26 November 2012

Sales Update - November 2012

Hard to believe it's been so long since my most recent sales update, so it was high time that I put out some updated numbers. To avoid confusion over the current numbers, I'm going to avoid listing out the old numbers first (as I have in past updates), and get right to the updates:

Heroes Die Young has sold a total of 417 sales (print and e-book total), which means 27 copies have sold since July (for a total of nearly 7 copies a month over the past four months). This compares to 30 copies over the previous quarter (and 29 copies during the previous three months), so sales are a bit down...which is something I've been noticing as an overall trend. One extra point of interest is that both this title and Friends in Deed have received two royalty statements (since I hadn't yet received the last one when putting up my previous update). Taking the total number over the course of just over four years, this title is still coming out around 100 copies per year.

Friends in Deed has sold a total of 94 copies (print and e-book total), which means that 13 copies have sold since July (for a total of around 3 copies a month over the past four months). This compares to around 15 copies during the previous quarter, which is matching up closely to the same slow sales trend as mentioned before. Coming up on the three-year mark, it’s still selling just over 30 copies per year. It always interests me that this novel sells less, because in my opinion, I think it's a much better novel. I do wonder whether people are hesitant to read the second book in the series (even if they're standalone titles), so try out the first novel and decide not to go for the next. These are the things that keep me up at night...

Seeker has sold 79 copies (99-cent e-book only), so only 7 copies have sold since the last update (compared to 22 copies during the last update, but fairly close to 8 copies during the quarter before that). Next month will be the 2-year birthday for this novel, which means we're still on track for an average of 3 copies a month (and actually, since it's been two years, we can start tracking annual sales...40 per year). I did do some testing with the pricing of this novella, up to $1.99, and only two copies sold at this price. I decided to permanently shift it back down to the 99-cent price point. Last time, I mentioned that this title was now available over on OmniLit. Considering my title is not a romance (in the strictest sense), it hasn't sold any more than the one copy during the last update (and other than free giveaways, neither The Cure nor Death Brings Victory have sold any), so I'm not sure I plan on putting up any future titles there.

 Dead or Alive hasn't received any sales updates from my publisher (I'm guessing that I'll probably see something in the next month or so), so we still stand at 70 copies, with 48 copies sold during the six months covered by the last update.  The book was running about 4 copies a month at last count (I won't bother updating that until the report comes in).

The Cure has now sold 67 copies (print and e-book total), so 12 copies have sold since my past update, compared to 26 copies during the previous update (and 16 copies during the update before that). This book has been out around 18 months or so, so we're running around 3 or 4 copies per month. Previously, it was running about double what Friends in Deed had achieved, but now it's running about the same level. Perhaps I need to return to the same 99-cent price point since sales seem to have dropped off since going to a price between $2.99 and $3.99?

Death Brings Victory was released back in March, so we're coming up on the 8-month mark. 37 copies have sold, so running between 4 and 5 copies a month. During the previous (and first) update, 26 copies had sold, so 11 copies have sold in the past four months (about 3 copies per month). I did some price adjustments during this time frame, but have decided to keep things at the $2.99 price point for simplicity.

I now have two Triple-Shot collections out, with the first having been released in November 2011 (so one year) and the second in July 2012 (so four months there). 33 copies have sold, versus 21 copies previously. sold, meaning 12 copies sold since my last update (versus 13 copies in the previous update, and 8 copies in the update before that). I previously went over my not-so-rosy view on my experience with the KDP Select program, so won't bother rehashing that but to state that it really didn't boost sales for me at all. In the past four months, the breakdown has been roughly equal between the two Triple-Shots, which means that each title has been selling about 1 or 2 copies a month.

Now for the analysis of this latest period:

It's fairly obvious to me that I'm not going to be quitting my day job with this writing gig. Ha.

Last time, I'd discussed my conversations with Lyn Perry from ResAliens press about price points, and the idea of pricing my books even higher, to project the idea of the books having more value. Considering the results from the past four months, I'm a little hesitant to keep the books at a higher price point. So, I've moved everything back to the $.99 point for the novella and short story collections, and $2.99 for my novels.

Since my latest update (July), I've sold 82 books compared to 202 books during the previous update for an average of just over 20 books per month over the last four (compared to 40 books per month (over 3), and 25 books per month (over 5), respectively, from previous updates). Looks like there may in fact be some cyclic activity in sales going on...in addition to the price-point issues mentioned.

And so I have a statistic when people ask (and quite often they do), the latest "total sales" number now stands at 797 copies.

Now it's just a matter of motivating myself to finish the next novel...which gets tougher and tougher as the days go on.

Hopefully after the holiday season (where hopefully a whole new set of e-readers are sold, with many new folks looking for great reads), we'll see another spur of sales. Hopefully I'll even be able to pass the 1000-copy mark. Time will tell.


  1. I'm always tentative about asking other authors about their sales but as you're posting stats...797 since when?

  2. Interesting update. I'm sure I said that your last update inspired me to write my own, similar blog post. Best make a start on that, then. ;-)

  3. Thanks for sharing. That's really not too bad.

  4. Pippa, that's total since my first novel came out in September 2008.

    Gayle, yes you'd better! ;-)

    Angie, some days it feels that way, and others it feels terrible. They claim one shouldn't compare to other authors, but alas, I do so more than I should...

  5. And Pippa, hit me up anytime on stats. The way I figure, it always helps to have lots of information...plus, when it comes to "what works and what doesn't" we can all benefit as authors promoting our work.

  6. Thanks, Todd. :) I'm happy to share stats in private but I won't post any in public. I'm currently working on the principle that the best publicity is more titles, but that's probably the most time consuming method. For me, anyway. :P

  7. Thanks for cattle-prodding me into doing something productive. Just updated my own figures.

  8. This is extremely useful and interesting information to prospective authors--like myself. I appreciate you being willing to share and explaining your thoughts.

  9. Thanks for posting this. It's fascinating and not something I see other author's talking about. Doesn't it make you all warm and fuzzy inside to know that 797 people have read your books? I would be absolutely giddy.

  10. Glad it's of some use to everyone...and actually, these are all just paid sales. The number of copies distributed (through giveaways and the like) has far surpassed the 1000-copy mark.

    The trick now is to figure out how to have the "ball" start rolling over the crest of the hill, to the point where the books promote themselves to readers.

    Thanks for stopping by! :-)


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