Monday, May 7, 2012

April Sales Numbers

Numbers Post!

I've been number crunching all morning. I swear, the Humanities major in me freaks out when I see numbers (they do not compute), but I am just enough of a nerd to want to know how these things work. Thank God for calculators.

The Grand Total for April?


The Guardian sold 140 Amazon US copies, 6 Amazon UK copies, 5 Amazon DE copies, and 35 copies on Barnes and Noble for a total of 186 copies or 6.2 sales per day.

Cross My Heart sold 1,130 Amazon US copies, 257 Amazon UK copies, 60 Amazon DE copies, 5 Amazon FR copies, 176 copies on Barnes and Noble, and 28 on iTunes for a total of 1,656 or 55.2 sales per day.

Vendetta sold 116 Amazon US copies, 4 Amazon UK copies, 2 Amazon DE copies, and 15 copies on Barnes and Noble for a total of 137 or 4.5 sales per day.

Sales were fairly steady through April, and comparable to March. They trickled upward (slightly) on iTunes from last month. The difference? I went in mid-month and changed my category from Kids/Juvenile books to Adult (there is no "Teen" section). Rumor was that more teens check the adult books section (though I know authors who are doing equally well in both categories), so I thought it might be worth the risk to see if there was any change in sales based on categories.

Otherwise, the big news lately is The Great Amazon Algorithms Switch. (Yes. ANOTHER ONE.) I'm linking a few posts, but the gist of the matter is that mid-March through April, there were three separate "lists." One list was weighted heavily toward more recent sales, another list weighted sales within the last 30 days, and another list didn't count or weight free books "sold" at all.

Thank you, Ed Robertson for spelling this out for us!

BUT THEN. . . .

(The Plot Thickens!)

Right now, it appears free ebooks aren't going to factor in as heavily as they have in the past. So . . . people who opt for KDP Select, set their book to free, and then ride the "boost" in sales the three days following. . . . Um, yeah. It's not looking so great right now. (Only time will tell, of course.)

At any rate, people are already reporting a decrease in sales/ranking, and I had a pretty volatile sales weekend, so we'll see how this plays out. In the meantime, there's discussion/lamenting on this thread at the Kindleboards. Obviously, no one knows for sure how the algorithms work, a lot of people speculate, and they fluctuate so much it's almost impossible to keep up with them. . . .

Even so, the landscape for Indies is MUCH different this year than it was last year. I have nothing against progress or improvements; I just hope Amazon keeps indie writers in mind when considering their bottom line, because when we're successful, they're successful.   

It's also a solid reminder not to cram every egg into a single basket. Make sure you're diversifying and promoting your work across all platforms.

Finally (And Always)--THANK YOU for the tweets, reviews, comments, purchases, etc. I'll stick around as long as you guys are interested, and even when I'm "quiet" (i.e. hiding out in the writing/editing cave) please know that I Do NOT take your support for granted. Ever.  :D

That Is All.

Enjoy your week!



  1. Hi Katie,
    I found your blog by reading your excerpt in Let's Get Digital. Congratulations on all of your success. I appreciate all the info you post on your blog. As a newbie indie, it is truly inspiring. I was wondering if you felt like changing your category to adult helped your sales. I've considered doing that with mine but just wasn't sure what to do. I do not understand why there isn't a teen category, so annoying. Thanks.

  2. Oh My Gosh! Stephanie!!!

    I'm sorry--fan girl moment! I read Revenge of the Homecoming Queen when it first released! So glad you've crossed to the "dark side"! :)

    To answer your question: on Amazon, my books are all under the "children's" category. Yes--it's frustrating that there's not a separate category, and I hope that changes soon.

    I did find, though, that Cross My Heart still made the "Teen" lists last summer--so I know that YA and the children's categories are connected, and that readers are finding me. Truth be told: I'm kind of nervous about changing the categories now, because I'm still showing up on some of these lists.

    My guess is, if I changed to adult, I'd lose my ranking, and it *might* be harder to gain visibility because of the sheer number of adult books available. (I'd have to sell more copies to appear on the "main" adult lists"—and those are important.) (Read: I am a wuss.) :)

    I did change my category on iTunes, though. Someone mentioned that it's better for YA books to appear on the adult list over there (because of the adult-related devices kids don't have access to). I might have done it too soon to tell any kind of difference, though. The first month it was in the children's categories, and I sold 18 copies, the next month I switched to the adult categories and I sold 17. The month after I sold 34, and this last month I sold 45.

    I do know some people who've switched categories and have seen an improvement with sales, and it's definitely something to consider playing with if you don't feel you'd lose any momentum. Amazon can be finicky, and I try to play by the "if it isn't broke" rule, but the beauty of being an indie is that you can make adjustments as needed.

    I hope you'll consider stopping by one of the indie chats on Twitter (Tuesdays at 9pm Eastern). I usually lurk, and a lot of the Indelibles hang out, and could probably share their experiences with changing categories and how it helped/hurt. The hashtag is #indiechat, if you're interested. :)