Thursday, December 15, 2011
Playing the Blame Game on Sales
After you publish, it's very EASY to become obsessed with your sales. Did you sell anything last night? What about this morning? Wait, it's been 5 minutes, maybe you sold a book now? GRRRR. And your browser even REMEMBERS the site. I type "pub" and it auto-fills pubit.barnesandnoble.com. Hey, Chrome, maybe I was going to search public library, or public transportation... did you think about that?
::hangs head in shame:: Okay, I wasn't. And when I type kdp there isn't any excuse, I am stalking my sales on Amazon. It's been officially 3 months since I published CANCELLED. pph82wqaaa1vdt6 (that's my two year old's contribution to the post, I'm going to leave it. It's probably some ancient code or something that if we could only decipher, we'd know the answer to everything. Besides 42.)
So 3 months. 25% of a year. 9 books sold on Smashwords. 26 sales on Nook. 82 sales on Amazon. 2 sales on Createspace. 90 days, 119 books sold (I've sold a few more on Amazon UK, but I don't have those numbers yet as I work through Mark Williams international Digital Publishing for those rights, but it's only about 3-5 more sales). I ran a month at $.99 and a month at $2.99. Sold about the same number of books running a promotion in each time period. I'm trying out a $4.99 price point.
I auto tweet my book and friends' books, and blog posts etc. I've taken a break for the last few days (mostly because I want to overhaul the spreadsheets I'm using and I haven't had time to do that yet). In the first week of December, I had over 900 clicks on my link directly to my Amazon purchase page. 1 sale.
When you're stalking your sales, it follows that you begin making assumptions about your efforts. This is a bad plan, because there are ALWAYS variables you can't account for. Did one of your readers tell two of her friends at a play date about your book so they bought it that morning, giving you two sales, but you think it's an ad you ran on a blog that morning? See? (this is also a tenet of Total Quality Management).
I shouldn't worry about CANCELLED. The reviews are positive. I love the book, and that's what I aimed for when I chose to write a romance novel for non-romance readers. I've made major professional inroads with other authors, including a number of best sellers, and top of the line book bloggers. I'm making a name for myself as that girl who likes technology and will try to answer your question. I write a weekly column on another blog about technology, every Sunday. And I'm finally working on my next book. Not talking about my next book, WRITING my next book. I'm still in that quasi-pants it-plot it mode, where I write a handful of scenes organically, then craft a semi-permeable outline, then buckle down and jam it out. SERVED currently has about 2,000 words to its name, but it's better than 0. I also am giving co-writing a novel a try early next year, and I'm very excited about that (can't say too much more, as I might be absolute rubbish at it and the book never sees the light of day with my name on it).
I'm focusing more on making my own marketing magic. I'm organizing a major blog hop in March, and I'm partnered up with a large Nook reader community to help them on a semi-monthly basis to make fun events for their thousands of readers. I have a virtual book signing in January. I owe a blog post to the wonderful Saffina Desforges for December 24th.
But I can't waste time playing the blame game with my sales figures. Yes, I had 900 clicks on my link, but it might have been 800 authors checking my ranking (I'm guilty of that myself). Or, it might have been 400 people clicking, liking what they saw, and downloaded a sample. Only they haven't had a chance to read it yet. Or they read it and it wasn't for them (probably sparing me a 1 or 2 star review had they just purchased it).
I'm just going to keep my head down and really focus on attaining that next level of authorhood: 2 books available for purchase!!!
A robotics engineer asks his business partner to marry him, but a previous one-night stand is having his baby. CANCELLED is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. WIP: SERVED Two never married parents fight over their toddler's upbringing and moving on with their lives, without each other;(status: outlining)
Posted by Elizabeth Ann West at 10:02 AM