The State of Sales Report: Pre Tour

My grand blog tour starts today!  Whee!  I’ve got about a 10 day lead time on posts, which I hope to stretch out some this weekend.  I like more wiggle room.  In any event, you’ll find today’s tour post over at Zoe Winter’s blog, where I’m talking about the writing culture and how someone always has to be better.

Now on to talk about sales, as I want to be transparent and informative.

I released Forsaken By Shadow on March 25th.  That’s 36 days between release and the start of my tour, during which time I did no formal marketing other than a lot of squeeing on Twitter, the result of which was a lot of my Tweeps went out and bought my book and retweeted about it.  Which, I think, resulted in sales to a few people I don’t actually know. 😀  I also had a couple of book reviews from folks.  Biggest criticism, which is one ALWAYS lobbied at novellas: too short.  One reader didn’t care for Embry too much, which I also expected, as she’s a very strong personality and can rub people the wrong way.  My ratings across sites have been almost entirely 5 star (I think one 4 star).

For the month of April, I sold 2 copies on Scribd, 4 copies on Smashwords, and 23 copies on Amazon, for a total of 29 copies for the month and $11.80 cents in profits.  It brings me to a total of 41 copies sold and a grand total profit of $16.45.  I can almost order a pizza.  Whee!  Actually I could if I tried the new Domino’s special, but I have food standards.

Clearly Amazon is my biggest seller.  I currently have a 65% conversion rate for people who actually find the book, down from a whopping 86%.  I conclude that the original number was artificially inflated due to the number of people who know me who went specifically do buy that book rather than browsing.  I’ve exhausted the “you’ll buy it if you love me” crowd by now 🙂  It also occurred to me that it’s not as visible in the Kindle store as I would like because I don’t have any vampires or werewolves to capitalize on for search terms.  Zoe helped me think up some additional terms to add (which should go into effect in a few days), so hopefully that will help as well.  Additionally, I’ve mucked around several times with my summary, trying to come up with something short (as Smashwords requires a 400 character limit) but still clear and enticing.  I don’t know that what I have is perfect, but I think it’s the best I have come up with so far.

Smashwords has some possibility as a direct source.  I’ve only sold 5 there total, but 33 people have downloaded the sample.  Assuming that they are like me and may download a sample of something and take weeks or months to read it, I might ultimately convert some of those into sales.  If you search on the site for Romance and sort by Highest Rated, I come up on the first page.

Same deal with Scribd, where I’ve sold a total of 6.  I’ve had 408 Reads on Scribd as of this writing.  I don’t have any idea whether that’s mostly people just looking at the cover and going eh, or what.   It’s not the best of statistics, but we work with what we have.  I don’t foresee Scribd being a huge point of sale for me, simply because most folks want something other than a PDF because PDFs don’t play nice with most ereaders.

I was approved for the Premium catalogue at Smashwords, and FBS has shipped to Barnes and Noble, the Sony ebookstore, and Apple’s iBookstore.  I have no way of checking the iBookstore since they don’t have a website for mere mortals to browse, but it has no yet shown up at B and N or Sony.  According to an announcement from Smashwords, it could take 6-8 weeks.  I fail to see why it should take that long but I certainly have no control.  I expect it to materialize there sometime by the end of my blog tour.

I also signed up to give a sample of FBS away as part of the Summer Reading Trail, and I’ve already had some trips to that page (you’ll see it up there in the header).  I’m hoping that the first three chapters are enough to snare some folks into buying the rest.  It’s a lot of small stuff, but I’m hoping it’ll add up.

I hope you’ll follow me around on my tour this month and come back June 1st for a recap on exactly how big an impact this 31 days of Kait has on sales.  😀

3 thoughts on “The State of Sales Report: Pre Tour

  1. Yes, after experimenting with Scrib’d as a sales outlet for my book under my other name and not making a SINGLE sale there. I’m thinking it’s not worth my time to pursue by making a special PDF file for.

    From here on out I’ll be doing ONE formatting job for Smashwords and Kindle, that will get me into all the E -outlets I really need to be in for now. Then I can make the PDF for LSI for print.

  2. I’ll be following your blog tour this month, Kait. And I’m definitely looking forward to having you on my blog tomorrow! I hope this month results in tons of sales for you.

  3. It’ll be interesting to see how the blog tour affects your sales. I hope they go up dramatically! Congrats on getting approved for the premium catalog at Smashwords. Getting into other sales outlets is a good thing! Can’t wait to see how you do once the month is over.

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