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10 Reasons You're Not Selling eBooks
Note: This is the twenty-sixth post in Free Fiction Fridays. These are short stories put up each Friday that you can read for free.
By the next Friday the post will be taken down and a new one will go up. Enjoy!
This post was removed on 09/12/14...thanks!
This is the twenty-second post in an ongoing series of useful and interesting content that goes up each Wednesday.
Here you can find links to different SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, self-publishing, and other various articles from the past week that I think you might like.
This week there are nineteen articles…enjoy!
Post removed 02/20/15
Social Media Marketing
I’m not going to waste a lot of your time – I did that 9 months ago and 4 months ago when we talked about The Jongurian Mission and perma-free.
No, today I’m just going to lay it out straight – perma-free on Amazon is a good thing for me.
Also, my perma-free book on Amazon has taken a serious nosedive, as seen in this chart here:
Well shit…what happened? That’s hard to say, but if you look at this graph here you can get a better picture, and I can form a better explanation:
It’s clear the book was popular right from the get-go, getting more than 1,000 downloads.
Now, to many that’s chump change, but to some of you that’s what you’re drooling over in your sleep.
Anyways, something happened in November that really caused the book to take off. It’s clear the book took off, getting more than 1,100 downloads from pretty-good October, but the chart doesn’t tell us why.
I’m pretty sure it happened because I did some advertising on various sites. That helped me, and then in December you see the lack of that advertising with the return to ‘normalcy,’ if just a few months of perma-free status can be called that.
Then January comes along and the book takes a big hit, losing half it’s ‘sales.’ What the hell happened?
I think two things happened:
Yep, I’m taking about bad reviews, and if you look at the book…January brought in quite a few.
By March the book had taken another 50% hit in ‘sales’ and then fell into a regular pattern of getting 250 or so ‘sales’ a month.
Overall, it’s been a downward spiral for the book ever since that initial opening and first advertising push. Why is that?
Perma-Free and a Series
So what about Books 2 and 3 – Trouble in Jonguria and The Jongurian Resolution?
The only reason to do perma-free is if you have more books, and hopefully in a series. I don’t think either of the two books in this fantasy trilogy would have the good reviews they currently have if the first book hadn’t been perma-free.
See, the perma-free book has gotten 10,446 ‘sales’…with just 74 of them happening when the book was paid.
What I do know is that just 2.5% of those downloading it go on to buy Book 2. But what’s great is that 71.6% of those who buy Book 2 go on to buy Book 3.
That might have something to do with the numerous edits I’ve gone back and done on those books, such as complete line-edits twice and a content-edit that cut 15,000 words from Book 1 this past spring when I decided something had to be done to address the ‘boring’ reviews.
It’s paid off, and the only reviews that have come since then have been good. It’s got 18 reviews on Amazon, which isn’t enough to advertise with The Fussy Librarian, as I tried to submit it by they sent my money back.
I don’t want to advertise it with the older guys again, at least not until November. But it is doing it’s job – the perma-free book is selling Books 2 and 3…which have a combined sales total of 448, and neither have ever been free. I don’t think I’ve even discounted them before, and have actually raised the price over time.
I’m confident those two books would not have even close to 400 sales, mainly because they had 29 sales before perma-free started for Book 1.
Hey, you can try to argue with me that perma-free is no good, but I’ve got an ESL book now that’s perma-free as well and it’s gotten more than 1,000 downloads since April. And I’ll be making Lightning perma-free when I get the third book and box-set out later this month.
Yes, perma-free might not work as well for me as it does for other authors, but it does generate sales for me nonetheless. I’m sticking to it…for now.
I really wrote a lot this month, 135,013 words to be exact. That might seem like a lot, but my highest total for this year was in February, with 134,879 words. And last year I wrote more than 125,000 words in five different months, and would've had six if it wasn’t for fucking December and the 124,471 I had.
Let’s just pause for a minute here, if you don’t mind.
What the hell was I thinking? I couldn’t go write a Goodreads book review and get that extra 529 words? That's what I did this month! I shake my head at myself, let me tell you.
Anyways, as you can see, I can get busy when I want to. That’s why I like working for myself –there’s an incentive for me to work hard. When I had a regular job I could put in 200% effort or 20% and I’d get paid the same. What’s more, even if I was putting in 100%, others weren’t, and that pisses me off.
But now I don’t have to worry about that shit. Now I can go out and take two smoke breaks in one hour and no one says a damn thing! That’s freedom, baby!
But I digress. The main impetus for my writing this month was my fourth Montana book. We’ll talk about that below. Besides that I had some jobs to work on as well as some new eBooks.
Here’s the complete monthly report.
An eBook on Recent Montana History
Hustlers and Homesteaders is the name of my upcoming Montana history book and it’ll be a good one.
The years 1900 to 1930 might not sound that recent to you, but they’re within living memory still for many in the state of Montana. What’s more, they’re so recent that there’s not a whole lot on them when it comes to the history books floating around in the state libraries. I set out to remedy that more than a year and a half ago now, and the result was my first volume of Montana history, Tribes and Trappers.
Since then I’ve put out two more volumes and this fourth volume should be done this month.
I got started on it like a crazed banshee shooting out into the night from whatever dark recesses they’d been hiding in. I mean I wrote about 40,000 words on the sucker in a week!
After that I stalled out, hit a snag, got stuck if you will. Mainly I just got bored. I’d done most of the interesting stuff, but now there were just the holes left to fill in. So that’s politics, some farming stuff, WWI…you know, the basics.
No shame in taking a break, which is what I’ve done for the past week or so. Taking care of my 3-year-old son for a week by myself while my wife was in New York also made that an easy choice.
But now I’ve got to get this thing out. I’ve already had an excerpt in the Missoulian newspaper here in Montana and I know interest is building because sales of my other Montana history books have increased.
So what am I doing talking to you? Time to hustle and get this book finished!
The Sanders McGee Adventures
This past month I put out Lightning, a story I’d started in Free Fiction Fridays. Lots of people read that so turning it into a book only made sense. Now I’ve got the second volume all squared-away and it’ll be out soon, hopefully this week.
This coming month I’ll – damn, here’s that hopefully again – put out two more volumes and a box-set. Yep, I’ll bundle the first three books together – the third is called Mud – and I might even make the first book perma-free if Amazon lets me.
I have high hopes that this off-beat series could gain me some steady sales each month and some fans for my other work. We’ll see, but that’s the idea.
I’m pretty busy with ESL (English as a Second Language) work right now, mainly because a new school year is starting and teachers all over the world are realizing they don’t have a hope in hell of keeping their sanity this year.
That’s why I’m working on Keeping Sane: English Teaching Strategies for ESL Teachers, a great book of strategy and theory and practical advice for those struggling ESL teachers.
You can read a lot more on ESL Adventure or in my Google+ ESL Group. And as always, if you know a teacher looking into Rogaine treatments because they pulled out all their hair – send them my way for great advice!
My election blog has really taken over and I’m writing a lot of popular posts there. How do I know they’re popular? Because I get nearly 100 views on them within 24 hours of them going up.
As I mentioned last month, it’s pretty clear to me where I should be spending most of my time. I made it a point on this site’s first posts that I’d write about Montana and the issues it faces, and I’ve been doing that since Day 1.
I’ve also been writing about writing a lot, but that’s getting boring to me – sorry. Which brings me to another topic…
I don’t do guest posts.
Personally, I don’t see any reason why anyone would want to do a guest post here. It’s not like I get a lot of requests for them, just 2 to 3 a month, but many of those requests are poorly written or wanting to write about things that, well…I don’t think you’d care.
I’ve done a few guest posts before, but not a whole lot lately. I figure if anyone wants to hear what I have to say they can come here or read my books. When it comes to other sites, I think that’s best as well. Honestly, I don’t think other sites want me to talk on them.
Smashwords and Monthly eBooks Sales
I found out some interesting things this month when I better-tabulated my Smashwords eBook sales.
Now, for those that don’t know, Smashwords is a great way to get your book selling on Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, and a few other places like Scribd, Oyster, Google Play and Page Foundry.
I don’t know what many of those are, but other people do, and they buy books from me on those platforms.
I went in this past Saturday and counted up my quarterly totals this year, which I’d done earlier, but more in a slap-dash way. This is what I found:
I don’t know what happened in July, but I got more sales in one month than I did in a single quarter earlier this year. That’s great!
Now, when I added those totals to my spreadsheet showing each book’s total sales over time, this is what stood out:
Well, what’re ya gonna do? Hang up the ‘ol hat and head off to some porch to rest your heels? I guess the only thing to do is keep on keepin’ on and hope one book takes off…at some point…hopefully.
If not? Well, I figure I’ll get up past 50 to 60 books this year and then close to 100 next year.
100 books – surely that must be enough to get a decent check each month from, maybe enough to pay the rent…right?
Of course if you’re one of those romance or thriller or just plain lucky authors then maybe you’ve got just one book or a couple and make thousands each month. Hell, maybe you make hundreds each month.
I make a couple hundred off of 45 books, and that’s fine. I’m glad people read them, and I’m glad my return rate is so low. In fact, this month I had just 2 to 3 returns out of more than 100 sales. (I don’t have real wood in my house).
Most of that money is coming in from my backlist, or those books that I put out last year. Maybe those books I put out this year’ll take off next year and the older ones will continue to do alright. Then I could pay the rent…and I’ll still have a bit from whatever I put out next year.
Yep, things are pretty good…and I don’t have to deal with all that fame bullshit either. Fuck, what am I complaining about?
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