Friday, September 28, 2012

A lesson on E-Book Sales


As long as I can remember I've told myself stories.  When I turned eight,  I started writing on paper along with telling myself stories. As I got older I kept writing, and writing.  I have hundreds of novels hidden and written in various stages, on anything and everything from Floppies to tons of notebooks.

I always love reading my own stories, but never really thought others would.  I entered the Nano Contest see here in 2010, I won and they offered me one free book. I thought, why not get it and see what it looks like.  I worked for 6 months making my own cover, got the proof and fell in love with the idea of Self Publishing.

Sales 101
I'm writing this to help those that are just getting started, those that are seeing sales so low they are thinking about giving up.  I'm selling anywhere from 17 to 80 books a month now.  That was not how it started. 

When i first released Street Justice Charlie's Angel on Amazon, I thought this is going to be good.  Locally I was selling fair at 10 dollars a book.  I thought I can sale a lot of novels at 2.99  Boy was I wrong.

2010 Sales
August nothing.
September One book  @ $2.99
October nothing
November nothing

Price Change
What I didn't know back then was no one knew me.  No one wanted or cared to read my novel, they didn't know who I was. I lowered my books to 99 cents.  Things started to change, a little.
December I sold 4 books at .99 cents and since the change took effect this month I sold one at 2.99. I thought okay this is better I even managed to sale one in the UK.

In 2010 in 6 months I sold 6 books. Not impressive. But I didn't give up.

2011 Sales Still slow Staying at .99

Jan        4      3 in the gbp
Feb       1    
March   1  
April      1    
May      6  
June      5   
July       5   
August   7

Book Two is released 
Here is where things started to break.  I was shocked right out of the gate book two Street Justice Tidal Wave  sold eight books it's first month.  Slowly sales starting rising also on book one, but I still left it at 99 cents.  I don't know why book two did this.  I don't know why it still out sales book one.  Maybe folks like the cover better, maybe the blurb is better, but I did learn to have patientce and give it time.  I don't do a lot of marketing either.  Sales are what they are because one book sales the other. 

Sept     1   Charlie's Angel
Sept     8   Tidal Wave
Oct      3    Charlie's Angel
Oct      7    Tidal Wave
Nov      3   Charlie's Angel
Nov    17   Tidal Wave
Dec    12   Charles's Angel
Dec    17   Tidal Wave 

Book Three Coming Soon 
I really can't wait to see what book three does.  It amazed me how much having a second book out there helped.  If you only have one book out there, don't waste your time trying to market it, or push it.  Work on book two, get book two out there, and maybe even book three.  

Five Book Plan 
I personally don't plan on doing any heavy or real marketing until I have five books out. Then you may see my name in the paper or on the local news station.  I want people to have some choices out there before I try to really become known.  I don't want them to think I'm a one book wonder.  As long as the good Lord allows me to stay on this earth, I'm here to stay and here to write. 

In a few days I'll blog about 2012 Sales. 

Samantha Fury 
Author of the Street Justice Series.  


Patricia PacJac Carroll said...

Interesting. I have one book out and am working on getting the second one out in October.

I Love Indie Publishing and am enjoying the process.

Alana Woods said...

Samantha, thank you for listing your sales numbers. I believe they are in common with most authors -- and it's a valuable lesson and good information for newcomers.
Alana Woods

Paula Martin said...

I have three books out, one published June 2011, the next Feb 2012 and the 3rd June 2012. My 4th book comes out in Nov 2012. Despite this, I can't say I've noticed any increase in sales when a new book comes out!

Anonymous said...

There is hope for me. Just have to get going. You are like me -- I have all these manuscripts I began and never finished. You write a book -- not for the potential sales -- but for the joy of it -- and if you happen to be in the right place at the right time (and it is best to get your name out there -- and your plan to time market it is a good idea -- great post.

Marisa Meissa

Jon and Vicki Marney said...

Cool Samantha! I noticed this was written in 2012--how have your sales been since then? I was just telling Ruthy that she needed to make sure book 1 was great and then offer it for free (or maybe .99, maybe Buy book 2 & get #1 for free--can you do that?). I told her that I thought book 1 would help sell book 2 as long as it is good--then add a teaser for #3 in the back of #2 (as long as #3 is not too far off--readers don't like to wait too long.
I personally only have 1 so far--my Memoir, so this was just my idea--what does a multi-book author think?