State of Sales

So the first quarter of 2011 has ended.  I am pleased to report that I exceeded, in 3 months, both number of copies and actual profits made in all of 2010.  Woo!  Grand total, I’ve sold over 6,500 ebooks since this time last year.  That’s pretty exciting for my first year’s progress!

I did a $0.99 sale in March on Forsaken By Shadow because I REALLY wanted to pass the 4,000 copies mark (I came in at 4255, in fact).  I sold 75% MORE copies of that novella in March than in February, but only made 4.9% more profit.  So while it did lovely things for my ranking (even, for a week there, shooting it above Devil’s Eye), I’m not having such astounding results as some of Konrath’s 99 cent experiments.  Anyway, as I said before, I am ever the scientist, so I am starting a month long $2.99 experiment with Forsaken By Shadow to see how that price point works for me.  Some folks hypothesize you hit a different demographic at $2.99.  I’ll report back when it’s over.

Devil’s Eye is still holding steady, sale-wise, but may have hit its natural peak.  Which would not be horrible considering I’ve done almost no promo on it.  Or it might be that a bunch of people wound up getting it via my newsletter for free after they’d read Blindsight. That was a nice little promotion and netted me over 60 new subscribers to the newsletter, which was pretty cool.  For now I don’t have anything else free to put up as a sign up thank you.  Maybe I’ll think of something on down the line after the insanity of my life slows down a bit.

Blindsight continues to be popular.  I’ve had over 4200 downloads that I am aware of in the last 2 weeks.  It’s been on Barnes and Noble for a couple of days now and is up into the 5k range of ranking (even without the description, which hasn’t populated yet).  It’s my hope that it will do really well in the freebies there, such that people will discover me, since BN STILL has not actually managed to fix their totally screwed up/epic fail keyword search.   And of course there’s the hope that the same thing will happen at Sony, Kobo, and Diesel.

One downside of the set up I have is that people who are finding Blindsight first, have then been moving on to Devil’s Eye, either because they got it as a freebie on my newsletter or because it is not clear on assorted retailer websites that it is not the first novella (and hereafter because it is cheaper than FBS), and then coming to Forsaken By Shadow last–which has wound up leaving a few readers disappointed because instead of reading my first stuff and seeing me get BETTER with each release, they’ve read totally backwards and feel like FBS is weaker.  I mean it IS weaker.  I’ve learned a lot since then!

I may ultimately wind up with a pricing system that’s a lot like traditional publishing, in the sense that the newest release is the highest priced and it goes down from there (kind of like the transition from hardcover to mass market paperback).  So once Riven is ready for release, I may set them up in a $2.99, $1.99, $0.99.  Maybe.  There’s no hard and fast rule about how to do this, but it seems that might at least get people through the novella series in the right order.

11 thoughts on “State of Sales

  1. It’s so great that you’re putting this information out there. When I get to the point of publishing it will be more helpful than words can say to know what has and hasn’t worked for others in the past.

    I have an idea that Konrath’s experiments were most likely coloured by the fact that he was already published under the traditional model. Which means he had a huge following, eager to snap up his work at the 99c mark. Just a possibility…

    If that is the case, you’ll get there. It will just take longer. My opinion, which is worth what you pay for it 😀

    1. I think something else that contributes to Konrath’s 99 cent successes is genre. I don’t KNOW this (and I’m too lazy to pull actual numbers right now), but I’m willing to bet that horror and thriller and detective stuff are each smaller pools than the paranormal romance/urban fantasy crowd. There are BOO COODLES of us, so it takes a lot more to make such big waves than it does in other groups.

    1. Thanks! Ha! It’s been funny actually because this whole writing thing has really gotten me out to meet people (at least virtually) from all over, and there are so many things we say that I don’t think a thing about that turn out to make people from elsewhere go “huh?” Susan was commenting the other day on the southern use of “ugly” to describe behavior. I’m thinking whenever I do write my kitchen witch, I’m gonna have a lot of fun with the southernisms.

  2. PS – I’m reading “Forsaken by Shadow” here on the blog. 🙂 ‘Cos I can’t download it 🙁

    Can I just say how impressed I am with the way you use sound to make scenes more vivid? 🙂 Also, I’m really liking Gage. I LIKE heroes who are genuinely NICE and DECENT! 🙂

    I’m looking forward to when you bring out your omnibus in paper-type issue, so I can buy my own copy. 🙂

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