Friday, June 3, 2011

May Sales Stats

 (The query queue is almost empty. Send more! Also, I'm guest blogging over at Pimp My Novel with a reprise of the How Your Book Can Crack the Amazon Top 100 Bestseller Lists post.)


First off, THANK YOU if you've purchased Spoil of War or the Extinct antho. Can't say that enough.

THANK YOU if you've passed the word along to others!

And THANK YOU if you've reviewed the books. Or thought about reviewing them and just haven't yet, but will. Reviews play a big part in those unfathomable algorithms we call Amazon and B&N rankings.

Honestly, what with no promo save for what you and I have done through social networking, Spoil is actually keeping afloat. I'm clueless how people are finding it, except through what limited promo Amazon is giving it through its automated "Customers who bought this also bought" widget thingy.

And what with several days of being taken out of the general search completely because Amazon kept insisting it's erotica, it's a wonder it got any exposure at all (*groan* yes, I know, bad pun).

In any case, it sold a bit better in May than in April. In April, I sold 68 copies total. In May, I sold 77. And yet, looking at the Bestseller Lists at the end of the post, it's in several Top 10, even holding the #1 spot on 10 lists. :o)

Breakdown for May

49 - Amazon US
08 - Amazon UK
01 - Amazon Germany
18 - B&N
01 - Smashwords
77 = Total for May

145 = Total for April + May (Released Apr 1)

And if you look in the sidebar, I'm keeping a running total of copies sold. (I sold 2 on Wed and 6 on Thur -- my BEST day ever so far.)

How does that compare to others' sales? There are a few anecdotal numbers bandied about on different blog sites and on the Kindle Boards. The problem is that authors who answer the question "How many have you sold?" on public sites will often:
  • Lump all their sales together: "I sold 1200 copies total and I have 12 books for sale." Did 11 of those 12 sell fewer than 20 copies each and the 12th one sell 1100? We don't know.
  • Neglect to mention how long their book has been out: 2 months? 6 months? 2 years?
  • Not say how much they're selling it for and if it's been that price all month.
  • Not let us know what genre it is.
  • Sometimes not mention if it's a short story, novella or novel.
  • Not mention any promotional efforts and any sales spikes.
So everything is anecdotal right now.

As Spoil has remained fairly consistent over the last 2-3 weeks in where it falls on the "Bestseller" lists for its genre tags, I'm thinking it's doing about average sales-wise. It's been in the Top 100 for "99 cent" Kindle books for at least 3 weeks (that's out of a little over 2300 books). At the end of this post, I've included where it ranks on Thursday, June 2, sliced any number of PR-happy ways. To fully appreciate what that means, have a look at where I talk about how to crack the Top 100 lists.

Now most ebook authors will tell you it's a slow build on Amazon if you're not already a name author. Anecdotal numbers seem to bear that out. Authors will have low double-digit sales for 2 or 3 months, then suddenly start taking off, often without the author realizing what prompted the sudden sales. Conjecture lies with the way Amazon promotes its books. Maybe once a book sells X number of copies it starts being presented to more readers. Who knows? I hope to be able to confirm this sudden take-off phenomenon within the next couple of months :o)

I do toy often with the idea of raising the price from 99 cents to $2.99. For now, though, the strategy is to keep it at .99 through June. If sales plateau or go up significantly, I'll raise the price. If sales fall or only go up slightly, I'll stay at .99.

I'm open to suggestions or questions. Fire away!

This stuff changes hourly


Sylvia said...

I was lucky enough to overhear some e-published authors talking about their online sales and all agreed that they were in single digits for the first month and then it began to grow. So you are looking pretty hot!

Wilkins MacQueen said...

I am so delighted for you and encouraged. Congrats. I've tossed the odd promo for Extinct on my blog. I'll have to mention Spoil. Ah, sniff, is that the sweet smell of sales drifting in the air?

Landra said...

I bought it today!!! Add me to June's stats. Read the sample chapter and said 'Be Damned!' to waiting any longer.

You will see success from this. I feel it in my bones.

Julia B said...

Congratulations! It's looking really exciting :)

Phoenix Sullivan said...

@Sylvia: Good to know! The more anecdotal evidence we can get, the better off all writers will be for being able to take charge of our careers and our marketing. That goes for both traditional and e- publishing.

@Mac: Thank you! I missed you around the blogosphere and was starting to get worried. Then I saw you were posting again, so knew you were well. :o)

@Landra: So YOU were the one who bought it yesterday ;o). Thank you! When you're numbers are low -- sorry, average! -- then every sale is quite meaningful.

@Julia: Thanks!

McKoala said...

Hi Phoenix - have you managed to get rid of the erotica tag again?! I'd like to buy it, but I'm terrified of Amazon deciding I like erotica and showing me lots of erotic titles and covers - my kids use my computer too (against my will, but they do!).

That's the only thing stopping me from buying it right now.

Phoenix Sullivan said...

@McKoala: As of RIGHT NOW, the erotica tag is gone completely and the majority of the "Customers who bought this" selections are historical romances. So Amazon shouldn't be offering you erotica choices.

If you're still worried -- and I can understand that -- email me and we'll work something out ;o)

McKoala said...

Thanks, ran over there and it showed me a bunch of historicals with Spoils of War, so I jumped on it while it's PG! There's another June purchase for ya!