Move Over, Fifty Shades of Grey!

This has been such an amazing weekend! A couple of months ago, Amazon contacted me to tell me they wanted to feature one of my self-pubbed backlist books, Secret Lives, in a special promotion. I forgot all about it until I checked my Kindle sales report a few days ago and saw that Secret Lives was outselling my other backlist titles 140 to 1! That’s when I discovered that it’s part of Amazon’s monthly “100 Kindle books priced under $3.99” promotion. For the month of June, Secret Lives is just $1.99 on Amazon’s US site. The results of this promotion have blown me away. Let’s just say, if Amazon ever offers to promote a product your selling, don’t argue with them as I did at first (I thought the email from them was spam! I’m so glad they didn’t give up on me).

It took me a couple of days to realize that, not only were copies of Secret Lives selling at a rate of nearly 100/hour, it was climbing the bestseller charts at the same time. So far, it’s reached as high as #11 on the Kindle bestseller list, #1 on the literary fiction list and . . . this is my favorite. . . #4 on the Women’s Fiction list, sandwiched between all those Shades of Grey. I have no illusions of knocking Fifty Shades of Grey out of the #1 spot, but it sure is a kick to be that close.


The very coolest thing about this entire experience is that, when someone asks me which of my books is my favorite, I always answer Secret Lives, even though I wrote it long ago and have written eighteen books since. It’s my favorite for so many reasons. It was the first book I wrote where I felt confident of my story and my writing. I fell deeply in love with my characters and I believe it shows. It was my first experience writing from a first person point of view, since Kate’s story is told through her journal entries and I  felt a personal connection to her as she developed agoraphobia. And I loved the Shenandoah Valley setting and the cavern that became Kate’s home. It’s different in some ways from the sort of book I write today in that it has a strong—and juicy—romantic element, but what has never changed in all my books is my focus on relationships because, really, what else matters?

So, that was my weekend! I hope yours was filled with lovely surprises, too.


  1. Terri Heath on June 11, 2012 at 1:56 am

    I was cruising my Kindle store & came across the 100 books under $3.99. I have always loved your books in the past, so when I saw “Secret Lives” for $1.99, I quickly ordered it. I started it last night, sat up reading until 2:00am, then finished it tonight. It was amazing. What a great story. Thank You!

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 11, 2012 at 10:54 am

      This makes me so happy, Terri!

  2. jen on June 11, 2012 at 4:31 am

    Secret lives is one of my most favourite of your books, so i am glad to see how well it is doing! way to go!!!!

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 11, 2012 at 10:54 am

      Thanks, Jen!

  3. Kathy Bowler on June 11, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Diane, I met you when you came to the Outer Banks with John for a Barefoot Contessa photo workshop. He told us you were an author. I have enjoyed your books ever since. I was surprised and happy to see that your book was featured on the kindle list yesterday when I was cruising. Congratulations!

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 11, 2012 at 11:50 am

      Thank you, Kathy. I hope you’re still taking great pictures!

  4. Sharon on June 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    I haven’t actually read a full-length novel yet on my Kindle so might have to purchase this one soon even though it’s not on offer in the UK.

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 11, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      I’m sorry it’s still full price in the UK, Sharon. Wish I had some control over that!

  5. Rae on June 11, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    I just finished “Secret Lives” and loved it!! I can’t wait to read more of your books. The characters were so tragically real…if that makes sense. Thanks for allowing Amazon to feature it!

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 16, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      Thank you, Rae. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, and I know exactly what you mean by tragically real. 🙂

  6. Diane Chamberlain on June 11, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    I understand exactly what you mean, Rae. I’m glad you enjoyed it. . . and so glad I let Amazon feature it!

  7. Faith on June 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I enjoyed the book so much that I have started to search out your other books on kindle. Good decision.

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 15, 2012 at 7:48 pm

      That’s wonderful, Faith. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. The reviews have made me very happy!

  8. Heidi R de Contreras on June 16, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Having never heard of Diane Chamberlain- I am one of those readers who took advantage of Amazon’s June special. I am so glad I did! The story is riveting; the characters-including Kate’s cavern are true & compelling. I am ready to read more from this amazing author.

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 16, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      Fantastic, Heidi! I’ve heard from so many new-to-me readers because of Secret Lives being featured. It’s a thrill for me that this book is having such a great rebirth.

  9. Becky on June 21, 2012 at 10:49 am

    I took advantage of the Amazon special as well, and bought Secret Lives based on other customer reviews. What a great book! I enjoy mystery/thrillers, and really appreciated the added features of character relationships and psychological tension.
    After staying up far past my bedtime last night to read, and then finishing the book first thing this morning, I am excited to move on to some of your other works. I’ve been toying recently with the idea of picking up my own pen, and your personal story is inspiring!

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      Thank you for giving Secret Lives a try, Becky. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  10. Mick Smith on June 22, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    About four years ago, a friend of mine at work was trying to get rid of some of old paperbacks lying around his house. So I told him bring some in that i would take some. I told him I liked suspense thriller type of books. He brought some in, and in the pile of books he brought in was your novel “Breaking The Silence”. To be honest with you It was not something I thought i would enjoy reading, but for whatever reason I read the book, and I absolutely loved it. I told myself I would read more of your work. so when I seen on Amazon this book was $1.99 I jumped at the chance to check out another book written by you. I must say I started reading this book, and I love this book also. I’m not finished yet, but i look forward to reading it at lunch and down time. I will be reading more of your work also.

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      Thanks for letting me know! Breaking the Silence was a good one to start with.

  11. JoAnne McCrone-Ephraim on June 23, 2012 at 1:51 am

    Hi there Diane,
    The hardcover of SECRET LIVES that I located after a 10 year search has arrived and I am overwhelmed, for it more than met my expectations! The book appears to have been just printed, shipped from the publisher and placed on a shelf in B&N. It is a new, unread first edition that has apparently been living in a dustcover for 21 years; the pages have not even yellowed from age. I wonder who originally bought it and protected it for so many years??? Trust me, if my original copy had been returned it certainly would not be in this remarkable condition.

    However, I am so overwhelmed by the condition of this book that I could only open it to peek at the dedication page and marvel at how preserved it is. I cannot bring myself to actually read this perfect specimen in fear of damaging it. It just sits on my night table beckoning to me, begging to finally be read by someone after 21 years. Hopefully one day soon since it has been two decades since I first read SL myself, perhaps after therapy!!! lol

    Once again, Zan, congrats on the success of Secret Lives, for the second time around! I am looking forward to having you sign my “new” HC copy right on the dedication page so you can finally complete your original thought, after all these years:)

    No need to reply, TTY after UR deadline; keep working! xo

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 23, 2012 at 2:20 pm

      I’m just so happy for you that you finally got your book!

  12. Dee Coyle on June 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I purchased this book on my Kindle, I am now a huge fan. Fire and Rain next!!

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 27, 2012 at 11:33 pm

      Yay! Thanks for letting me know.

  13. Yvonne Bertuccelli on June 27, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    My daughters gave me a Kindle for Mother’s Day. I just finished your book, Secret Lives. It was my 7th book I downloaded on my Kindle and by far the best and most rivoting. My menopausal sleep pattern is to wake up after 2 hours of sleep. Last night this actually excited me because I got to reach for my Kindle and continue reading your multifaceted novel until the sun made its appearance. It will be awhile before I download another because I can’t stop thinking about the people in Secret Lives. Especially the demise of poor Kate. You are a very talented writer. Can’t wait to read more.

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 27, 2012 at 11:33 pm

      You put a big smile on my face, Yvonne.

  14. Lynn Mae on July 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    I also purchased this book based on Amazon’s promotional price and, as others have noted above, am more than pleased with the purchase. I am an avid reader and love when I find an author I can follow – and I know I have. The characters in Secret Lives were so well-developed and I loved the way the characters and events were intertwined. I just finished the book during lunch and paid another visit to Amazon to purchase another. Up next: The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes!

    Your work is appreciated and I cannot wait to read more of your books.

  15. Betty Iams on July 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I am a voracious reader and just finished reading Secret Lives on my Kindle. It is a very gripping story, beautifully told. I believe the proper term is page turner. Thank you. I have four more of your books waiting for me on my Kindle. Kindle and Amazon’s special promotions have reawakened my love of reading.

  16. Diane Chamberlain on July 7, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Lynn Mae and Betty Iams, Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed Secret Lives. I’m so glad Amazon helped me find some new readers!

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