It’s exactly one year ago today that I pressed ‘publish’ on Amazon KDP and sent my debut novel out into the world, for better or worse. I remember how I felt as clearly as if it was yesterday (I nearly threw up), but in some ways it feels so much longer than just a year! I’ve documented my journey here on the blog from the day I first posted a couple of sample chapters of Can’t Live Without, and my goal has been to share the ups and downs of the process all the way. So today it’s all about CLW: I sent it out into the world without a clue to what might happen next, but this lovely book has done me proud. Here are the highlights:


May: Published on Kindle, sold 21 copies. Got my first reviews in on Amazon and – phew! – they were good.

June: Sales climbed to 116 this month, and I was amazed! Got a review from Chick Lit Central and was interviewed on BBC Three Counties radio (I was terrified).

July: A busy month! CLW went free and had 10,210 downloads. Got to #5 in Women’s Fiction bestsellers – below only the 50 Shades trilogy – and appeared at #2 on the Movers and Shakers list. Sold 1,800 copies in a week following the free promo! Reviewed by the lovely Kim the Bookworm, and released CLW in paperback. Total sales: 2,617. I’d gone into profit 🙂

18 July Wom categoryAugust: Featured in the Chester Chronicle and had my second radio interview on Stafford FM. This time I was less terrified 🙂 Sales quieted down to 656 – the post-promo slide well and truly in effect.

September: Appeared in Writing Magazine. Started to become inured to reviews on Amazon – the great ones as well as the not-so-great. Skin still thin as a wafer, but no more tears! Sales: 223

October: A quieter month, working hard on sequel. Sales settled at 127

November: Took copies of CLW to the Festival of Romance in Bedford, where I met some lovely fellow authors and a couple of readers too! And sold 5 books 😉 November sales: 136

The lovely Nicky Wells at the Festival of Romance
The lovely Nicky Wells at the Festival of Romance

December: Ran another free promotion just before Christmas, hoping to catch new Kindle owners, and achieved a massive 23,000 downloads! While the post-free results weren’t as magnificent as last time, I had more borrows  – about 600. This month CLW had sales of 828, and at least 600 of these were directly after the promo ended.

Jan 2013: Post-promo sales continued and this month ended on a total of 538 sales. Fantastic!

Feb: Sales back to usual levels at 116. CLW’s sequel released (The Family Trap), which would boost sales in the following months.

March: As predicted, sales of Can’t Live Without more than doubled to 280. Now with over 100 4 & 5 star reviews across the UK and US Amazon sites, CLW was selling steadily from ‘also bought’ lists without too much promotion from me. Or, in fact, any promotion. Which is nice 🙂

April: 175 sales, boosted by the success of the sequel.

And so to May 2013 – and some wonderful news that landed in my inbox yesterday: Can’t Live Without has been selected to receive a B.R.A.G. Medallion – a special award from the Book Readers Appreciation Group. What a lovely way to say Happy Birthday to my first (and secretly my favourite) novel.


I hope you’ll join me in celebrating today, and if you haven’t read CLW yet, you’ll find buying links at the end of the post. Unfortunately I have a cold and won’t be going out celebrating, but I will treat myself to a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit.

Can’t Live Without: The Figures!

Total ebooks downloaded including free: 40,500

Total ebooks sold (UK & US): 7,000

Total paperbacks sold: 150

There’s just one final, very important thing to say. Thank you! Thank you to you, my blog readers, and all the people who have downloaded a copy of Can’t Live Without or bought a paperback copy. Thanks to everyone who has read it, talked about it, left a review, shared it or featured it on their blog. Thanks to the wonderful Beta Readers for CLW, who offered their comments for everyone to see on the blog in February, March and April last year. Without your support, I would not have had the courage to publish my debut novel, and this journey would never have begun. Thanks, guys. You are the best.

Jo x

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