out, Here's a free Top 20 ebook so you don't have to stop reading (If you read on an iWhatever try That's it at the bottom of this page.

There are loads of other free ebooks available - Here's the Amazon links to find them:

NOW is a GOOD time to get FREE ebooks.

Why would an author give away a book?

  • Book 1 in a series is often given away - the author hopes you will like it and go on to buy the rest of the series (That's my free series book 1 ebook below) 
  • New authors need to get their name out there. They hope you will talk about the book to your friends and maybe write a review?
  • Free books are by far the most popular on Internet. Each one downloaded raises the book's standing in the popularity lists and that makes it more visible, even when it isn't free.
Of course this all assumes people are struggling for money at the end of the month. That's not true for everyone. It may be that as well as giving away free books you should also offer your most expensive books. What do you think?

About the book: If someone told you that the Earth would be destroyed by collision with a rogue planetoid in the year 7141 you would not be very concerned. 'I'll be dead then - the people alive then can sort out the problem' you would think. Our children would think the same, and their children, and... so on. There would come a time though when those alive in the year 7000 would find it's too late to do anything about it.

Enter Sir Richard Triplet into the equation. He has a plan and he's started work on it already in secret. One of his key elements is to start research into greatly extending human lifespan. After all - if you were to become immortal would you feel that planetoid problem is a little more urgent?

Immortality Gene is the first book in a series. It's based on technology which is beginning to be available now. Book one of the 'A Vested Interest' series is free and covers the development of a virus which 'infects' everyone with immortality. Along the way it deals with corporate jealousy at the highest levels, greed, spite, vengeance, conspiracy, advanced technology, medicine, love and betrayal, and, of course, the very essence of life itself.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Is there a best time or date to promote your books?

For the last six months I've been monitoring ebook sales statistics by the hour and believe I now have enough data to draw some conclusions. Take a look at this chart:
What's immediately apparent is sales at the end and beginning of the month are either low or non-existent. Granted this only covers the first 6 months of this year but I perceive a pattern! Why would this happen? Could it be that my readers run out of money at the end of a month and probably pay most of their bills on the first day of each month? If that's the case then giving away free books then should be a good idea.

Let's zoom in and see what a day of the week chart looks like:
There isn't a vast difference but it seems weekends are the best time to sell books and Thursday is a quiet day.

Let's zoom in further and look at the hours of the day. I'm based in the UK so I've used UTC time:
Now remember this represents total sales over six months. I don't sell 80 books an hour! (yet?)
It would seem there are good and bad times to promote.
12:00 am (midnight) UTC means: In the UK people may be reading in bed, In the US they are getting home from work, In Australia and New Zealand it's lunchtime
5:00 pm UTC means: many people in the UK will be commuting home; The US is just staring lunch; Australia is asleep and New Zealand just about to wake up.
At the other end  2:00 am UTC: The UK is asleep apart from the person who read all 9 of our A Vested Interest series (1.2 million words) in a 4 day marathon; The US is travelling home from work; Australia is busy working and New Zealand has just finished lunch.
It does seem that 2:00 am and 7:00 am UTC are not the best times to schedule Tweets but not promoting then will mean you miss some sales.

What about weekends - Do you get different results?

 Pretty much the same apart from 3:00 pm UTC when the UK and US are at work weekdays, Australia is going to bed and New Zealand is fast asleep. It seems weekdays at 3:00 pm is the worst time to promote.

Where and how did I get this data? I subscribe to This is a free service which will track book sales. I registered all my books and subscribed to their RSS feed. Each time a book is sold I get an email message with the details something like:
"Dark Secrets (A Vested Interest)" by Shelia Chapman, John Chapman (Kindle Edition) has sold 1 book on on Monday, Jul 1, 2013 at 3am (GMT) Western Europe Time, London, Lisbon, Casablanca.
It has jumped to a new Amazon SalesRank of 21,492 from a previous SalesRank of 41,322.    
I took all these emails for the last 6 months and tweeked them to fit a spreadsheet.

If you do this your results won't be exactly the same of course. We write a series and give away the first book free. I think it takes the average reader 10-20 days to read the first free book - at least, when we do a promotion, that's how long it takes for the second book's sales to start rising.

We sell more books than the average indie author but still not an astonishing number - not enough to live on. To get a more accurate picture we should compare our results with a few moderate sellers and a few top 100 indie authors. That would be possible since you can track other author's sales too. I just don't have the time though. Anyone want to help?