Monday, May 13, 2013

Gull Harbor - Amazon Best Seller! Kathryn Knight

Thankfully, sales are still going strong after Gull Harbor's debut on Kindle.  As part of Amazon's Kindle Select Program, the title was offered for free for 5 days in April, and it hit the #1 ranking in the Free Store in Fantasy Romance.  Many of my fellow authors were interested in how I promoted my free days, so last week I blogged about all the effort I put into spreading the word.  And as I researched ranking categories for that post, I discovered something that helped propel Gull Harbor onto a Best Sellers list in the Paid Store.

Paranormal Romance is a huge catch-all genre, incorporating stories that include vampires, angels, demons, witches, wizards, fairies, time travel, ghosts, shifters, and anything else an author's mind can conjure up.  At The Wild Rose Press, it's such a popular genre that we have two separate lines: Faery Rose publishes the "lighter" paranormals, such as angels and time travel, and Black Rose publishes the paranormals with a "darker" element, such as werewolves and vampires.

But Amazon is different, and I'm still learning my way around this enormous marketplace.  Both my novels are ghost stories--with human heroes and heroines attempting to unravel a mysterious haunting--which are not as numerous as paranormal romances involving vampires or demons.  I know from my personal reading preferences that the only "ghost" subcategory in Amazon falls under horror.  While there are a lot of spooky and suspenseful moments in both Silver Lake and Gull Harbor, I would never classify them as horror.  So I didn't give subcategories much thought, especially since our marketing department handles our book listings on all the various sites they are offered for sale.

If I understand correctly, each Kindle book can be classified under two categories.  Both my novels were entered as Romance>Paranormal and Romance>Fantasy.  Truthfully, with the millions of titles available on Amazon (over 2 million currently on Kindle), I never expected to see much of a breakdown for my titles other than overall ranking. 

But the exposure gained by Gull Harbor's free days paid off.  Even after the free promo was over, the title stayed within the top 100 Best Sellers in Romance>Fantasy in the paid store for a while.  And as I wrote up last week's blog post, I noticed something I hadn't considered before.

The Romance>Fantasy category has no subcategories to narrow the rankings down--but Paranormal Romance has four:  Demons & Devils, Psychics, Vampires, and Witches & Wizards.  I'd been so fixated on "ghosts" as the paranormal element in my books, it actually took me a second to realize Gull Harbor fits nicely into "Psychics".  In the blurb, Claire is described as a "medium"--but that's essentially short for "psychic medium".  While she's recently embraced her talent for communicating with restless spirits, she is of course completely human.  For that reason, I just wasn't thinking of her as paranormal. 

I fired off a quick email to our marketing director, and Gull Harbor was moved into this more narrow category within Paranormal Romance.  Since then, it has stayed on the list of Top 100 Best Sellers in Psychic Romance.  It soared as high as #5 out of those top 100, and is currently at #20. 

It's been thrilling to see my novel on the first page in the Paid Kindle Store.  While I know it won't last forever, I'm trying to live in the moment and enjoy the ride!  And taking time off from working on my YA paranormal to write and research that blog post truly made an impact for me this time...if only I'd taken the time to capture a screen shot of that #5 ranking! 

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