Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Tornado Siren e-book: progress report (4 months)
I wish I could say that I was writing these reports to brag (but if you look at the numbers, you'll certainly see that's not possible), but it's more to give me a chance to add things up, and to inject a little dose of reality among the tidal swell of hype that gets put out about e-books. (A story in last Sunday's NYTimes Magainze reported that self-publishing phenom Amanda Hocking sells 9,000 ebooks a day. Wow. I could go for a day like that.)
Tornado Siren has been an e-book for a little more than four months now. It's been selling some copies, at a slow but steady rate. Hard to know what the average amount of sales is for an e-book (mine is self-published, but the print version was not). Most people are busy talking about the exceptions, but that's true of print books, as well.
So, here are the sales numbers for Tornado Siren so far, by platform/version:
Kindle: 96 copies (10 so far in June)
Smashwords: 6 copies sold
Nook : 9 (6 through Barnes & Noble, 3 through Smashwords) (this is a little fuzzy to me)
Total: 120 ebooks
I broke 100! And Amazon has actually put real money in my bank account. With print publishers you have to wait forever to get paid, and even then they hold back money for returns, and even then the statements are often incomprehensible. I can check the ebook total sales on line, any time I want. Once a month, Amazon has been putting money into my checking account. Not much, but in my writing life, every bit counts.
It's hard to tell what sort of promo helps or not. Fellow writer Laura Axelrod ran a very nice, multi-part interview with me on her Gasp! blog, but sales seemed to go nowhere that week, then jumped a bit the following week. Is there a lag?
May ended up being a good month, with Tornado Siren selling about one copy a day, a mere 1/9000th of what Ms. Hocking sells. Joe Konrath sells about 700-800 copies of day. Though, do note, they each have many more titles for sale. I just have the one little novel.
Smashwords has dropped off a lot in sales for me, over the past month or two. I have no idea why, though people are still downloading the sample (also a a slower rate).
I have some plans for a bit more promo (a constant refrain, I know), and we'll see if that makes a difference. No matter what happens, I'm certainly glad to have picked up more than 100 new readers so far this year. Here's hoping that number continues to grow.