Phases and Sales Trends

My last new release was Something to Curse About (Discord Jones #2) in the last third of December 2013. I released it while Book 1, Arcane Solutions, was in “discovery phase” on Amazon.co.uk.

Arcane’s discovery phase began about September 2013 on that site, and peaked in January. From January to March, there’s been a decline in copies sold there, which I suspect will continue until I release Book 3.

On the other hand, a new discovery phase began on Amazon.com in February, and has continued to the point that April may be my best sales month to date for the year.

I won’t know until the end of May if April is a peak Amazon.com sales month, or if it’s still a discovery phase month.

Note: I’ve seen other authors mention that months with new releases are peak sales months for them, with sales declining over the following months (which makes sense). It sounds as though a new release every three months, and near the start of a month, is a solid publishing plan.

That’s not to say that earnings declined a lot. They actually didn’t, thanks to readers coming back to buy my other titles, some of which are higher priced than the Discord Jones titles.

Although 23 fewer copies sold in February than January, actual earnings were about $17 higher. With 21 less sales in March than February, earnings did drop a rough guesstimate of $44. I have to wait for the payments to have the final numbers.

Right now, my books are earning, on average, only a few hundred dollars less per month than my salary at my last, full-time retail management position. Bonus: I’m not on my feet 70 hours per week with my back screaming at me (I injured it while at that job).

It’ll be interesting to see what happens when I release the third Discord Jones novel, Save the Last Vamp for Me, which I hope to do next month. I’m also wondering what will happen with non-series releases. Will they cause sales bumps, and if so, will they be small or large bumps?

By the way, having luck strike doesn’t mean any laurel resting is in line. The hard work’s only beginning. It’s up to me to make some changes in order to encourage sales to not only continue, but grow. I have to buckle down, do some re-organizing and better habit building to A) focus on the series that’s selling, and B) finish more projects and release them, period.

Which is what I’m working on. :)

Feel Free to Share...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+

Changes

I spent roughly 5.75 years having little luck at selling my fiction.

Some of it sucked (and I later “retired” those). Other titles sold, just not often or in great numbers. I spent a lot of time writing, learning, and improving, as well followed all the common advice about marketing and self-promotion.

Not only did I suck at the whole self-promotion thing, but I hated it to the point I basically quit doing it about 2 years ago. Even so, my books continued to sell.

Roughly 8 months ago, my luck as a writer trying to sell her work began to change. Since then, I’ve had 7 or 8 titles appear on genre Top 100 lists on various Amazon sites, with 2 of them surfing an Amazon.co.uk Top 100 list for nearly 4 and 3 months respectively. Those would be Books 1 & 2 of my Discord Jones UF series, and they are responsible for the majority of my sales. They’ve also begun to accrue ratings/reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. My books continue to sell daily, even though none are in any Top 100 lists. I’m working on Book 3 for the series.

Things I’ve learned:

  1. Luck is the biggest factor.
  2. You can promote your butt off, and still not gain any traction.
  3. Best marketing: Write as well as you can, have a good cover, and interesting blurb.
  4. Write as much as possible, and release new works often.

Note that I didn’t mention professional editing. I do think it’s important, and pay to have most of my work edited by pros. However, I do have a couple of titles I’ve self-edited, and 1 of them has received reviews mentioning how “well-written” it was. The other hasn’t received reviews that state that, but neither do its reviews point out any technical writing issues. Basically, in some cases you can self-edit without royally screwing up. That doesn’t mean I’m going to self-edit everything from here on out. I may do so from time to time on works under 10k words, but I really prefer to have someone else do the final pass on most everything.

It does mean I’ve actually improved my skills over the years though. :)

Anyhoo, that’s what’s changing on this blog: The focus from “everything writing/self-publishing/indie” to my efforts and results as an indie author.

Maybe someone will find a little inspiration along the way. :)

Feel Free to Share...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+