The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

April Sales Numbers

What a rollercoaster! After such an amazing month of sales last month, I had no idea what to expect during the month of April. I was pretty sure that my huge jump in sales during March was due to the release of my third book toward the end of February. Without another new release in April to bolster sales, I had a feeling they would slow down. And I was right.

Since I first starting publishing in October, I have tried to set a standard for myself of writing and publishing a new book every two months. No easy task, let me tell you! I succeeded in getting a book out in December, then again in February, but after that, I was definitely feeling a bit burned out. According to the pattern, I should have had Book 4 out by the end of April. Unfortunately, I just couldn't keep working at that pace and had to push the release out to May. Likewise, Book 5 probably will be out in August, giving myself a little bit more time per book.

The downside to taking an extra month is that during that in-between time with no new release, my sales definitely seem to drop off. Last month, I had a whopping jump up to 6441 sales. (That was up from 3711 in February.) In the month of April, I saw a drop back down more toward my February numbers. If you look back at last month's sales numbers blog, you'll see that this is exactly what I predicted. More about my thoughts on this after the numbers. One exciting new development in April is the opening of a Kindle store in Germany! I haven't sold very many copies there yet, but it's great to have a new possible audience of readers.

Here are my April Sales Numbers:

BEAUTIFUL DEMONS - Book 1 of the PHD Series - $0.99 (10/30/10)

  • Amazon's Kindle Store: 1452 US sales + 16 UK sales + 2 DE sales (yay!) = 1470
  • Barnes & Noble: 97
  • Smashwords: 2
  • Total: 1569
INNER DEMONS - Book 2 of the PHD series - $0.99 (12/22/10)
  • Amazon's Kindle Store: 1196 US sales + 12 UK sales + 1 DE sale = 1209
  • Barnes & Noble: 89
  • Smashwords: 2
  • Total: 1300
BITTER DEMONS - Book 3 of the PHD series - $2.99 (2/24/11)
  • Amazon's Kindle Store: 1148 US sales + 10 UK sales + 1 DE sale = 1159
  • Barnes & Noble: 120
  • Smashwords: 2
  • Total: 1281
Total April Sales: 4150
Total Self-Publishing Sales: 12,877 previous sales + 4150 April sales = 17027

I'm super excited about that number. Sure, my sales dipped some this month, but with no new release, I think that's to be expected. I have a bit of a theory about this, and I'd love to get some feedback or opinions about it. What I've found so far is that people who release a lot of books in a short amount of time have a burst of sales. The more books and the faster they come out, the bigger the burst and the longer it lasts. For example, if an author releases 6 books in 3 months, they might see a huge boost in sales numbers. This boost might last for 3 or more months. I think this happens because the books begin to ride their own wave of success, so to speak. When an author releases 1 book every 3 months, they will probably see a boost in sales for about a month and a half to two months after each new release, then there will be a dip for that last month or so before the next book comes out. Has anyone else seen this to be true? I would love to see other author's numbers based on their release dates and how often their books come out.

According to that theory, I might have been better off in the long run if I had waited until all five books in my series were written so that I could have released them all in short succession. I might have gotten a bigger boost from that quick release. On the other hand, I would have lost months of sales while I was writing the other books. I have to believe that the path I've chosen is the right path for me. While I may see a dip in sales in between books, I am still seeing steady growth and that's what matters. Of course it would be a dream come true to see my books go all the way up to the Top 500 Kindle books, but I'm still hoping that might happen soon.

Book 4: SHADOW DEMONS is currently in the editing process. I am really hoping for a release date of May 23rd. In the meantime, I expect my sales numbers to stay about the same as they were last month overall, with a boost toward the end of the month when the new book comes out. I hope to have some exciting news about the book cover soon!

Thanks for visiting my blog and checking out my sales numbers. I would love to hear from other Indie authors who also have had some experience with dipping sales numbers.

5 comments:

Kathleen May 5, 2011 at 7:13 PM  

Impressive! I have had an ebook out for over three weeks both on NOOK, Kindle and Amazon.com (also on Smashwords) priced at 2.99 with no sales. Mine is a YA fantasy about a 16 year old girl who finds out she's a banshee.

Kathleen May 5, 2011 at 7:17 PM  

I forgot to ask, how did you get sales so quickly? Did you promote yourself?

Bev Pettersen May 6, 2011 at 10:54 AM  

Thanks for sharing your numbers, Sarra, and congratulations. I haven't self-pubbed yet but, as a reader, I know when I like an author, I want to buy all their books now.

Katherine Pine May 6, 2011 at 11:25 PM  

Thanks for sharing your April sales numbers, Sarra. You may have already seen this, but right after I read your blog post I saw this over at Kindle Boards: http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,65540.0.html

Some authors noticed a change in the "also bought" lineup during April, and speculate that Amazon has changed its algorithm (and that the changes may favor newer books). Of course we can't know for sure, but it's interesting reading and could be part of the reason why you've seen a slight drop in sales.

I just released my book in late April, and I noticed right away that I was showing up in some of the "also bought" sections of very popular books (like "Grey Eyes" and "Eternal Eden"...though I suppose that last one isn't too surprising since the title of my book is "After Eden"). Still, I thought that was a little odd since I'm only selling 1-3 copies a day--but hey, I'm not complaining!

I do think that monthly back-to-back releases of a series is a really good strategy (even some of the larger NY publishers have tried it and been successful). Still, many successful indie and "traditionally published" series were not released that way, and I don't think you have to be worried about "doing the wrong thing" here. People are reading your work and getting excited about it, and that's the most important thing. You'll see another spike in sales whenever you release your next book :)

Marcia Colette May 14, 2011 at 6:49 AM  

Bittersweet has only been out for two months now, so there's really not enough "data" to know for sure. BUT...with what little sales I've had in those two months, what you say seems to be true. March was a good month and pretty much what I expected. I sold 30-something (I can't recall the number exactly) copies in March. In April, they slumped to 6, although I got my first UK sale (woohoo!). So far, I've sold 2 books this month. Unless I add some fuel to my match light, they'll probably fluff off into nonexistence.

For my next two books, I'm planning to release those about a month apart. It'll be interesting to see what happens to my sales numbers in that time. If I had to guess, I'd say triple digits are a huge possibility. ;-)

Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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