Today, I am going to reveal my slightly disappointing sales figures for June. I will pinpoint some of the factors in the decline.
But, I will also explain why I am not too worried, and why I think things will pick up this month. Finally, I have some other numbers which are very pleasing.
Full Breakdown for June
If You Go Into The Woods
Amazon US 33 (down from 88)
Amazon UK 3 (down from 15)
Amazon DE 0 (down from 1)
Smashwords 5 (up from 4)
Sub-total 41 (down from 108)
Amazon US 23 (down from 40)
Amazon UK 4 (up from 2)
Amazon DE 0 (no change)
Smashwords 10 (up from 3)
Sub-total 37 (down from 45)
June Total 78 (down from 153)
If You Go Into The Woods (on sale since May 4th) – 149
Transfection (on sale since May 21st) – 82
GRAND TOTAL – 231 e-books sold since May 4th.
Sales almost halved this month. There are a number of factors I can pinpoint, but some things are a mystery.
Tags disappeared for a couple of weeks. And at the same time, Amazon ran a sale called Sunshine Deals. 600 popular books from large publishers were slashed to prices as low as 99c.
This made it very difficult for a lot of indies, especially those like me who were selling short stories for that price. The sale ran for the first two weeks of the month, and it killed me.
Sales were around 4 a day going in to the month, but by the second week of June they had dropped to one every other day. All of John Locke’s books were knocked out of the Top 100. Amanda Hocking had a big drop in rankings. Joe Konrath was down 15% for the month. If those guys were going to be affected, I had no chance.
As soon as the sale ended, my sales climbed back up to the old level. However, they just flatlined again for the last few days of the month. I have no explanation for that.
Additionally, I did very little promo this month as I raced to finish a new book. Writing comes first, so that doesn’t bother me. I had some promo benefits – stuff I had set up in May, such as reviews – and that kept my numbers out of the fire.
Perhaps a far bigger factor than reduced promo was the lack of a new release. I had two books out in May, and two corresponding sales spikes (and in fact the second release raised the sale of the first release hugely).
Now I have (almost) two months of data. It’s too early to make judgments on anything, but I can at least highlight some things I need to watch. Transfection is not selling as well as If You Go Into The Woods. That has surprised me. I thought it would be the other way around, for a number of reasons.
Having said that, my first title got all the promo love before I had to knuckle down and finish my book. It has received way more reviews (book blogs and Amazon), and was the focus of a more sustained push. The second one didn’t get the same help at all, but I can address that this month.
Something else I need to watch: my UK sales. While the numbers are in line with the US, I have sold maybe one book there in three weeks. Not sure why.
That’s all the negatives out of the way. And I’m not too disappointed with this numbers. I have sold 231 e-books in my first 2 months. I think that’s pretty impressive. I have covered 75% of the costs of my first release, and paid off a chunk of the second.
Plus, I am now in the Smashwords Premium Catalogue, and the books trickled through to Barnes & Noble, and iTunes in the last few days. I know I have some sales there, but they are not included above – I won’t get those numbers for a while.
Also, I didn’t spend a dime in June, my Smashwords sales have doubled, and the blog is exploding in popularity.
I had over 11,000 views in June, with 4,000 of those coming in the last 7 days. Blog subscribers have tripled. On days where I don’t post, I am hitting 400 views. When I do, it can be as high as 700. For a blog that is less than three months old, those are astounding numbers.
I’m starting to get a handle on Twitter. In June, my followers jumped from 180 or so to 1,800. This has been one of the biggest drivers of traffic to my blog. I have seen a few posts in the last couple of weeks go “viral” to some extent, and I am picking up 50 to 100 followers a day at the moment.
All of this is building nicely towards the release of Let’s Get Digital. That’s with the editor now, and my cover designer is beavering away; I’m looking towards a mid-July release. I have high hopes for it.
I think the combination of a guide to the nuts-and-bolts of digital self-publishing, with an overview of the publishing industry, plus all those success stories could be popular. When you add that to the PDF version being available for free, it has a chance of taking off.
It will be interesting to see if a new release in a completely different genre (and non-fiction rather than fiction) will lift the sales of my existing titles. I think it will, but even if it doesn’t, I have some promo stuff planned for those too (especially Transfection). I will also be working on new stories, and my novel.
That’s enough about me. I would like to highlight two new releases today from two friends.
Tony James Slater has released That Bear Ate My Pants! – a hilarious account of his wild adventures in Ecuador. I just bought my copy after reading the sample on his website. I think anyone that reads that excerpt will do the same.
I’m really looking forward to reading this one, and I think he will do very well. In fact, on his first day, he’s already the #2 selling South American travel book in the US, and is just outside the Top 1000 in the UK. A phenomenal first day.
Last, but definitely not least, Shéa MacLeod has released Kissed by Darkness – the first in a paranormal series starring sexy, street-smart bounty hunter Morgan Bailey, and you can read the first chapter here.
Shéa doesn’t let the grass grow under her feet – she has already picked up a five star review from werevampsromance.org, who had this to say:
“I found the book to be completely original and keep me guessing. I absolutely love the mix of the different type of magical influences. It was an awesome read, one I would recommend.”
Nice work, Shéa! You can pick up Kissed by Darkness for the low, low price of $2.99 from Amazon, Amazon UK, and Smashwords.
Good luck to Shéa and Tony! Happy reading everyone!