Saturday, May 7, 2011

Indie Author Sales Update

I've been an indie author for a little over two months now. I'm learning so much in such a short amount of time that I think I may be going crazy. Adrenaline is pumping through my veins giving me a constant high. This self-publishing indie author stuff is exciting to me. If you're jumping on the self-publishing train, you're probably going a little crazy, too. For me, this couldn't have happened at a better time. I've been writing for 19 years, and writing and whining for the past 5 years...Why me? Or should I say...why NOT me? I never stopped writing and submitting. I captured some interest from editors, I signed with agents, but selling the traditional way just wasn't in the cards for me. And guess what? I am sooo thankful. Self publishing in 2011 is turning out to be the best possible scenario for me. I love choosing my cover art. I love being in charge of my work. BUT, this is a lot of work.

I was warned. They were right.

How many books should I put out and how fast? Is this the right cover for this book? Should I change the title? Should I beg for reviews? How many beta readers will be enough? Did I catch every typo? I'm so busy editing and formatting my books, I don't have time to answer any of these questions running through my brain. I'm just taking one day at a time, learning all I can, editing every day and...writing! For now, other than a few tweets and emails, my website is the place where I talk to writers and readers and let them know what's going on.

At my last update (end of April, 2011) I believe I was selling 200 to 250 of the $.99 book (A Knight in Central Park) each day and about 20 of the $2.99 book (Return of the Rose) each day.

For the first week of May, 2011, I have sold an average of 150 to 175 of A Knight in Central Park (Amazon Sales Rank Averaging 240) and 45 per day of Return of the Rose (Amazon Sales Rank Averaging 1,300). 

So...the $.99 book is slowly winding down in sales...while the $2.99 book is slowly making it's way upward.  Interesting...

Taming Mad Max, a romantic comedy, started off like the others, selling one book a day the first week and five books a day the second week.

Finding Kate Huntley, a romantic suspense, was released on May 5th and has sold ONE me!

I have a thriller I am dying to release (pun intended) because it's my most recent work. I hope to release Abducted on May 14, 2011. After that happens, I plan to start blogging and doing a little FB promotion and maybe a few emails to my poor friends who will be thinking..."What the heck? Another book?"

A few people have called me prolific. That makes me laugh. My books are 400 pages and they take me nine months to write and then three months to polish. I wish I could write as fast as Amanda Hocking, but that's not going to happen. Abducted is 480 pages. I am trying to cut it down a bit, because as you can see, I tend to get a little wordy. I am just thankful I never stopped writing, even when I was whining I was still writing. That would be my advice to writers everywhere...keep on writing and enjoy the ride. I know I have!

I'm going to try and post twice a week. My next Money Talk Update will probably be posted after the second week in May. Next week I'll let you know what's happening at B&N and Smashwords.

Let me know if you have any questions. I'm off to take lots of pictures of my youngest daughter as she goes off to her Senior Ball. Happy Mother's Day to MOMS everywhere!!!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I LOVE that you are doing some analysis of sales numbers and days on the market. Also, the 99 cents versus $2.99 begs a price point comparison... ;-)

The old analyst in me thinks it will be worth doing some self-pubbed ebooks just to be able to make those kinds of studies.

How often do you get sales figures? Only when you get a royalty statement from Amazon or B&N? Have you ever used Novel Rank? I've heard that it only counts 50% (or less) of actual sales. I'd love to know of any other ways to collect sales data.

Theresa Ragan said...

Exactly! This is why i have never changed the price of either book...because I wanted to be able to test it out and see what happens if i leave pricing as is. I also haven't done much marketing, but I plan to in June, 2011.

About sales figures. I can go to "pubit" right this minute, which is Barnes & Noble, and log in and see how many sales i have made today for each book! I can also see exactly what they owe me, too. Pretty awesome!

Amazon shows accumulative sales. And then also shows a total for each book for each WEEK. So, I can see how many of each book I sold for the week...and then I divide the number by 7 to see how many books i averaged per day. I can also log on at any time (numbers change every few minutes). For instance, I just logged on (11 AM 5/9) and saw that as of MAY 1st I sold 1,391 of A Knight in Central Park; 388 of Return of the Rose; 13 of Finding Kate Huntley; 38 of Taming Mad Max. But I don't know how many of those sales were made yesterday or the day before unless I keep track myself, which I usually do. I hope I am making sense.

I did check Novel Rank a few weeks ago and it showed A Knight in Central Park as having sold 95 when, in fact, I had sold thousands of books. So, i haven't been back to check, but it looks like the numbers are WAY off.

I would love to know other ways to collect sales data, too! I'll let you know if I find any other way. It is nice being an indie author and having all these numbers at my fingertips.

cidney swanson said...

It is so encouraging to read what you write. Thanks for sharing about your decision to go indie and how it was the best choice you could have made: very, very encouraging as I get ready to jump off the query-go-round with three of my titles.

Theresa Ragan said...

Thanks Cidney. And good luck with your books!