Wednesday, March 6

The Day I Became a #1 Amazon Bestseller

The news was extra exciting last week. There were asteroids aplenty and no-one could quite seem to locate Bruce Willis to deal with them. Then: BAM!! One hit the earth, hit Russia in a terrifying streak of fire, with a huge explosion and shock waves that blew people off their feet, shattered windows, and had people screaming and running for cover. Fortunately, nobody lost their lives. 

Scientists lined up to tell us all how unlikely this all was. (But of course, being scientists, also told us it was quite likely really. It depended on which network you watched.) "What're the chances," my spouse remarked. "About as much chance as me hitting a bestseller list, " I replied. How we laughed. Well, I did. My spouse ignored me. It is his default and entirely sensible position. 

Sunday dawned as an unremarkable Sunday. Then I saw a post on Facebook from another historical writer: Cora Lee, who writes Historical Romance: 'Today's Kindle Daily Deal, and a great read!' The thumbnail was The Fifth Knight

My book. I was the Kindle Daily Deal. 

I messaged my agent, Josh Getzler. Even though it was Sunday, I got a message right back. All normal Sunday activity got suspended. I grabbed my laptop and watched my Amazon rankings. All day. I might have done something else (must have, if you think more closely about it) but I don't remember. Those rankings rose. And rose.

By 10:30 p.m. GMT (it was still day in the US!), I was heading for the top ten in the overall Kindle Store. And #2 on Historical, #3 on Action & Adventure. The only books above me on Action & Adventure were Life of Pi and Dan Brown's forthcoming release, Inferno. I was wildly excited to see my book underneath those two. I posted this on FB. Everyone agreed it was cool. Josh's reply was 'Piece of cake'. Because of course I was never going to knock those two off the top spot. 

At 11 p.m., I did. BAM!! I think is probably the most accurate description. If an asteroid had personally pulled up in a cab, rang the doorbell, delivered a meteorite pizza and THEN exploded, I could not have been more shell-shocked. Then my book did the same thing in Historical. Two #1s. Two of the little orange tags against The Fifth Knight that said #1 Best Seller.

So who did this? Who made this disturbance in The Force happen? Well, of course my wonderful agent. And of course my fabulous publishers, Thomas & Mercer. They had bought it and given it a great head start as a Kindle Serial and ensuring it had really solid sales. And of course, whoever decided that it was to be the Kindle Daily Deal. 

But as with anything in publishing, the people who make it happen, who really, really make it happen are the people who buy books. Who take their hard earned dollars/pounds/euros and are prepared to spend them on a book. Prepared to spend them on mine.

In the early days of Kindle Serials, those folks had nothing to go on. There are no Advance Review Copies with Serials. My reviews had to build from the ground up. And did they ever. By the time The Fifth Knight went on Daily Deals, there 78 of them, the vast majority 5 and 4 star. 

People wrote such lovely things about how much they'd enjoyed the book. How much they'd waited for the next episode in the serial. People posted on the Discussion Boards for each episode, with great comments, questions. They gave of their time, which is as precious as cash, to let me know as a writer how much my work had meant to them. 

One man even sent me a sweet message on Goodreads on December 29. That is Thomas Becket's Feast day, and this reader had a devotion to the saint and wanted to wish me well. Another reviewer went back and updated her review at each episode. I can't believe people's generosity. My life is so busy that some days I can't even remember if I've brushed my hair or not. The First Mrs Rochester look most evenings would suggest not.

I like to thank people where and when I can for buying my book and for posting a review. There are far, far too many of them to do that personally now. So to everyone who has, who has made this writer able to say she's a #1 Amazon Best Seller: thank you. You're the best.

The Fifth Knight is available here on and here on The sequel, The Blood of the Fifth Knight will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1st 2015. 

Visit E.M. Powell's website:


  1. That's fantastic! I remember when you posted on FB. Congratulations!! I hope your success keeps going.

  2. Wonderful, and wonderful to enjoy your sharing the tale.

  3. Congratulations!!! No better feeling, is there? ;o) It is like watching your baby take its first steps, or you kid making the winning touch down! ;o) Keep up the good work!

    Suzan Tisdale


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