The TranzCon Series

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It's absolutely amazing how time flies by.  The last time I updated this site it was just three weeks since Female 22 officially went live.  Now that date is slipping into the past because today is the 20th of April so a whole 5 months have gone by since Female 22 was launched.

As before I've kept an eye on the KDP report page to see how many people have helped themselves to a copy and it's exciting to get up every morning to see how many more pages have been read on "Kindle Unlimited".  Sometimes it's just a few, other times it's more than a whole book.  So either several people were reading, or someone was so gripped they just carried on right through to the end.

Back in November I started off with a series of five free days (the maximum number permitted by Amazon in each 90 day period) and got a  useful number of downloads (an amazing 279).

Then in January this year I got my new allocation of free days and a total of 135 copies were downloaded.

Then there were the sales.  Despite trying to tell everyone they could have an e-book copy of Female 22 free, gratis and for nothing, the message obviously didn't get through and more than just a few people actually paid for their copy (113 of them so far).

Then there were the people who've subscribed to Kindle Unlimited who pay a set amount each month and read as much as they want, and to date they've read a total of 120 books.  At the end of each month the money paid into Kindle Unlimited by the subscribers is divided up amongst the authors according to the number of pages read so that generates even more income.

What did I do with the money?  Buy a luxury apartment on the French Riviera?  No such luck, I'm not playing the game in that league yet.  I just recycled the money back into advertising.

The Giveaways

Then I set up a Giveaway via Goodreads and that was amazing.  A total of 1406 people requested the 20 copies I'd offered (which means 1386 were disappointed).  The page where a dozen or so people listed Female 22 as "to read" suddenly jumped to 19 pages because over 500 people had now shown an interest.

So, I decided on a clever trick - I'd offer another five books in a Giveway but this time I'd put a bit in the text about the book being a free Kindle download in May (every Saturday).  Unfortunately, when Goodreads approved my Giveaway they didn't tell me they'd edited out the details of the free download.  Ah well.

The Bottom Line

What it all adds up to is that 645 books have downloaded via Amazon, and when you add that to the mobi. copies I’ve emailed to people who contacted me, the Goodreads Giveway and the promotional print copies I’ve posted here and there it means there are over 750 copies of Female 22 out there.

Seven hundred and fifty? Is that all?

Well for the Andy Weir’s and the Anne Leckie’s of this world it’s not. But everyone’s got to start somewhere (journey of thousand miles begin with first step!). Every book in circulation potentially leads to a review, and reviews are what makes a book a success. Get a hundred reviews and people start to take notice. After that the going gets easier, or so I’m told. Eventually the world beats a path to your door; agents and publishers who previously sent “Dear John” letters suddenly realise they might have been just a little too hasty. Movie and TV miniseries makers get in on the act and the next thing you know you’re famous all over the world.

Well that would be very nice, but I just like the idea that people are reading my book.

Future Plans

For the first batch of free download days I relied entirely on my own marketing efforts. I sent out hundreds of letters and emails out to book clubs, sci-fi societies, university societies etc. and the response was good, particular on the site (catering primarily to the US market). My home country (the UK) has been a steady performer with a few books going to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and France.  Then when Christmas and New Year were over I ventured into paid advertising using organisations that claim they Tweet every day to endless thousands of eager book-lovers and hopefully that resulted in a number of downloads in my second batch of five free days.

Now I'm looking forward to May when I get my next allocation of free days from Amazon.  I'm hoping that this will be the time Female 22 really starts to get noticed.


I know I keep hacking on about reviews, but it really is important - the more reviews you get, the more other readers take notice.  So I'm just a little unhappy that even after 5 months I've still only got 21 reviews on Amazon.  The star ratings are good with 4.2 on the dot com site, 4.4 on the dot site and 4.3 on Goodreads, but what I need is MORE!  Please readers, please - it doesn't matter so much for authors who're already mega-successful because their books will just sell and sell anyway - but for a "new-on-the-scene" author like myself it really does make the difference between a book that makes it and one that's a dismal failure.

The Sequel

Now that I’ve come to a bit of a lull in the marketing effort I’m getting up to date with all the stuff that’s been left on the back burner, including updating my website for example. But, when all those long overdue jobs are done and I’m back in my lady’s good books I might even find the time to make progress with “Requiring of Us a Song”.