Thursday, May 19, 2011

More Sales Numbers for the Curious

These sales numbers are from 5/1/11 thru 5/18/11. A total of 18 days.

A Knight in Central Park, time-travel romance (released on 3/18/11 and offered at $.99)

Amazon:    2,662
B&N:             187

Return of the Rose, time-travel romance (released on 3/2/11 and offered at $2.99)

Amazon:     854
B&N:             51

Taming Mad Max, romantic comedy (released on 4/25/11 and offered at $2.99)

Amazon:      93
B&N:              8

Finding Kate Huntley, romantic suspense (released on 5/6/11 and offered at $2.99) 12 days for FKH.

Amazon:     60
B&N:             2

The reason I think these numbers might be helpful to other writers is because we can all get a snapshot picture of what's happening in self-publishing as more people buy Ereaders. I have never changed the prices of my books because I want to see what happens with the $.99 vs. $2.99 pricing and because I feel that $2.99 is a fair price for all (I know I'm repeating myself.)

Will my newer books slowly rise or slowly drop? How about the time travels? Do time travel romances have a built-in fan base? Do people read more in May or more in October? So many questions. I could go on and on.

In April, 2011, I sold 5,431 of the $.99 book at Amazon. If I double the number above (2,662) by the end of May, I will be close to the 5,431 books I sold in April. If that number keeps up or even rises in the next few months, I am going to assume lots of people are buying kindles and they all like romantic time travels. :)

Truthfully, I have no idea what to do with all these numbers, other than share than with all of you. In a few months, after I release my other books, I might be able to do some concrete analyzing. Believe it or not I am writing and editing more than I am blogging or checking numbers.

I try to spend about 15 minutes a day looking at tweets, another 15 minutes looking over interesting sites or blogs. I probably spend an hour a day over here and I check my sales numbers a few times a day. I'm getting better about that. Checking numbers gets less addicting as time goes by because I'd rather write books than check #'s. I spend a minimum of five hours a day writing.

Disclaimer: I am not promoting self-publishing over any other kind of publishing. If you self-publish your book, I have no idea if you will sell 1 book or 20,000 books. Nobody knows. Self-publishing a book ten years ago or even one year ago is not the same as self-publishing a book today. Writers now have one more option to choose from when thinking about publishing their book(s).

Any questions?


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing, Theresa. I know most beginning self-published authors are curious about how many titles they can hope/expect to sell. Your figures are impressive ~ congratulations! I have self-published my latest novella, an erotic romance, and hope to come close to your figures one day:-). I was going to ask how much time you put into promotion, and see you have already answered it. My question then is, how much promotional work did you commit to your very first self-published work?

So many questions! Do time-travel books have a built in fan base? I don't know but I feel that good writing speaks for itself:-) I do enjoy the time-travel genre and look forward to reading your work. Thanks again:-)

Theresa Ragan said...

Hi Ursula! I'll have to check out your novella. The only reason I haven't done any promotion is because I knew my priority was going to be editing, formatting, and releasing the books I have already finished and I feel are ready to go. I have two more books to get out and then I plan on doing some promotional work. I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but that will be my focus in June. Writing and promoting.

My first book, Return of the Rose, was released on March 2, 2011, and I sent emails to various writer loops and to family members. I also started tweeting at that time. I didn't have a Twitter account before then. I also put covers of my books with links on FB. That's all I have done. I started selling 100 books a day of the $.99 book within a few weeks. And then a reader suggested my book as a Bargain Buy at Pixel of Ink and then things seemed to take off from there. I am getting great feedback on my romantic comedy, but Finding Kate Huntley, a romantic suspense, was released two weeks AFTER Taming Mad Max, my romantic comedy, and FKH is already doing better in sales. More suspense readers? I have no idea.

I am going to be patient and give each book three months and then see how sales are going before I try anything new with marketing/covers, etc.

I hope I answered your question! Good luck with your novella. Feel free to leave the title of your book and the link so we can all check it out!

Anonymous said...

It is so encouraging to hear of another author's self-publishing success:-). Your post has helped me to prioritize my writing goals, and for me, the next step is to focus on finishing some projects so that I can grow a backlist. I've recently started tweeting, don't yet have a Facebook page, but that will have to wait a bit ~ writing is paramount:-).

I've bookmarked your blog and will be visiting again. I'll leave a link to, A Day in April, 1944, (thanks:-) but want to forewarn readers that it is an erotic historical romance so expect a steamy read!

I wish you much continued success and thanks again:-)!

Pamela Fryer said...

Theresa, thanks for sharing. I'm so happy to see you doing well on Amazon! At first I hesitated to try Kindle because I figured it was moot since I'm published through small press and epubs. Then I started reading testimonials! I just put up my historical from the golden heart but it's too soon to see any numbers.

Theresa Ragan said...

Hi Pam, good to hear from you! When you have been writing and trying to get through the traditional publishing doors for as long as we have, it's difficult to shift how we think about publishing. I fought the idea of self-publishing for a long time because it was really hard to give up the idea of selling to New York and having my books in all of those wonderful book stores. I LOVE book stores.

But now, having gone this route, I feel so lucky to have real, honest to goodness readers! That's all that matters. I'm having the time of my life. And I plan to publish all of my books in print and then I can have my own little book signing. I can't wait!

Which book have you released? Give us the title, the price, everything!

Anonymous said...

Hi Theresa,

Thanks again for your transparancy. Amanda Hocking set her first books at .99 too. I'm curious to compare sales .99 vs. 2.99. KNIGHT has made you less money than ROSE but tons more readers; ROSE has made more money but garnered a smaller reader base.

My book released this week at 2.99. I've sold 31 from Amazon; 18 at B&N and 6 at Smashwords. Not bad for the first week.

Carey Corp (Google issue preventing me from loggin in as me.)

Theresa Ragan said...

Hi Carey.

Great numbers for your first week! Congratulations.

I am definitely having google problems, too. I've been trying to congratulate you all day.