February 29, 2012

book sales statistics

So it's been a little more than a week since my new book, Semper, went free in the Kindle store for three days during the San Francisco Writers Conference. There are few models to use to predict sales after coming off a free period, so I didn't know what to expect. In short, I'd hoped for more but am still thrilled at the response.

The reports I get from Amazon, while interesting, don't tell the whole story. I can get month-to-date downloads, and I can get weekly royalty payments, but there's nothing showing day-by-day downloads (at least, not that I can find), so I'm estimating a bit here. Worse, the free period straddled a boundary between two royalty periods. Tough to know exactly what happened since I have an actual life and couldn't track daily (more on the actual life in a future post).

Prior to the free period, the book had been live for about two weeks and had been purchased 28 times, plus two print copies. It had not been borrowed from the Kindle lending library, and I had three reviews (one 4-star and two 5-star) posted on amazon.com.

During the three day free period, the book was downloaded about 2,775 times in the US and 20 times in the UK. I also got a handful in Germany and one in France. I was pretty jazzed about all that activity... even if only 20% of those people read it, that's still several hundred more than I could ever cull from friends and family alone.

Fast forward to today, nine days out from the end of the free period. In those nine days, I've had
  • 40 new sales of the ebook
  • 13 new sales of the print version
  • 10 new borrows in the KLL
  • 12 new reviews (one new 4-star and 11 new 5-star)
  • 15 in-person (signed) sales of the print version
Although the book's rankings in the paid store have been nothing to write home about (I had hoped for much better coming off the free period), I noticed that searching for "Semper" on Amazon now puts my book at the top of the results. Not that anyone searches for Semper, of course.

For all those downloads and sales, I've earned a pittance. Pennies, really. Enough to buy a few bottles of whiskey and a few cups of coffee, which should carry me through the writing of the sequel.

But I'm in this for the long haul, and I don't care about the money. So overall, these results are incredibly fun for me. The idea that 22 people in the UK and 6 people in Germany have my ebook, along with several thousand in the US, tickles me to no end.

Questions? Suggestions? Comments on the book? You can even feel free to tell me how evil you think Amazon is, or whatever. So far, it's been awesome for me.

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