Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?

THE VASE

A novel by Mark M. DeRobertis

Muhsin Muhabi is a Palestinian potter, descended from a long line of potters. His business is run from the same shop owned by his ancestors since the day his forebears moved to Nazareth. The region's conflict saw the death of his oldest son, and rogue terrorists are in the process of recruiting his youngest in their plot to assassinate the Pope and Israeli prime minister.

Professor Hiram Weiss is an art historian at Nazareth’s Bethel University. He is also a Shin Bet operative on special assignment. With the help of fellow agent, Captain Benny Mathias, he plans to destroy the gang responsible for the death of his wife and only child. He puts a bomb in the ancient vase he takes on loan from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.

Mary Levin, the charming assistant to the director of Shin Bet, has lost a husband and most of her extended family to recurring wars and never-ending terrorism. She dedicates her life to the preservation of Israel, but to whom will she dedicate her heart - the brilliant professor from Bethel University - or the gallant captain who now leads Kidon?

Harvey Holmes, the Sherlock of Haunted Houses, is a Hollywood TV host whose reality show just flopped. When a Lebanese restaurant owner requests his ghost-hunting services, he believes the opportunity will resurrect his career. All he has to do is exorcise the ghosts that are haunting the restaurant. It happens to be located right across the street from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.



Thursday, May 8, 2014

Killer of Killers spiked, but slipping

Last week, Killer of Killers, my debut novel jumped up the Amazon ratings by more than a million. Since then it's slipping again,  but it makes me wonder. How many purchases of the Kindle edition make it jump like that? And why do the ratings slip again so fast?

I wonder ... is it a single purchase or two? Or do a lot of people just all of a sudden buy it, and then suddenly no one else does, at least for the time being?

This happened before. I don't know just how many millions of books Amazon Kindle has on its list, but Killer of Killers usually is pretty constant at about 1.5 million. Then one day it will jump up to about 250,000. That's a million and a quarter jump up the ratings!

The last time it happened, the ratings started slipping almost immediately. It was a slow descent, but it fell back to its constant, eventually, of about 1.5 million.

Then a couple days ago, it jumped back up again, just like it did before, to about 250,000. And again, slowly but surely, it's slipping down again. But that's what makes me wonder. Was it a single purchase that made the spike happen?  I would think that if it was a single purchase, it wouldn't make that much impact. Which makes me think that perhaps purchases happen in bundles.

Like maybe for a couple months, no one will buy a copy. But then maybe, and all of a sudden, ten or twenty people might make a purchase of the book all at the same time. Those numbers are just pulled from a hat. It could be more, maybe less, but again, to move the position on the rating scale up by more than a million? That suggests the number of purchases were numerous.

But I really don't have a clue. When I get my data from my publisher, it's usually very modest numbers when it comes to sales. But that was  before the release of the second edition. And I was downplaying the promotion of the book until then, because I was rewriting the book, and I didn't want people buying it until the second edition was released. And both spikes occurred after the second edition was released.

And that could be the answer. It could very well be the case that purchasers heeded me, here on the blog, and held off buying Killer of Killers until the second edition was released. Well, then, I'm glad for that. Because the second edition is the edition I want to be purchased, read, and appreciated.

So if you are one of those potential buyers, then the light is green. The second edition is out and ready to be read. Let me know what you think. Thanks.

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