Just recently made the nineteen hour flight back from Korea to Newfoundland, not including the nine hours spent in airports waiting on me duff. I can’t really sleep while sitting, so it was especially torturous after the eighteen hour mark, then everything just got fuzzy.
Anyway, for the month of Feb, sales were:
The Troll Hunter–– five
No Experience Necessary— fifteen
The Missing Boatman—three
Flight of the Cookie Dough Mansion––two
For the total of 25.
This also ends the fifth month, although in October titles were released one a week for three weeks. The surprise has been the drop in sales for The Missing Boatman. Flight of the Cookie Dough Mansion, I now think, needs pictures, so that experiment has pretty much died—at least until I can afford to place pictures in the book. And my attempts at promotions are marginal at best. I hate promotions. If you can do this, great. I’ll just have to try something else. Writing guest blurbs and allowing guests on the website has proven to be successful, so I’ll keep doing that.
Also, in continuing building a readership, to celebrate my getting back to Canada, and attempting to kick-start a writing career, I’ve decided to lower prices on TTH and TMB to .99 cents.
This wasn’t arrived at easily. I’ve been reading about what other authors’ experiences have been in experimenting with pricing, and I realize that the lower price is effective in obtaining both impulse buys, and building an initial readership (some are even able to make a living at it). I’ve also noted that there a number of sites out there that promote cheap ebooks (the .99 or free variety) which will flag your ebook and inform their subscribers of the bargain, prompting a burst of buying activity.
How do I know this?
It just happened to me.
Tuesday was the unofficial start of my “Back Home” book sale. I lowered the price and perhaps two hours later, TMB had sold two units. By the end of the day, twelve units were sold and the ebook had flown up Amazon’s charts from 217,000 to a high of six thousand and something. I was impressed, happy, and a little perturbed.
These are full 350+ page books, and while I’m glad that people are buying them, I can only hope that the numbers pick up to make a living at this. Also, I’m concerned about what happens when my .99 novellas start coming out (I have three planned initially). Do I raise the prices on the novels or do I keep them at .99? Right now, I plan to raise them and let the novellas stay at .99 as an introduction to my work. But if they are selling well, even well enough that I’m earning money on them, should I tinker with things that are working? It’s difficult to decide.
I guess that’s a big if right now. I keep telling myself that these things take time, and I should concentrate on writing the next book. If I do that, I hope the sales will take care of themselves. I’m sure if I look back at the previous posts my ramblings are pretty similar in tone.
So, the plan is… keep the novels at a low price for a month, maybe two, write guest blogs where I can and offer the same to writers as promotions, and work on the new books.
And see what the results are in August. August is the first check point for me, I have to have some sales, else this new career will be cut short. If I make it past August, and sales continue to improve, then the following March will be the second check point.
If I make it to then, I’ll consider myself an author able to make a living.
I don’t think you should be so hard on yourself Keith. Books are a very crowded and competitive market, and you are really just getting into it. There are some 14 thousand Fantasy books on Amazon’s EBook market right now, so even getting your book on the potential readers screen is half the battle.
I don’t think you should give up by any means, but it will take time, and the slow buildup of a fan base to start to grow your popularity.
Your Novellas will help in this regard, and you should definitely try to do pre-orders, if only because there is 72 books in Fantasy on that list and you’re more likely to be seen.
Otherwise, keep it up. Your sales are growing, and they’ve doubled on TTH. Not every one of your books will be a hit, so just have patience and perseverance.
I’ll echo Brad. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so don’t despair. Maybe the lower price will help. Maybe the guest bloggers will help; you’ve got some rising stars posting over here, to be sure. Maybe having TTH as the KB book of the day will help. Maybe word of mouth will spread as readers recommend/gift your books to their friends.
Even if you’re not making a living by August, I wouldn’t call the experiment a failure. If you need to take on a day job for a while, so what? Traditionally published midlisters have to keep their day jobs until they build up enough of a backlog and fan base, and that almost always takes years.
You’ve been out there for five months. I guess that means you’re not an overnight success. So what? You’ve passed the 100 sales mark, which means people are giving you money. And you’ve had a few reviews, which means at least some of those buyers are also *reading* your books and, from the look of it, enjoying them.
And that’s why we write, isn’t it?