Friday, September 3, 2010

Six Months On

I'm extremely unorganised right now.  I keep saying I'm going to do things (like fix my blog feed, post to wattpad, take a look at ebooks, the list keeps growing) and then completely forgetting all about them.  I've about a million and one late appointments to make too.  I need help so it was funny to see this post on Author Assistants in my feedreader today.  How cool would that be?  Being able to afford an assistant is totally going onto my imaginary sign of success list.  Imagine how different the lives of useless people like me would be if having an assistant was mandatory.  :)

On to the point of this post.  It's been almost six months since I started with Kindle.  I'm focusing on Kindle because that's where most of the action is.  August was a peak month for me.  It's supposed to be the worst month but my sales (on one book) pretty much doubled last month.  Ebook sales (so far) have seen a steady growth.  I've been thinking about why this happens.

For most indies, there isn't a huge market boost when the book is first released.  Usually, the debut is a quiet release because the author name is unknown.  (Of course, when they have a few books out, building up a buzz around a new release is more viable.)  Most of us newbies don't have a clue what we're doing when we start out (I still don't) so it takes a while to figure out what to do next.  Some people take a chance on an unknown but sales usually start trickling in when the writer becomes involved in forums where people are open to the idea of self published books.  There are lots of genre threads and indie author threads all over the place, there's no shortage of ways to "sell" your book. Recommendations boost sales and quite a few authors report steadily increasing sales rather than an initial flurry.

For me, I place responsibility of the majority of my sales to two sources.  Now I'm not in any way saying my sales are good, especially in comparison to so many others so I'm merely sharing my own experiences.  Your mileage may vary.  Anyway, I credit the people who have reviewed my books and Kindleboards on most of the sales I've gotten.  I'm not good at selling and if it wasn't for either those reviewers or Kindleboards, I doubt I'd have sold a thing. 

Good reviews are self explanatory.  The Kindleboards thing is a little more complicated because it leads onto my book being linked to other books - people who bought this book also bought . . . .  I'm pretty sure people at Kindleboards bought my books after seeing me around.  They also bought from other indies.  This is what gets the ball rolling.  The more sales we all get, the closer we're linked in Amazon's magical mystical numbers & advertising game.  People stumble onto a book then see similar titles and might buy a couple of them.  This takes time.  It's taken me six months to really notice this making a difference.

But this is an example of why you need patience to do this.  Little seeds get planted all the time but it takes a long time before they start to bear fruit and even longer before you can benefit from the harvest.  It takes some longer than others, there are no overnight successes in self publishing.  (Before anyone says it, Amanda is the exception. (: )  I regularly see new ebook sellers getting impatient and feeling frustrated because they're comparing themselves to people who have been doing it a while.  Time is your friend, ebook sales work differently from the traditional publishing model.

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