It's been a little over three months since my last update on sales figures, so I figured now would be as good a time as any to give a little update. To recap those figures, here are the stats from that previous post (as of October 30):
Heroes Die Young
(released September 2008) had sold a total of 231 copies (print and e-book total), for an average of around 73
copies per year.
Friends in Deed (released January 2010) had sold a total of 65 copies
(print and e-book total), for an average of around 33 copies per year.
Seeker (released December 2010) had sold around 42 copies (e-book only).
Dead or Alive
(released in print, February 2011) had sold 19 copies. An e-book version was not available.
The Cure (released in e-book, July 2011; in print, September 2011) had sold 2 print copies and 11 e-books.
And now for the new stats:
Heroes Die Young has now sold a total of 260 copies (print and e-book total). This includes copies that were previously sold, but not yet paid for by the vendor (such as Amazon), so 29 copies have passed through the system in the last three months. I have not yet received my royalty statement for the 4th quarter of 2011, but am expecting it soon, so any copies appearing there will be included in the next update.
Friends in Deed has now sold a total of 66 copies
(print and e-book total). Same comments about the upcoming royalty statement. There may have been a discrepancy on the past update, as I've sold 6 copies since then...but the 66 copies is correct.
Seeker has now sold around 50 copies (99-cent e-book only), so about 8 copies have sold over the past three months.
Dead or Alive
has now sold 22 print copies (3 copies over the past three months). An e-book version was made available in July 2011 over at Smashwords (Kindle version came out in January 2012), and has sold 6 copies (an estimate based on sales ranking numbers...with four of these for the Kindle in the past month).
The Cure has now sold 29 copies (print and e-book total), so 16 copies have sold in the past three months. One side note to this is that I recently dropped the price to 99 cents, and my sales in January and February so far (at least through Smashwords) have been the same number as my sales were in the first six months at the $2.99 level.
As mentioned in the last update, I went ahead and put out my first Triple-Shot collection in November 2011 for a 99-cent price point. Since that time, 8 reported copies have sold.
Now for the analysis:
First, in conversations with others, they aren't entirely sure why some of these numbers are so low. Other books seem to do far better, even though they aren't written as well. This could be for lack of sufficient marketing, a matter that I've previously mentioned is being corrected.
As I mentioned about The Cure, sales drastically increased when I dropped the price to 99 cents. Although the royalty figures decreased accordingly, I believe these prices will need to stick around until such time as my sales figures improve. All of my self-published titles have been priced at this level now, but once my new title (Death Brings the Victory) is released, I'll have a decision to make regarding that price point. Since it already has a base with fans of Aston, it may sustain itself at a higher price. Time will tell.
In the past three months, I've sold 76 books for a total of just over 25 books a month all-inclusive (counting all titles). This backs up the assertion that many have made before, in that putting out additional titles helps boost sales figures. So, if you're spending all of your time trying to promote one book while neglecting your next book in the process, you're doing it wrong. Promote, yes, but if you don't have a new book coming down the pipeline, you're only hurting yourself.
Hopefully I'll do a little more analysis about these figures (specifically, the comparison between sales figures for each book) in an upcoming post. In the meantime, I hope they were useful to you in your search for a publisher, agent, small press or for helping you decide whether to go into self-publishing.