May 1, 2012

#Kindle #Select #book #stats for Semper's first 100 days in #KDP #KDPselect

My book SEMPER was launched in print and on the Kindle on January 22nd of this year. (I built a page for it here.) That means that April 30th was its one hundredth day in the world. Since then, it's done quite well for a new book with only minor promotion. I offer this blog post for three reasons:

  1. to amuse myself by gathering the total stats to date,
  2. to share the information with other self-publishers and those thinking of self-publishing, and
  3. to get someone to buy a copy so the May statistics don't say "zero sales" anymore.
I have done almost no promotion. The Kindle Select Program allows an author to offer the book for free five days out of every 90 in the program. I used all my five days in the first 90, in two installments. In all, my total promotion consisted of the following:

The First Free Period
Front Cover
  • The first free period comprised three days from February 17 through 19, coinciding with the San Francisco Writers Conference.
  • I emailed about 40 friends and family in advance of the first free period.
  • I tweeted about the first free period three or four times to my 200 or so followers.
  • I emailed/signed up on six or seven "free Kindle ebook" web sites, a couple of which picked up the listing during the first free period.
  • I posted the free period to my blog and facebook timeline.
  • I created a mini flyer and website landing page with details of the promotion, and I handed out the flyers to anyone interested at the aforementioned writers conference.
The Second Free Period
  • I ran a second free period, shortly after the launch of the Hunger Games movie.
  • I tweeted about this to my 200+ followers, including the #hungergames and the #WLCfreetoday hashtags.
  • I gathered quotes from the numerous Amazon reviews of the book and excerpted them on my updated landing page.
  • I posted on my blog and to my facebook timeline.
  • I contacted those 6 or 7 "free Kindle ebook" sites again, and although a couple of them listed it, I didn't get quite the hit rate I'd hoped for. 
Other Promotional Stuff
  • I've tweeted a couple of quotes from friends and reviewers.
  • I've blogged or posted updates to facebook with some sales/download statistics.
  • I've shared the printed book in person with friends and with my sons' Boy Scouts troop.
  • I set myself up as an author at GoodReads, and the book is listed there.
That's really about it. As far as promotion goes, that's pretty bare bones. No blog tours, no review copies sent out, no sitting in shop windows, no purchased media. And I kept the tweeting to a minimum.

Considering that, I'm extremely pleased with how the book has done.

Back Cover
The initial outreach to friends and family yielded a few sales, but not many. Things really picked up with the first free period, then again with the second free period.

In-Person Sales
I have given away a half dozen copies to family and a couple of people in my acknowledgements section. I've also sold about 20 copies in person. These don't show up in the Amazon/CreateSpace stats because I ordered them myself. I've just ordered another 15 copies because my friends are setting up a reading/launch party at our local library on the afternoon of Sunday, May 20th.

Although the in-person sales netted me about 30 cents each (I sold them at cost, rounded up), they were tremendously satisfying. I signed all the books and, without fail, got very positive comments from every reader. There's really no way to measure that kind of compensation.

Print Sales Through Amazon
I've sold 27 print copies of the book through Before my first free period, I'd sold only one. I then sold 14 copies in the two weeks after the first free period (from February 17 through February 29). Overall, the print copies have been:

Plus the 20 I've sold in person gives me nearly 50 print copies sold in the first 100 days. Not bad for self-published with very little promotion.

Kindle Sales And Downloads
I kind of hate the first day of the month because the Kindle dashboard reverts to zero month-to-date sales. I hate zeros on my sales report. Someone go buy the book now, please.

Here are the month-by-month downloads. Remember, the free periods were a three-day period in mid February and a two-day period the first week of April.

Free Downloads

USA UK Germany France Italy Spain TOTAL
January 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
February 2,774 1 0 0 0 0 2,775
March 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
April 1,978 21 21 0 1 0 2,021
TOTALS 4,752 22 21 0 1 0 4,796

Purchases and Borrows

USA UK Germany France Italy Spain TOTAL
January 20 3 0 0 0 0 23
February 53 21 6 1 0 0 81
March 24 0 0 0 0 0 24
April 35 1 1 0 0 0 37
TOTALS 132 25 7 1 0 0 165

So that's a total of just over 5,000 copies in the hands of readers, whether print or e-book, in five different countries. Not terribly shabby for 100 days out of the gate, self published, with bare bones promotion.

Granted, I've made only about $250 in royalties and got no advance from a publisher, but the tradeoffs have been more than worth it from my perspective. (Maybe some day I'll blog about my decision to publish independently, but I'll hold on that for now.)

No comments: