I’ve hummed and hawed about this for a while but I figured I might as well share the business data from foray into self publishing. So far I’m off to a slow but from what I’ve read average start. I released my first novel Legacy as ebook only on the 17th of December. I started with the basic approach I announced it on facebook to my family and friends. I setup a goodreads author page and listed my book there as well. I add a link to the book on my blog , as well as mentioning it on two forums that regularly frequent gamdev.net and the sword and laser book club. I even spent a few hours building two book trailers which was a lot of fun to be honest and posted them on youtube and goodreads.
With all that in place I had what I feel are the basics of the initial book launch. Now I just needed to sit back and wait for the sales to roll in. Well sadly its never that easy. Even using 4 free promotion days I’m still a long way from generating regular sales.
In December I sold 8 copies and gave away 84 free copies in my first free promotion.
In January I sold 6 copies and gave away 96 free copies using 3 promotion days.
Total Sales: 14
Average book sales per week: 2
My first thought was I priced the book too high with an initial price of £4.99 so after some comparison with other books I dropped it down to £2.99 in hopes that would stimulate sales but it didn’t seem to have much of an impact. But I’ve kept it at that level in hopes that it might lead to future sales.
The other thing I did was look into different adverting options. There is of course goggle adwords but I’m dubious as to whether that would lead to any book sales. I’m not convinced adwords is applicable to books. I just do see that avenue converting. I know it works well with products and services but it don’t believe people buy books by searching google for keywords like fantasy novels. They did send my free credit though when I signed up so I will give it a try in march and see what the conversation rate is like.
The one space I have invested a small amount of money in for advertising is Goodreads. They have nice little ad space on the side and you can target the ads to people who read certain kinds of books which means in theory it should reach my audience. It doesn’t however give me that option to only target people who have read indie books. Which I personally feel would greatly increase my clicks to sales (conversion rate).
In December I had 67903 ad impressions and an average CTR(Click Through Rate) of .06%
In January I had 127561 ad impressions and an average CTR of 0.6%
Also 3 people add my book to their to-read list.
One mistake I made with setting up my Goodreads ad was I didn’t put in any place any way of tracking the sales. So I don’t know for certain if any of the people of who clicked on the ad actually bought a copy of my book. Fortunately that shouldn’t be a case going forward as I’ve now figured out how to create multiple tracking ids in my amazon affiliate account. What does that mean? Well simply put is that I can create separate tracking id for each place I advertise my book. Whether it be a paid add, the link on my blog, or mentioning it in a forum post, and I can now see the performance of each as amazon affiliate will not only show my how my clicks I received from each source but also how many sales.
How does my first two months compare to yours? Feel free to share you thoughts in the comments.