Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Guest Post - Jessica Norrie's experience of being part of an Amazon Promotion

I was lucky enough to get an agent straight away for “The Infinity Pool”, and he tried so hard to get it published, over 14 months or so. My rejections – for rejections they all eventually were – were courteous, constructive, polite, all ending with “I do hope you find a place for this as it deserves to reach a wide audience” – or similar. For some it was too lowbrow; for others, too highbrow. For some there was too little plot; for others, the story was too complicated, too pessimistic, too happy - whatever. It was clear that all these editors had read it all through, which apparently is not always the case, and it was equally clear that they all thought it was pretty good – just not, unfortunately, for their particular market. I “just didn't love it enough” was a phrase I grew to loathe.

OK, Bill said, let’s try KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). He has contacts there… it’s a surprisingly personal organization, Amazon. Immediately his contact saw the cover my clever photographer friends had designed for me, she asked for an exclusive for a year. She told him to enter it for promotions, alongside “real” books published by “real” publishers. 

The first promotions I got into were in September in the UK and simultaneously, Australia – apparently Australia is something of a testing ground for unknown authors. Well!(again). The Whinging Poms have adopted Infinity Pool positively but gradually, taking a nail biting month to push it up to a very respectable 45ish in literary fiction, alongside Rachel Joyce, John Steinbeck, Oscar Wilde – I’m not complaining! But the Aussies (despite less glowing reviews than In the UK) – they’ve gobbled it up! We watched in disbelief as we entered the top 50…the top 30 … the top 10. “You won’t go any further” said Bill. “Harper Lee’s in the way”. We passed Harper Lee. “Then there’s the Girl on the Train”. Huh! We redirected her into a siding and took the number one slot (to be fair, after a few days she was back on track ahead of us).

 At my age, I wouldn’t expect to be called a Hot New Release, yet that’s just what I’ve been, and I’m still pinching myself. These two promotions end on Sept 30th, and we’ll see what happens next – if Amazon think I did well enough, they may give me a USA promotion. I hope I get slight breather though – the charts are updated hourly and checking my position has become almost a nervous tic as I just can’t help looking to see if… or if… or if..

Being realistic for a minute, I must point out that you have to sell a helluva lot of books at AUS $1 each to make even £50, after paying 15% to the totally deserving agent and 30% to Amazon. But pile’em high and sell’em cheap works in other markets, so why not books? I’ve just passed the 2,000 mark which is around 1,950 more than I’d have expected. Watch this space and thank you for your interest!

The Infinity Pool

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Amazon AUS

Adrian Hartman is the charismatic director of the Serendipity holiday community set among pine trees on a sun baked island. His job is to ensure the perfect mindful break, with personal growth and inner peace guaranteed. His guests return year after year to bare their souls. For some, Adrian IS Serendipity.

But this year Adrian isn’t there, and nobody knows the reason why. Things have changed: staff and guests are bewildered without their leader and the simmering hostility of the local villagers is beginning to boil over.  Is the atmosphere of menace connected with Adrian’s absence? And will life on the island ever be the same again?

As romance turns sour and conflict threatens the stability of both communities, everyone has to find their own way to survive. This evocative novel explores the effect of well-intentioned tourism on a traditional community, and questions the real meaning of getting away from it all.

Author Bio:

A French Literature graduate of Sussex University, postgrad in Dijon and Sheffield, live in London, two adult “children”;  teacher/translator most of my working life, wrote novel on and off over years 2008-13 and to my surprise momentum took over and I finished it. Got agent  quickly, mainstream publishers have rejected it as well written but variously either too lowbrow or too highbrow for their target markets, but it’s doing very well indeed on Amazon. My next novel may be something to do with construction as I’ve had the builders in my house for a year so having not beaten them I’ll join them. But it may also feature a familiar character or two from the Pool…

Twitter: @jessica_norrie
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jessica-Norrie-1617940365158063/timeline/?ref=hl

Thank you to Jessica Norrie for agreeing to appear on Rachel's Random Reads. I was very interested to see her experiences with the KDP programme, and I hope that her experiences can provide some inspiration to other aspiring authors. 

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