Cool Hand first week summary

A week is a long time in publishing.

But not as long as the time since I last gave you the sales numbers.

Total sales

  • Raw Deal 20,000 (between 5,000 and 7,000 free downloads)
  • Sleight of Hand 21,000 (+1,250 German translations and 460 audio books)
  • Hidden Trump 15,000 (+500 German translations)
  • Wild Card 6,250
  • Cool Hand 850

Each book’s first week of sales

  • SoH 20
  • HT 700
  • WC 660

So Cool Hand is way out in front. Thank you all for your continuing support.

The USA leads the way with 49,000 total sales to UK’s 9,000 and Germany’s 6,000.

With the USA leading the sales, all the rankings below are based on the USA Amazon site.

SoH went all the way up to about 1500th most popular book over the last week, but is back down at around 8,000-9,000 now. The others moved in a similar fashion, but are lower in the rankings. Cool Hand was ranked at 1,300 overall this morning, and at 65 in the Paranormal & Urban fantasy list.

I have 15 reviews for Cool Hand already on Amazon and GoodReads, and many very positive comments in posts and by email. Thank you all! This writer runs on that kinda fuel.

I am still delighted to be selling well, and remain puzzled at the cause of the drop after Hidden Trump.


Bite Back 5, as yet unnamed, is under way. The core of the book is a bit more like SoH – there is a non-paranormal investigation which determines the overall structure. I may link in Manda and Scott from The Biting Cold, which would mean a short story to bridge from where they are now to being part of the Bite Back series arc.

I’m also looking at re-starting Bian’s Tale.

As per my comments on earlier posts, I’m unhappy with predicting release dates after getting it wrong, but I’ll get back to end-of-month updates on writing progress.

Thank you all again.




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About Mark Henwick

I was born in Africa and left out in the sun too often. An early interest in philosophy and psychology was adequately exorcised by tending bars. And while trying to enroll in a class to read Science Fiction full time, I ended up taking an engineering degree which splendidly qualified me to move into marketing. That in turn spawned a late onset career in creative writing. When not working, I get high by the slightly less conventional means of a small light aircraft. My first books are available on Amazon at

10 responses to “Cool Hand first week summary”

  1. Sarah L says :

    Thank you for all your wonderful hard work! I too am mystified as to the drop in sales after HT as there is no way I would have dropped a series at this point, especially one so enjoyable. Congrats on a great release week though, the wait was worth every second, it was soooo good. I look forward to whatever comes next and I would really enjoy seeing Manda and Scott in Bite Back! Those 2 were great and would love to know more.

  2. Dee DenBleyker says :

    I am really enjoying Cool Hand and am all ready wanting the next release in the series so write faster. 🙂

  3. Mark Henwick says :

    Amazon algorithms …
    Amazon’s ‘also read’ list below Cool Hand on the USA website has both Wild Card (which you would expect) and a book called Red Angel by C.R. Deams. Which is fine, but Cool Hand has just passed 1,000 sales and I truly cannot imagine a single one of those 1,000 readers who has not also read Wild Card (and the others). Why then does Red Angel appear higher in the list of also read? (along with 7-8 other books).
    Has anyone who reads this post read Red Angel?
    Red Angel also appears in the list of books which browsers most frequently buy after viewing the Cool Hand page. It’s all mystifying…

    Snippets …
    As one of my readers has already commented (very astutely, if this wasn’t something I gave away), the first line of Bite Back 5 is the same line as the last of Cool Hand. So you already have a little bit of BB5. 🙂

    Thanks …
    Thank you to both Sarah and Dee above, and thank you to all those who have posted reviews on Amazon and Goodreads – much appreciated as always.

  4. elkwood says :

    I read it while waiting for cool hand to be put out. In fact i just checked. I pick it up on march 5th and cool hand on the 6th.

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks for the info.

      I’m not having a go at the book(of course), which I haven’t read, just the mathematics that Amazon use in their selection of ‘also read’ lists.

  5. larry says :

    I’d think keeping your name in front of prospective readers would avoid sales dips — must be someone besides Ilona Andrews & the like that have successfully “gamed the Amazon system”, who’s path you could follow…
    Have you considered “Pre-Order” — might be worthwhile testing if you could avoid “Cool Hand-like delays” and/or extend the publication date (without annoying your current readers!). Having a cover in front of prospective readers 3+ months in advance should gain some readership.

    (If) you have problems with a “card” title, I’d suggest looking through “Glossary of Poker Terms” on Wikipedia — something there for just about every nuance, like “boxed card”, “case card”, etc.

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks Larry.

      A lot of authors (who are better organised than me) arrange for book promotions through email lists and price cuts to coincide. They write more actively on blogs and guest post. I guess I need to schedule some time in for this kind of activity.

      Pre-order is a good strategy, if I get confident about the publication date I will try it. I’m not totally sure how it works. Amazon ranking has a lag built in. To go up the rankings, you have to sell a lot and keep selling. Would a pre-order just combine my first month’s sales into 1 day (for example)? Would that actually *depress* my ranking? I’ll find out when I try 🙂

      Yeah, lots of card terms, and I’ll probably take one of them. It’s just that nothing has grabbed me. The core arc of the book is a non-paranormal investigation for Amber, so I thought one of the terms with ‘straight’ in it. And because ((redacted because of spoilers)) I might end up with ‘Blind Straight’, even though it’s not a real poker term (I think).

      • larry says :

        Not a poker term that I’ve found, though as a title is often a synopsis of contents, why not…
        Still, it might result in a “gut shot” or “idiot end” — poker terms, but not the best title choice!

  6. artbatista says :

    I agree it’s strange that sales would drop at any point so far.

    I have been known to abandon series that somehow drift too far from the plot that drew me in, but that usually at the 7-9 book point (in my experience) when the authors have run out of ideas and are just churning out filler.

    Your stories are really just getting started, and for the life of me, after having re-read all the books, I have no inkling where all this is going, so keep that up!

    I expect great things from your series, it certainly has been one delightful surprise after another so far.



    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks Art!

      So, if I keep you surprised & unsure where I’m headed, you won’t be able to tell when I’ve run out of ideas! 🙂

      Nope. As I’ve said elsewhere, when it’s over, it’s over. I will have to write the occasional novel or novella which spends more time summarising rather than racing forward, but I will not write filler.

      When I started, the beginning, middle and end of the series was more clearly defined in my head. Putting them on paper has turned out slightly messier than anticipated, but I think Cool Hand is sort-of the end of the beginning. You now know who the parties are, you have some inkling of their potential and their relative positions. So, BB5 is the beginning of the middle where it all gets stirred together. That’s not to say I won’t introduce some more characters and themes, but the basic stew is there.

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