Actually, the precise number is 3,090, but if you want to add the books I’ve sold this year so far, it bumps it closer to 3,143…but who’s counting?
I’m basing that number off the December report which just came in, and which enables me to determine the 2014 sales total. What’s more, I’m adding in all my sales from Smashwords, which is where my books get onto iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo, and other retailers from.
For those that don’t know, around midnight on the 15th of each month, Amazon usually has the monthly reports out, which means you can determine exactly how many sales you had during the previous month. For this particular month, however, you can pinpoint your sales for the year.
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I don't know about any of you, but this is a big deal. I'm looking forward to getting the final number, running that against 2013, and then writing a great blog post comparing things. This is that blog post!
Anyone else thinking like I'm thinking and looking forward to the report? Maybe I'm just crazy.
One thing to note is that I’m not sure the 2014 Smashwords sales are final yet. Accounting there is notoriously slow, but I still have a good idea. For instance, I sold 1,052 books there in 2014, up from the 302 I sold in 2013.
But Amazon is where the money’s at (?), and for 2014 I had 1,046 sales. That’s more than 2013, when I had 860. Still, based on my calculations, income from those sales is up by 500%. That’s pretty damn good.
(We'll do a post comparing Amazon Kindle Unlimited and Smashwords Sales in a day or two).
So what went wrong in 2014, why were sales at such a slow growth rate compared to 2013? I think it’s because I was off on fool’s errands, doing books that no one gave a damn about. And I can tell that from the following sales chart, which is much more simplified for you because I don’t want your head to explode:
The next graph shows that I only had 4 months of above-100-sales on Amazon…though if you factor my Smashwords sales into that, I’m sure every month would be above 100.
Finally, the last graph is just terrible for titles, but it does give you an idea of what books make up the bulk of my sales. We’ll explore those next.
That’s a great conversion number there, and it makes the 2.3% that go from the perma-free Book 1 to Book 2 seem quite miniscule. I’m sure that’s where the bad reviews are hurting me…or just the bad writing. That was my first novel, written about four to five years ago, so that could have something to do with it. Is another round of editing in order? Perhaps.
Still, 32 people have bought the $9.99 box set of these books, so that’s good, and it’s something that accounts for my higher earnings over the year, even with fewer sales than last year.
As a series, however, just 7% of those that have bought Book 1 have continued on so far to buy Book 4…which is not good. Will they get to it? I’d like to think so, but that’s not going to make those sales happen. I need a better plan with these.
One title that’s always surprised me is Tarot: The Mystery and the Mystique. So far it has 167 sales. I was impressed by that in the fall of 2013 and wrote Ten Minute Tarot, but even though it was more detailed, it only pulled in 43 sales. Didn’t see that in the cards.
Sell Your Book has made me a lot of money as well, selling 175 copies so far, and that’s being exclusive to Amazon. Design Your Book, the follow-up to that, did horribly, with just 34 sales. Tour Your Book didn’t do much better, with just 36 sales. Even bundling the three together did little to move the others, for it got just 8 sales.
- Room 223: 9 sales;
- Wake Up, Detroit: 9 sales;
- Black Walnut: 8 sales;
- Florida Sinkholes: 7 sales;
- Ale Quest: 5 sales;
- SEO & 80s Movies: 3 sales;
- Fire: 1 sale.
Could anything be done to improve those books? I’ve moved all of them back into KDP Select to try to get some benefit there, and so far Ale Quest has done well, mainly because I did a promotion on it. Book Sends already told me that they’re not interested in Black Walnut and Florida Sinkholes. I still think Black Walnut is a great book, and maybe I should spend time making it longer. Or perhaps it’s just best to let it sit, waiting until that day when I have a million fans to buy it.
- The Dreadnoks: 14 sales;
- JOE Team-13: 6 sales;
- After Infinity: 5 sales;
- To Its Knees: 3 sales;
That’s a total of 28 sales, which is better than some of those other books. But do I want to continue with a series that gets 1 or 2 sales a month…if even that?
I did that a lot in 2014, worked on what I wanted to. It didn’t do much, and as you can see, most of my sales and income continue to come from a few books I wrote years ago now. I need to be more focused in 2015 and get books to market that people want.
Thanks for Reading!