Thursday, May 26, 2011

What One E-book Sale Can Do

Actually, it was an e-short story sale. Yes, yesterday I sold another copy of "Mom's Letter" on Amazon Kindle. That puts it up to 4 sales since I published it in mid-February. I did a little promotion on it today, both on Absolute Write and at the Suite101 forums. I don't know where the sale came from, and no new review has yet shown up. I'm happy for it, and for the 34.65 cent royalty I'll earn--if I ever make payout, that is. I'll make payout, I have no doubt about that. It's mainly a question of whether it will be on this side or the other side of the next New Year's Day.

What are the impacts of this sale? The book ranking of "Mom's Letter" skyrocketed from something below 300,000 (hadn't checked for a while) to 45,632. At least a 260,000 place jump from one sale! That tells me that 260,000 other e-books haven't had a sale recently. I don't know how the Kindle rankings work. Are they cumulative since publication? Are they based on the last 30 days? Last 7 days? I haven't figured that out yet, though I haven't tried very hard to figure it out. I suspect it's based on sales in a recent time period. That means 45,632 e-books have had at least 1 sale during that time period. Since the Kindle Store has some million or millions of books available, that means many, many, many had no sales in that period. Welcome to the world of self-publishing.

Another impact is promotion. This demonstrates how important promotion is. A simple link posted to a forum can generate a sale. It might be a sympathy sale, given that I mentioned how sales were lagging, but a sale is a sale. Actually, I don't know if the sale came from my post. One gal responded to my post saying she would tweet it for me. But since that tweet (if she did it; I don't tweet to check on it) came as a result of my forum post, that forum post should at least earn an assist. So I guess I should bet busy and promote some more.

What about the impact on my psyche? It's not as great as the third sale was, nor the first two way back in February. Self-sustaining sales, not directly attributed to promotional efforts, might give me a bigger morale boost. But if I have to make two Internet posts to generate one sale...well, seems like a lot of effort for 35 cents.

But I am a little more encouraged to go ahead and complete the editing round currently in progress on Documenting America. I have four more chapters to read, and then fifteen chapters of edits to type. I'm not really finding much. I had a few embarrassing typos, a few not so embarrassing, and a couple of places where my wording could have been clearer. Nothing much, really. I hope to have the improved, artistically-designed cover available in a day or two, and it would be nice to have the text edits available at the same time, do the re-up-load in one shot instead of two.

Any encouragement is good. May the sales continue.

1 comment:

David A. Todd said...

And what fourteen or so hours can do: Now it's below 90,000 on the list. So 45,000 books have sold a copy since my last one.