How does Freshly Pressed affect sales?

Surely anybody who knows my policy on transparent numbers knew this was coming. Yesterday I was featured on WordPress.com for my post on how I outline (with pictures!) and so I thought I’d tell everyone how that went.

Before yesterday the most hits I’d ever had on my site was less than 300. Something like 285, I think. I was afraid I’d probably never top that day. Then I was “Freshly Pressed” and now the bar has been set ridiculously high. I got 3,497 views yesterday and another 1,024 this morning as of writing this post. Even cooler is that I now have over 60 subscribers (hi, new friends!). I don’t feel so much like I’m talking to myself anymore. But I’m more excited because I feel like now the authors I interview for my Monday Interview and an Excerpt feature will be able to reach a lot more people. Did you guy’s read Courtney’s interview yet? There is a lot of great information coming up in the interviews to come too.

Now for the $64,000 question: Did being featured on WordPress help my sales? Not even a little bit. I sold 1 copy yesterday and I think maybe 2 today. I did, however, get 2 separate hits from people looking for a free copy of my book. My thought is that I’ve got my first pirates. Which I find to be extremely flattering (people care enough to try to steal it? Awww.), but also annoying because seriously, you’d work that hard to find a free copy, but you aren’t willing to just pony up a buck? That $1 won’t buy you much, and if we’re being honest, it certainly won’t change my life since I’ll only see $.35 of it, but it WOULD help my Amazon ranking and give me a shot at being noticed by more people.

If you still can’t be convinced to pay for the book, then at the very least shoot me an email directly. I’ll happily give you a free copy in the hopes that you’ll repay me with a review. Obviously, I can’t force you to pay up, but breaking kneecaps isn’t my style. I have faith that given the opportunity, most people will make good on their word.  So go ahead and tell your friends; Wren Emerson gives out free copies of her book in exchange for reviews. A review is almost as good as a sale.

Questions? Comments? Thoughts about all of this? Let me know. I’d love to open a dialog about this.

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28 Comments

Filed under I wish, indie publishing

28 responses to “How does Freshly Pressed affect sales?

  1. Some of those new subscribers might become buyers once you’ve wowed them with weeks of witty posts and pictures. 🙂

  2. That’s handy because all I do is witty and insightful. 😛

  3. Whatever you do, don’t spam your audience too much. If you do that, you’ll end up eating tacos just to sell you book(s). 😉

  4. Congrats on all the hits. The first time I was FP, I went from like 1,500 total hits to over 9,000 in one weekend. I was recently featured again and while the hits were not as plentiful, I did add some additional subscribers as well which is my favorite part. I love that people think enough about one particular post to sign up going forward. Anyway, I am going to subscribe to you as well so feel free to add one more to your subscriber list now!

  5. Must have been an interesting ride the past few days but gutted for your book sales. Least you get an interesting story to tell… and a shed load of new people to reach out to. Well done.

    • I sincerely hope that it will help me reach out to some new aspiring indie writers. The information I try to share is all of the things I wanted to know myself. I would love to contribute to the strengthening of our little community.

  6. I always wondered how being Freshly Pressed would change your stats. Thanks for sharing your numbers. Maybe book sales will take a bit longer. I know I want to get one, but I have to get around to getting an e-reader first. I already read one book a month on computer (for critique). That stuff hurts the eyes!

    Good luck with sales. Put me down for a future copy…

  7. Hello Wren,

    I am a new subscriber and I would have to agree with Hektor, I’m sure that once we’ve gotten a better chance to get to know you and your writing, the sales numbers will also go up.

    I like reading and writing book reviews and I’m starting to slowly build up a book reviews page on my blog….although I’m not sure my low blog stats would be very helpful for your book. But you could also re-post my review or something like that.

    Anyways, I’m sticking around so hit me up if you’re interested in my writing.

  8. Interesting stuff, Wren. I’m a bit clueless so forgive the naive question. How (other than pure charm) did you get featured?

    • To be perfectly honest, I don’t know. I’d never heard of it before.

      I have been told my book cures herpes though so maybe they are just promoting a herpes free world?

  9. Hektor- Are you still herpes free? Can we establish that my book doesn’t CAUSE herpes at the very least?

  10. Well, I just bought it! I’m excited to read it and see how well your outline worked for you. =]

    • Thanks so much! Let me know what you think, I’m always interested in feedback. 🙂

      • Well you’re sure to get it from me, I love giving opinions. haha 😀

        Your outlining process has my curiosity piqued. I’m not good at it. At all. My whole book is planned out in my head, complicated enough that I think it will be a trilogy by the time I finish it, but I just can’t put that out in an outline.

  11. Brett James Irvine

    Perhaps it’s also because a large number of subscribers are fellow writers, and thus less likely to purchase the book, as they’re more interested in your writery type blog posts, as opposed to your material? Just a thought.

    • Brett James Irvine

      Hmmm…that wasn’t meant to come across as “writers won’t buy your books” or anything like that, just an observation!

    • @Brett-

      I gave that some thought when I was starting my blog… what do I want to say? Who am I trying to target? In the end I decided that I’d rather talk about my writing process than spend a lot of time trying to appeal to potential readers. To be honest, I fell in love with the whole idea of indie publishing and I saw this as an opportunity to offer something back to what’s been a very supportive community. I’ll find my audience eventually, but it’ll be based more on the merits of the book(s) than my efforts at self promotion because I’m just not very good at the marketing aspects.

      But I get what you’re saying, I shouldn’t be targeting writers if I want to sell books, I should be finding readers. You’re absolutely right. Thanks for raising some great points. I’m glad to meet you. 🙂

      • Brett James Irvine

        Likewise 🙂 it’s not to say that it won’t generate sales, since we’re all readers as well, but the blog’s focus is less on the book and more on the writing aspect. It’s difficult in the beginning to target readers specifically, unless of course your books are about writing!

        The key, I think, is to gain a wider audience, because this will eventually get your book under the noses of readers. 61 new subscribers means 61 more people to possibly tweet/link/email your blog post / book page, and so a bigger chance of getting another sale. Each sale means higher up the rankings, more exposure, and eventually more sales.

        So, perhaps the “freshly-pressed-effect” is a subtle one, that will manifest itself in a few months, once each of your new subscribers has had the chance to get involved in the blog and thus slowly increase your readership, hits to your blog, and thus hits to your book’s page on Amazon, and hopefully, a few more purchases.

  12. I’ve also considered that by writing about my process as openly as I have- my writing process, how long it took me to write the book, how many copies I’ve sold- I might be turning off potential readers. It’s possible I’m shattering their preconceived notions about how a books should be written. Or worse yet, making them feel like a number rather than an important, unique element in my success.

  13. Hi Wren,

    I’m a very new writer, on my way to being an author at some distant point. I’m learning the ropes and passing the rope bridge along as I go. I was wondering about writing an outline, as my story is a ten pages of scribbles, both sides of paper. That is how I found your blog. I’m about half way through the writing part, nothing a good amount of editing won’t take down to a fourth of the way done (!) and suddenly I realized that an outline would be of immense help. So thanks for putting all of the info down for us treaders, trying to keep our heads up!

    I have only been blogging for less than a month, now, but I have wondered about how getting onto the freshly pressed page would affect my eventual visibility. Thanks for the views of your numbers and the straight talk next to excitement of your book being published. When I can afford to, I’ll buy your book, and likely, set it down next to your outline to see the changes, and what makes it work.

    Best of Luck, keep building the bridge!
    CKGarner

    • @CK-

      Check back on Mondays. I was able to get several indie authors to answer some industry related questions that might help answer some of your questions. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  14. Well, I found my way here from “Freshly Pressed” and I just bought a copy of your book. Now I need to work my way through the archives (and read your boo). I’m finishing up editing my own 99 cent Kindle book (mine is a collection of short stories) and any sage advice is appreciated.

    • Ok, I’m not an expert by any stretch, but I’d strongly recommend that you consider releasing the stories individually for $.99 each and price the collection at least $2.99. That way you’ve still got low priced samples of your work, but you might have a shot at making some decent money. At $.99 a copy you only stand to make $.35 on each sale. If you can spread those sales across more stories, you’ve got a good shot at making a living rather than putting all your eggs into a single $.99 basket. You’ve got a great opportunity. I hope you consider making the most of it. 🙂

  15. My RT says it all: This is how fame starts. LOL. ❤

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