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More Sales Info

Well, it seems like a lot of folks are interested in the dynamics behind sales, at least how they relate to the Kindle. I still don’t have the final figures for July, but I know they’re not as good as June was…which of course, makes me want to weep. But in order to retain my status among my peers as a manly man, I’ll soon elect a designate to do my weeping for me, a la Subotai in Conan the Barbarian.

So with that in mind, here are the last two weeks of sales, the first showing the final week of July, the second this past week which just closed out:

Final Week of July

Sales Figures, Last Week of July (Kindle)

First Week of August:

Sale for First Week of August (Kindle)

In the screenshots above, you can see the two titles that most directly affect my, ah, wealth have gone through a decline. (Though City of the Damned has kicked up a bit here and there.) I expected sales to roll back once I raised the prices from .99 to $2.99–it was just too much to hope for that sales would continue to be as robust by making the product “less accessible”, though in truth I’m still charging $5.00 less on average than what the traditional publishers demand for similar product. I think that what’s happening here is a confluence of things, to wit:

  1. It’s summer. People are out doing things with their families, their significant others, their pets, waxing their muscle cars, whatever. This could be a usual seasonal decline, which is what I’ve heard elsewhere.
  2. Raising the prices were guaranteed to cause a rollback in sales. This was not unexpected by me.
  3. The economy. It sucks, and now that S&P has elected to pay more attention to politics as opposed to financial data and reduce the U.S.A’s sovereign credit rating–a little something they apparently overlook when it comes to grading nations like, oh, China–I’m expecting consumers to be less apt to spring on nonessential impulse purchases like this. I mean, really–if your credit card finance charges are going through the roof, chances are good that you’ll be less interested in reading about Special Forces troops going to guns on zombies in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. I get that.

Of course, there’s not a remarkable wealth of datasets to back these theories up. As far as I know, the only guy out there who’s free and open with his numbers is Konrath, and he’s clearly in a league by himself. He was among the very first to jump into this fight, and he continues to lean forward in the foxhole every day. His sales are, of course, what the rest of us envy. But while trolling the web looking for contrasts, I’m not finding a great many self-pub folks who are willing to discuss their sales in such a fashion. I get that, too; I’m a very private guy in real life, and broadcasting my financial foibiles is actually tough for me to do. (But I do it for you guys–I believe this is known generically as “taking one for the team”.)

Regardless, I do very much buy into the axiom that if you want more sales, you need more product. I think this is true, as I have folks pestering me to release more work. Now, it’s blindingly obvious that White Tiger is as bouyant as a boat anchor right now, and this tells me that my readers will take a risk on my horror titles, but not so much on more commercial fare. I do have another horror work underway, the sequel to The Gathering Dead, so that should make at least two or three folks happy (especially if I pull it off and hit all the marks again). But what about my next title, which is a science fiction adventure called Tribes? I honestly don’t have a clue. Maybe the economy will improve by the time it hits the market, and since it will be late fall or early winter when I release it, more folks will be hunkering down and staying at home to read as opposed to hitting the beaches with the rest of the Polar Bear Club.

Or maybe, it will sell as well as White Tiger, which means my boat will have two set anchors instead of one. From a business perspective, it’s a very interesting challenge.

But again, I’m not bitching about it. My sales have been generally pretty damned good; even my short stories sell better than some “real” author titles, even their novels. So in that regard, I’m very lucky. Don’t think I don’t fall to my knees and thank God every chance I get (though I suspect I’m only bugging Him when I do that). But the trick to it all is to make the success repeatable, sustainable, and dependable. That’s the big friction point right there.

Would love to hear more from you folks about your own sales, if you don’t mind sharing. Hit me up with a comment, and if you want to keep it private, I’ll ensure the comment isn’t revealed to the world (I still approve them).

And now…back to writing. The Rising Horde isn’t going to finish itself, and I’m only about 30,000 words in, with another 100,000 to go. Catch all of you on the rebound.

Out here.

  1. August 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    So my question is, with all those great sales on the “Gathering Dead”, when is the sequel coming out🙂 I, for one, am waiting!

    • August 7, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      Hey, it’s going to be a while! Still have lots of writing to do, and have to manage the day-to-day affairs of life in meat space as well. I’m working as fast as I can…trust me!

  2. August 7, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Have you ever tried messing with the free option on Smashwords? As an experiment, I put two short stories on there: one that was good for $0.99, one that was just okay for free. The one that was just okay has received about 100 downloads in 2 weeks, while the one that $0.99 hasn’t had a single sale in the week it’s been up (both were approved for the permium catalogue).

    If you put in a bunch of free excerpts and self-promotional items in a freebie it seems you can reach a lot of readers.

    • August 8, 2011 at 7:54 am

      I sure did…I tried it with GHOSTS, and it didn’t do much for me. Smashwords is still very hit-or-miss from where I sit with regards to generating sales. But hey…it’ll get there.

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