Updated: Oct 24, 2021
I'm a salesperson by nature, and in my day job, so I think of statistics in terms of quarters. September marks the beginning of Q4 in a typical fiscal year, so I've decided to write my stat updates following the same timeline.
The last time I shared stats, it was the first thirty days of sales for The Alpha Awakens. At this point I've got a couple months worth of data, but I wanted to share how things have progressed after that critical first month.
Here's a quick look at the overall stats I'm tracking, same as I shared last time (but with more data now). Social media following is growing slow and steady, but there's been a huge jump in preorders for book two versus book one. ARCs went out yesterday, so I expect preorders for book three to start picking up as well.
Since I released TAA (my first book), I've kept about 30%-40% of my social posting focused on pushing that book and teasing book two.
What I expected was for page views and units ordered to really plummet after the first month or so, but they...haven't? There are peaks and valleys, but those stats have stayed relatively steady over time. This is actually a really good thing, because a huge peak and dip is more concerning to the Amazon algorithm than steady sales over time.
What I'm not sure of is how the release of book two will affect book one page reads and sales. Theoretically, you'd expect to see those increase as people who start with two go back and pick up one. I'm not sure how that will pan out. One thing I do know is that I'm freaking out excited that TAA is approaching a million page reads. That's a lot of love for Mal and Orion, which warms my heart so so so much.
One crappy thing about Amazon is that they don't pay you until about 60 days after the end of a month, so I still haven't seen any deposits in my actual bank account. But I should by the end of September. Here's where we are on estimated royalties for Q3....(remembering I released halfway through that quarter).
So what have I learned in the first two-ish months? I've spent a lot of time trying to learn from successful authors (primarily in the Millionaire Author Mastermind and 20Booksto50K groups on facebook). There is a wealth of info there. But I've picked up a couple strategies I'm focusing on immediately.
What I've Learned
I'm pricing preorders too low. My books are pretty long. So in the future, preorders will be 1.99 or 2.99 depending on book length, and the released ebook will be 3.99 to 4.99
Amazon is a fickle bitch, and it's incredibly important to make sure you can reach your readership outside of their Kindle apps. I've always focused on my newsletter, but I'm doubling down on that now, trying to make sure it's valuable for subscribers and super fun when they get it. This includes making sure your welcome series (YES I SAID SERIES HAHA) is on point and that if you do have a backlist, you segment your newsletter to push the right people to that backlist. I can cover email marketing more in another post.
Amazon affiliates can be a totally useful extra (small) source of income, but you have to really baby it and have a strategy - it's something I'm working on getting better at.
I need to do a better job of pushing people to my Facebook group and page. Those places are super active for some authors, and I think it would do me a lot of good to have a better strategy for that (even if I hate Facebook)
So what's up next?
My second book, Wake Up, Alpha, releases on 9/16. It's the sequel to TAA, and you can find them both here on Amazon.
In addition, I've made myself a couple other goals for this quarter (September-December 2021).
-finish writing and publish book 3
-write most of book 4
-start looking into amazon ads
-start looking into audio books and translations
-finalize publishing plan for 2022
I suspect there are a lot of things that start to happen once you have multiple series out, and my first series should be fully wrapped up by spring of next year. I'll need some strategies then to focus on the next series and also push people to my backlist. I don't frankly have a strategy around that yet, but I'll be noodling on it in Q4.
If you've got questions, comments, thoughts - hit me up below!
A book I've really adored this quarter has been Wild North, by JB Salsbury. The main character gets lost while camping, and saved by Grizzly. But he's not who he seems (which is a grumpy asshole). This book stuck with me so hard, and I can't stop thinking about it!