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July 3, 2013


At 12:00 Midnight, July first, I took a virtual snapshot of my Promotion’s final rating numbers. 

Were they as good as I’d hoped they’d be?  Are they ever? 

Were they what a reasonable person would anticipate?  I’ve never been accused of being reasonable!

The fact is, I had high hopes of this first Promotion being such a resounding success that it would, once-and-for-all,the critic silence the voices of the critics who announced that:

                 Your first in a sequel novel shouldn’t be promoted until the second is published.


                 It’s foolhardy to expect favorable results for a short story collection promotion.                              Period!

The fact that the critics are not going to be silenced—as will soon be amply clear when you check out the final tally—is a bit of a disappointment to me.

Before I get into the crunching of the numbers, I want to give my heartfelt gratitude to all those wonderful people who shared of their time and their effort in support of my promotion.  Most of them I sent emails to about a week before its onset, asking for their support by shooting out some tweets for each of the two books and mentioning my promotion on Face Book and any of the other social media sites.  To a few people I tweeted for their support.  Their responses, in all cases were heartwarming.

These are the names of those generous people, in no particular order: Claude Bouchard, Seumas Gallacher, Vonda Norwood, J.B. Villegas, Billy Ray Chitwood, Susan McIntyre, Martie Ingebretsen, Una Tiers, Joe Warnimont, Sonia Medeiros, Jay Hahn, John Betcher, Teresa Cypher, John Locke, Dicy McCullough, and Elise Stokes.  If there is any name I forgot—oh, shoot me now!—then I offer my posthumous apologies for the unforgivable oversight.

The above names are the ones whose help I solicited.  There were others, especially on Twitter, who honored me with Re-tweeting and Favoriting the promotional tweets that I (and all the above-mentioned others) sent.

happy sadSo, I’m sending out one gigantic whooping cheer to all those people who helped me.

And, to each and every one of these same people I offer my sincerest apologies!

That seeming paradox needs some explanation, but I believe once you see the numbers and watch their movements up or down the ranks, they may shed some light on it.

The Tally, then ….




Before Promo      End of 1st Day       End of 2nd Day      End of 3rd Day

    942,925                 N/A                           N/A                      150,180


     N/A                        1,994                         2,828                        3,746


     N/A                            28                              42                                57



Before Promo      End of 1st Day       End of 2nd Day      End of 3rd Day

     N/A                             114                          144                              161





Before Promo      End of 1st Day       End of 2nd Day      End of 3rd Day

   701,772                    N/A                         N/A                           91,530



     N/A                  NOT AVAIL               4,833                      1,244




     N/A                   NOT AVAIL                 26                               9




     N/A                    NOT AVAIL                 68                             16




     N/A                          12                                   20                              191



So, I’ve been standing at the blackboard, my back to a wonderfully understanding audience, but some of the most hostile judges ever gathered in one place (The numbers).  Yes … make no doubt about it, I am naked standing here on the stage!  And, I will thank you to look the other way.  Or cover my nakedness.

I feel like I should say at this point, “But seriously …”

Only, I am serious about my feelings while standing up here; after everyone worked so hard, for a total of four long days, that I should come up with such a lackluster performance.

And, lackluster is a compliment!

Just before the final tally I said the following words:

So, I’m sending out one gigantic whooping cheer to all those people who helped me.

damnedAnd, to each and every one of these same people I offer my sincerest apologies!

Now that the numbers are there for the world to see, it’s time to examine the dilemma of those two lines.  The first line is obvious and needs no explanation.  But, why do I feel the need, the strong urge to apologize?

I noticed by the end of the first day that the good folks at Twitter were being overexposed to my exuberance.  I think that THE GREATEST short STOR[ies] [I've] EVER TOLD  is a good book.  I’ll stop short of calling it great, but the stories in it are the greatest I’ve ever written.  Hence, the title.  The problem is when it’s offered for free, while at the same time it’s being shoved down everyone’s throat, it becomes a form of Twitular blitzkrieg.

The net result is this:  The product and the process can be cheapened.

And, because all my dear friends and supporters were a part of the process, I’m haunted by the thought that what they did out of the goodness of their hearts could cause their reputation among their friends and followers to be smudged or besmirched.

To be honest with you I was expecting at any time during the four day promotion that Twitter would suspend my membership, if not those of you who promoted me most heartily.  So again … *head hanging* I am sorry.

This post is running long.  I have some thoughts, observations, and suggestions that came out of this promotion.  I will share them next time.  I have two more promotion days for each book.  I am wide open for any suggestions on what I should do differently.  So please don’t be shy with them.

If you are new to my blog posts, welcome.  If you are also a writer who might want to have your own promo, I urge you to go back and read the earlier posts in this series, beginning with A Reluctant Manifesto.

If these series of posts about my promotion have been helpful to you, and you didn’t get your free copy of either of my books, do me the honor of buying one of them now.  They’re only $2.99 each.  They make thoughtful gifts for your friends or relatives.  And, something for the rest of you: if you got your freebie, and didn’t like it, buy one for a really hateful enemy!  It’ll drive him or her crazy, trying to understand the message in the title or the contents. 

Now, I’ll say it … “But Seriously …”

You guys and gals are what make this whole crazy, zany writing thing a worthwhile adventure.  Don’t change who you are and I won’t change who I am.



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  1. Reblogged this on Seumas Gallacher and commented:
    … no apologies needed from a Master Writer … :0

    • Seumas! You have been SO generous with everything, including your compliments. Thank you, my friend.

  2. Now you get back up there and take that back! Not one of us expect an apology (I’m guessing here). Jay, you gave it your best effort, right? Okay then, that’s all we needed to hear.
    My only suggestion is to apply more research to the challenge. Read all the top bloggers on promoting self-pub books. Wish I could spout off their names…if I can, I will send you some links if you feel they are needed.
    Oh, and take notes, because I’ll need them soon :>)
    P.S. The writing is NOT the issue here. IMHO

    • Bless you, Patti. You are so sweet! What I regret was that I couldn’t find a way to ask people who were supporting me on Twitter and Facebook to cut back just a little without dampening their perception of the overwhelming gratitude I felt for what they were doing. And I WAS afraid Twitter would come down on them for over-proselytizing (which might, by Twitter, be considered Spam!) Truly, though, I wasn’t embarrassed for myself or my effort. There has to be a reason for what happened and I’m determined to find out what it was (Including getting the sequel to RSVP into print and quiet that first critic, LOL!)

      I am so moved, though, to see your concern about my feelings. You are a true friend.


      • I actually leave twitter when I see 5 book promos in a row and the 10 secs later 5 more…However, I didn’t see that many for your book.
        Well, keep us posted (such a salient comment these days) and good luck.

      • I’ll keep you in the loop, Patti. Thanks for the encouraging words.


  3. Hey Jay, when I look at your numbers I see a nice lift in rank and 191 people who hadn’t read your book before that now have it in there hot little hands(or e-readers or…) Don’t give up and keep writing.

    • That’s a wonderful way to look at it, Richard. I like your attitude. Oh, be certain, I won’t give up. Thank you for dropping by and please come back again. The next post will contain what I carried away from the promo. Hope you catch it.!

  4. Congratulations, Jay on your success. This gives encouragement to others trying to break into the market.

  5. I was shocked to see not many were downloaded for free. I’ve heard this kind of promo usually gets an author 900 plus downloads. And those authors usually have a lot less promo help.
    But on the bright side, this freebie event will help sell your next new release! You are a fantastic writer and you write wonderful stories. That’s what counts. You have a lot fans. Just keep doing what you’re doing.
    There’s no shame in what has happened! Just expectations not acquired. This was a successful test, Jay!!! A very successful test!!!
    Also, a lot of the freebies out there are brand new releases. That did make a big difference. The audience isn’t as big as we believe it to be.
    I believe a lot of authors have problems selling their works because people can’t identify them to their works. Too many mentions of other artists. People are having trouble connecting the dots.
    We all make split decisions whether to click or not click on a tweet. Nobody wants to spend 5 to 20 minutes in search of a particular tweeter’s own mention.
    Congratulations, Jay!!!
    I believe you were VERY SUCCESSFUL!!! And I will be happy to purchase your future works!!! :-D

    • Thanks, Vonda. It sounds like this was hard for you to write. Not one single LOLOLOLOL! Yes, it was odd that I gave away so few copies. Simce they are e-books it took a lot less room for me to store the unsold copies. LOLOLOLOL. I really was not devastated by the results of the promo. Disappointed, yes, but that just gives me drive toward the next promo that I will work much differently. I’ll learn from that as well. You have always been so kind in your assessment of my writing. With supporters like you, I know it will “click” sometime. You are wonderful, Vonda!

      • I think you are wonderful, Jay!!! I didn’t like the tone in your voice. You seemed upset, so I wasn’t feeling the LOLOL. I know you weren’t devastated. But profoundly surprised, is what I thought you might have been feeling. I know you, you’ll analyze this experiment and see it for what it’s worth I honestly believe it was a very successful experiment!!!
        And as far as your writings/your books go, this experiment ISN’T a reflection on your ability to entertain in a good book!!! It’s also not about popularity. Your stories are wonderful! You are a fantastic writer! There are too many free ebooks. Too hard to shine through all the piles. More authors than readers…
        We as Indies can’t take it to heart, when expectations are not met. No matter how good the work is.
        But it’s a good thing you love your stories! I know you do!!! It shows.
        I gotta go cut the meat for sandwiches.
        Happy Independence Day!!!
        XOXOXOXOXO!!! :-D

      • You present a poignant argument, Vonda, LOL! Seriously, thanks. Yes, I gotta say I do love my stories. And, I’m so pleased you find them Wonderful. It’s funny how everyone is feeling sorry for me. I wish they wouldn’t. I cant stress how much I am looking forward to taking my knowledge from this promo into the next one.

  6. I’m a children’s worship leader and there is a song based on Joshua 1 called “Never Give Up”. The chorus goes as follows:
    Never give up, ’cause He’s always there
    Never give up, any time anywhere,
    Never give up, ’cause He’s always there
    Remember God is always on your side.

    Bless you for all you give and all you share. I tried to get the free book but I haven’ a kindle so I tried a different way — that didn’t work.
    Just to let you know… some of us un-techies are stumped on tiny details (I know you gave insight and link to an app) which are no reflection of interest. It’s just that Ebook is still not straightforward.
    Saying that, for thousands it is just as it’s intended. For those thousands, there are an equal number of books. So, ironically your short stories sold at a higher rating than the novel. Just goes to show no one really knows the market out there. And so, “Never give up” is apt.
    Best to you and thanks for all you do for others in navigating this publishing/writing/promo world.

    • Bless you, Sarah, for your thoughtful and hopeful commentary. I know I am where I should be at the end of the promotion, since I did all that I thought would lead to a successful promo. There is, of course, a lot that I don’t know about the process in terms of timing, sources of support, amount of support — so many things. There will be more promotions. I’ll let you know when so you can download Kindle on PC and snag your copies.

  7. Thanks for mentioning me in a tweet that links to this; I really appreciate it. Wishing you get all the success you deserve on your hard work .

    • Thank you for dropping by, Ayah, and leaving this comment. I did drop by your webpage and hope that a lot of other people stop by and make it the success it deserves. It is very creative and upbeat. I hope you find this blog to your liking as well.

  8. Reblogged this on Justin Kassab.

    • Justin, you’re up to your usual mischievous good works! Thank you and Bless you for your kindness.

  9. Hello Jay,

    Sorry I’ve been too busy to track your experiment and promotion adventure. Whatever the numbers, your honesty gives you lots of brownie points and upholds your integrity.

    I would make a suggestion, however. I think you really shine at non-fiction narrative. You should try to compile a book of memoirs and share all the wonderful sotires from your real life. Also, many of your blog posts themselves could be included in that book.

    Keep writing,

    • Rajiv, thanks for stopping by again! I appreciate your suggestions about the memoir, but don’t you think I should wait ’til my 80s for that? I have so much more to learn in those seven years. You are deeply appreciated, my friend.

  10. **Stories** I meant! Damn the typos. lol….

  11. J. b. Villegas permalink

    Jay, Numbers matter, and  place on the hierarchy of writers matter, but it’s not the whole universe to those who believe you write exceptionally good! Keep writing. You have the tools for it! JB


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