An experiment, complete with a hypothesis and all those bells and whistles

I noticed on Audrey Driscoll’s blog that she has a widget that lets readers see a preview of the first book in her Herbert West series. I thought this was cool, and decided to do something similar with my book. So now, instead of just the cover image linking to the Amazon page, there’s a clickable preview of The Directorate embedded on the sidebar.

Now, based on the data I’ve gathered on sidebars and whether or not anyone looks at them, my hypothesis is that it will make absolutely no difference whatsoever to the number of clicks–let alone sales–that I get as a result of that widget.

But if my hypothesis is incorrect, that would be interesting to know, and possibly helpful not just to me, but to readers who have published ebooks of their own. If anything interesting comes of it, I’ll let you know.


  1. It is a very cool tool, but I won’t be clicking on it since I already bought and read your book. I’m curious, how many followers does your blog have and how many daily views do you get on average?

    1. The blog has 362 followers, but I suspect a fair number of those are bots or otherwise serial “spam likers”. The number I know for sure to be actual humans is only around a dozen, although there may be some who read but never comment.

      Average views varies from low teens to mid-20s. (A few outliers here and there–like May 2016, when I averaged 44 views per day!)

      All of these are very modest numbers, I know, but while I might not have the most readers, I do have the most insightful, helpful and interesting ones, based on the comments I get.

      P.S. To be honest, I think almost all of my regular readers are in the same boat as you regarding the book, so it may be the widget is completely pointless. But the sidebar would just look wrong if nothing were there..

      1. I am approaching 1,000 followers and tend to get about 30-40 views whenever I write a new post. Occasionally a little more, but not much more. Whenever a new follower signs on, I check out their blog, and most of them seem to be real bloggers — they just don’t actually read the blogs they follow apparently. Which just kind of seems odd. Why follow if you aren’t going to read? Oh wait, that’s right, if they follow my blog, they hope I’ll follow theirs.

  2. I’ve had directions on how to do this bookmarked in my browser for over a year now, and I still haven’t gotten around to it. It’s these little to-do things that slip away from me. But I think it’s a cool idea. I’ll go check yours out to see how it works.

  3. I find someone clicks on that preview once in a blue moon, so to speak. As to sidebars generally, I suspect they aren’t optimally visible except on the larger screens of laptops and desktops. When I read blogs on a tablet, I find myself thinking a sidebar on the left side might minimize unintended clicks on sidebar material. Otherwise I’m happy with my blog theme, which I recently discovered is “retired.” Depressing. Anyway, thanks for mentioning my blog!

What's your stake in this, cowboy?