6 January 2013

Holiday downloads

Click to enlarge

My novel The Penal Colony has been free at Amazon for the past few weeks, and consistently in the top five of the Action and Adventure and Thriller sections, though in recent days it has climbed higher yet and last night reached No. 10 in the overall chart of free books.

I was curious to see how downloading varied over the holidays, so each evening made a note of the number of registered downloads. Most of the downloads were made at the UK Amazon store; this book is less popular in the United States.

As you can see from the chart, there was a noticeable spike on Boxing Day, then a decline. The lowest figure was for New Year's Day, when people were otherwise occupied – or recovering from hangovers! To make up for this, there was another spike on 2 January.

While this exercise is of limited scientific value, it does show a pattern which surely reflects the number of e-readers and tablets received as gifts. It also shows the extraordinary popularity of ebooks. These days a title shifting 5,000 hardbacks a month is called a New York Times bestseller.

By the way, The Penal Colony's free run at Amazon should be ending soon, so if you want a copy for nothing please be sure to grab one right away!


Richard Phillotson said...

I thought I'd add a note regarding the e-readers: Over the holiday season, my Kindle II, with Keyboard died. It was only about 3 years old, so I was baffled. After careful examination and multiple testing, I came to the conclusion it may've needed a new battery. I called Amazon about the problem and their first solution was for me to send it back to them for exchange on another. However, mine was out of warranty., so they would offer a fair deal on a reconditioned e-ink model. But alas, it was 100 more than a new battery. Of course, I was still not sure a battery replacement would solve the problem and the folks at Amazon were not supportive of my changing the battery 'myself' as damage could be done to the unit. I persevered, took the chance, and the new battery works a treat!
NewPower99 sell a battery 'kit' complete with tools and instructions for the switch (which is also available on YouTube). The battery kit includes the necessary tools. The case is a bit of a nut to crack, but the job saved the price of replacing my reader!

Richard Herley said...

Thanks for the info. I'm prejudiced against built-in batteries, and much preferred the old-fashioned gadgets (Psion 3a, Casio Pocket Viewer, etc.) that ran off AA or AAA cells. However, we don't get much choice these days. The only e-reader I know of that uses consumer batteries is the Txtr, but that's tied to a bluetooth phone so we're back to Square One! Besides, the Txtr is pretty limited.