Friday, July 1, 2011

June Sales and Recap

Here they are! June sales numbers have been crunched, and the grand total is:


Let's break it down. . . .

The Guardian
          Amazon US: 172
          Amazon UK: 3
          Amazon DE: 0
          BN: 19

          Total: 194 (6.4 sales a day)

Cross My Heart

          Amazon US: 3,061
          Amazon UK: 45
          Amazon DE: 1
          BN: 122

          Total: 3,229 (107.6 sales a day)

First, I want to note that, up to this point, I've been able to say I've sold more ebooks this month than all of my previous months combined. I can't say this for June, which means my overall rate of increase slowed. Also, my Barnes and Noble numbers are down slightly from last month.

The good news? It was a great month for UK sales. Breakthrough!

Okay, so let's recap what happened in June. The major griping point for many indie authors was the "Sunshine Deals" Sale on Amazon. For two weeks, approximately 600 traditionally published books were listed at $.99, $1.99, $2.99.

When this happened, I noticed a 200-point discrepancy in my Amazon sales ranking. I was selling more books a day, but fell consistently in the 600-700 point range. (Once the sale ended, I hovered in the 500s, then slipped to the 400s).

The good thing about the sale? It's conditioning Kindle users to seek out books in the "discount" price range (some readers are still turned off by the $.99-$2.99 listings, I think).

The bad news? A lot of indies saw a drop in sales across the board. I'm fortunate that I wasn't as affected by this as the last sale Amazon had (The 200+ indie books that dropped to free in May). My lowest sales day of the month took place toward the end of this sale, though (78 sales two days before it ended). The Amazon "tags" also disappeared during this time.

In lurking on the Kindleboards, I noticed quite a few authors discussing the losses they suffered during the Sunshine Sale. Others saw losses the entire month. (Konrath even mentioned his sales are down 15% this month).

This could be a side effect of summer: kids out of school, more time outside, more vacations being taken, etc. (Konrath goes into more detail about this.)

All this proves is that no two indie experiences are the same. There are highs and lows, lulls and surges. Not every book will see the same success. Not every book is on the same timeline. There is no "one size fits all" epubbing journey. What's important is that you're getting your books out there.

As Mr. Klein says: "You can't win it if you ain't in it."

Speaking of Mr. Klein, we were reminiscing as we were going over these numbers today, and came to the conclusion this entire experience just proves you can never predict what the future holds (we're so brilliant, I know). This time last year, I was about to give up on my agent search. I was completely bummed out, thinking I was a hack wannabe writer and would never make it.

So please know that I will never take your support and generosity for granted. It was on this side of ten years ago we were paying for "dollar menu" cheeseburgers with nickels and quarters. We were beyond broke, and while I hoped that one day I would be able to make a decent living doing something I loved, I also knew there was a risk involved. 

No matter what happens, 2011 is not a year I will ever forget, and while I'd love to wipe away the memory of those early years in our marriage, they played an important part in shaping who I am: someone who is eternally grateful for everyone who gave an unknown indie writer a chance to prove herself.