Matthew FitzSimmons himself stops by to explain the mystery of Short Drop reviews!

It was late last week when I posted Riddle me this! – a question about how it could be possible for a book to have a ton of reviews before its release. The book in question was Short Drop by Matthew FitzSimmons, an overall #1 on Kindle, with 1,388 reviews at the writing of this post, and the release date of 1 December.

I was not the only one confused – the post generated quite a discussion and a number of hypothesis, but it was a consensus that the reviews were a result of the book getting picked up as Kindle First. Is this the first time you’ve heard of Kindle First? Well, that makes two of us.

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Visit Kindle First website to learn more. Just don’t get too excited if you, like me, are in Australia – for some reason it’s not available down under.

My post generated so much discussion, that I’d decided to post an update – Mystery solved, explaining how it was possible and asking if anyone knew how to get onto the program (which is probably impossible for self-published newbies). Imagine my surprise when I was scrolling through my Twitter notifications and a familiar name caught my attention:

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Whaaat? I jumped over to the blog, and there was the comment, waiting for approval:

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I have replied, of course, and had the balls to ask how he got to this point – and he replied! For reals:

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So there you go folks – a mystery solved, new lesson learned, and another proof that you should never, ever give up on your dreams. I’m off to do some writing. I hope you do the same.



Filed under Self-publishing and marketing

30 responses to “Matthew FitzSimmons himself stops by to explain the mystery of Short Drop reviews!

  1. So finally you solved the mystery Ana the Sherlock 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ana, it’s a great site you have here. I really appreciate how you covered this topic. Realize now that you are in Australia and that Amazon Prime is, literally, a foreign concept. To give a sense of the scope and reach of Prime in the US, there are more than 44 million* prime subscribers. All of whom could, should they chose, download a Kindle First book for free each month. Needless to say,that offers an unbelievable boost in terms of public awareness to a debut author such as myself. The challenge then is to translate that awareness into book sales once the book is officially published on December 1st. Fingers crossed.



    Liked by 1 person

  3. That was very nice of him!!! Also, good to know, I am a Kindle Prime member and I wasn’t even aware of the Kindle First program. I will have to check it out for sure!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Author Ana Spoke asks the questions and gets the answers 👍


  5. olivia barrington

    Ana Spoke gets the answers once again! Nice guy for answering the riddle of Kindle First. I had never heard of it,either. You have put out so much information for writers on this blog it will be my go to for any questions or if I don’t find the answer here I’ll ask you. You have inspired me not to give up on my dreams of writing and other projects. Thank you! Hope your sales blitz went well for you. Last I looked you were at #22 in satire ( very good!). If the sites you paid had pulled in sales like they should you would have hit #1 with no problem. I think closer to Christmas or in the dead of winter over here is when people will want to buy books to read or give. Black Friday is for TV’s, toys and electronics around here. People hit the stores and go nuts!! Really, throwing punches, using pepper spray. The shopping starts now on Thanksgiving Day at 5pm because the retailers are greedy. Sad. Online starts at midnight on Thanksgiving Day. Walmart actually started earlier than that online selling out and making people mad. It was nuts over here. Now for Cyber Monday. Try tweeting that or another Gorilla or something for Monday online sales who knows since everyone will be shopping online over here. Hope to see your sales report soon. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Target started doing ‘sales’ on the 22nd of Nov, and Amazon kept sending me emails saying that they were having ‘sales’. But if you think about what a sale is, many places have sales occasionally throughout the year anyway. Like Macy’s and JC Penny often have sales. Online sales overall were up 14 %. Though I don’t think Target has sales of %40 clothing during the year. Also, apparently Old Navy had a %40 off EVERYTHING sale, on the 28th of Nov. Whattt???

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Olivia! Pretty awesome weekend, all around – I did get to #9! I will stage another blitz, this time with only the biggest performers…


      • olivia barrington

        #9!!!! Zippy do dah, Zippy de Yah!!!!! Just 7 spots from your goal! Pretty damn good for such a tough weekend for books on Amazon. Be very, very proud. Sorry I missed it. Last I saw it was #22. Must had quite a few sales after that. I hope the most so far with many more to come. Maybe the under performers will give you a credit so you can include them in with the biggest performers in your next blitz. The more exposure the better. Let everyone know how well you did. Hope the sequel is coming along!


      • Thank you, Olivia! I will ask them for credit – and will keep on trying 🙂 just 2 weeks left till vacation in Vietnam – have high hopes for getting some writing done 🙂


  6. uh WOW I’m impressed!! You’re a trooper and yes, this is very encouraging!. For my genre, (christian fiction) which I feel like, kind of has a bad rep, I hesitate so much because I want my writing to be seen as respectable and not just self-published preaching. I’ve read a lot of self-published fodder, and some good books…I guess I’m not the only perfectionist, as you have clearly shown yourself to be hard-working and refuse to give in until you know what you have is as best as it can be. Because with a billion books out there, good enough isn’t good enough lol. Congrats on your self-publishing and hopefully we’ll all be able to find some kind of success. Reading never goes out of style.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much 🙂 it’s just good to know that there are options and it’s not all about winning a contract lottery…I would rather be published under stigma than keeping the manuscript in the drawer till the end of my days…


  7. Jennifer F. Santucci

    Ah! Should’ve known you’d get to the bottom of this! I hopped over here to say I figured out how to get into the Kindle First service and you’ve not only figured it out, but also got answers straight from the author! That was very nice of him!

    I was buying a book (through Book Bub–have you tried their service?) and kept my eye out for the advert for Kindle First. Didn’t show up, but instead had an ad to sign up for news on YA books (my genre). Clicked on link and it took me to my email subscription page. It was in the section marked Kindle. When I found it, I clicked the box to subscribe to receive email notifications for Kindle First releases.

    Very easy. But I am a Prime Member, so that would explain why it showed up in my subscriptions options.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Glad you solved the mystery 🙂 That’s amazing that Matthew replied to your comments and by the looks of it dropped in on your blog as well 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Marcos Fernandes

    It’s fantastic to see a solution to this, as when you first broached the question, it really stumped me.

    If nothing else, this little saga has inspired an addendum to my own post on social media and marketing. Lol!


  10. exiledprospero

    It was nice of Mr. FitzSimmons to drop by–deus ex machina–to resolve the drama.

    Now we know two things:

    1) Kindle First is a happening thing;
    2) Mr. FitzSimmons is an approachable author and has his ear to the ground.

    By the way, I followed you on Twitter. Further disclosure: I know nothing of Twitter. Maybe you or Mr. FitzSimmons can explain it to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, how cool is he? And now he’s agreed to be interviewed by me?? If the writing gig doesn’t work out, I will try my hand at journalism or something 🙂

      Did I follow you back? If not – @ me and I will – I get so many spammers following me these days, I’m afraid to follow back!

      Twitter is a big crowded room, and you just have to play and see what works. Just please, don’t send spam DM messages!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks, Ana, for sharing your experiences. It’s amazing how the publishing process has changed so much in the last few years. That and your courage to share the ups and downs of the process give us wannabe writers lots of hope. High 5!

    Liked by 1 person

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