Since the last update, sales for The Variant have been much stronger for the Kindle version than the downloadable version.

sales figures

The Kindle edition outsold the .pdf three-to-one in May, and ten-to-one for the first two weeks of June.1

I have no particular theory why that is, except that people may be coming across the story directly through Amazon. After its peak at #18, it has settled down in the 200s on the overall bestseller list — which seems pretty deep for random browsing. But it’s stayed in the #1 or #2 spot for its genre categories (short stories, spy stories, science-fiction), which is likely a help.

I consider this all found money, so I’m happy to burn what I’ve made so far on other experiments. For example, I haven’t bought a single ad for The Variant, but as its curve flattens I’m considering whether they would pay off. Any suggestions of where, when or how to place ads — and just as important, how to measure the outcomes — are of course welcome.

  1. The “downloads” category also includes the ePub version, but sales for that are miniscule: fewer than 20 sold.