Tag Archives: real numbers

I owe you guys some numbers

I went offline last night earlier than usual (I don’t really believe in the Rapture, but just in case I didn’t want to go out without having seen the latest episode of House, you know?) so I didn’t post my numbers.

Well, let me just tell you that my sales were dismal yesterday. I blame the upcoming apocalypse. Who wants to spend money on ebooks when they are soon to be fighting for their very lives? Not very man, evidently. The exact number I sold was 2. All day. My rankings were higher than I ever saw them. At one point I was in the #18ks.

I’ll post my end of the day totals later, but so far I’m already up to 50 US, 2 UK = #13,947. That’s 4 sales already this morning. Double yesterday’s sales. LOL, like that’s hard to do. But still I’ll take it. Courtney Cole mentioned to me that she’d read a couple of places that most indie books don’t even sell 100 copies. I’m already halfway there within the first week. I’m desperately hoping that this is a sign that I can have a viable career as an author because that’s what I’m working hard towards.

I’ve been giving this a lot of thought and I want to give back to the indie community that’s given me so much support. I’ve already bought more books than I can realistically read any time soon, but that feels like so little. I’ve found a little group of readers here. Most of you probably stick around in the hopes that I’ll post more stupid photos of myself (I will, it’s inevitable). But that’s ok! The fact of the matter is that if you’re here and reading no matter what your motivation (porn mongers!) you can help me in my endeavor to support indie publishing.

Starting on Monday I’m going to give you the literary equivalent of a dinner and a movie. We’ll call it an Interview and an Excerpt. I’ll start with Courtney, after I let her know she’s up and we’ll see who I can turn up after that. If you are an indie writer who’d like to be interviewed (or write a guest post, I’m down for that too), shoot me an email at wrenemerson(at)gmail(dot)com. I don’t care what kind of fiction you write, I’m not concerned with being genre specific. I expect my questions to be more writing/publishing specific than about your books. You see, I haven’t actually written any yet so I think come Monday we’ll both be in for a surprise.

Ah, here we go. A quick search of my phone and I found an appropriately dumb looking photo that I’ve put on Instagram in the past. I enjoy making ironic kissy face photos to no end. I don’t do them very well. Or else I do them really awesome. It depends on how much you like your kissy faces to look like the person making them is fighting constipation. Coupled with the lack of make up and unpainted fingernails and you’ve pretty much just been given a snapshot into my life.

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Day 5- the numbers

Oh boy blogging about today is sort of a bit of a mixed bag. I promised I’d keep it real with you guys so I’m not going to fudge it now, but please understand that I know it’s small of me. Today I got my first 4 star review on Amazon.

My first thought wasn’t rage or hurt feelings or anything along those lines. It was dismay. I was so disappointed that I failed to deliver a good reading experience to someone. And even though there’s a lot  more to be learned from a bad review than a good one, I couldn’t bring myself to look for a long time. I may have had to have someone read it first and reassure myself that the reviewer wasn’t on the verge of disappointed suicide by my inability to entertain them.

In case you are wondering what it said you can look at it here. It’s actually a really great review so I feel better about that, but my reaction disappointed me. I can’t give everyone a 5 star reading experience. It’s unrealistic to think that I can and I’m going to have to learn to let that go, but man I really do want that. I can’t wait til I get my first 1 star. I’ll probably feel so bad that I have a nervous breakdown.

I’m a people pleaser by nature. I want people to like me and most of the time, they do which is incredibly lucky for me. When someone doesn’t like me, it eats at me. Ever get ninja dropped by a friend on Facebook and maybe you don’t even realize it for weeks? And the reason you don’t notice is because you never talk to them and haven’t said a word to them since 5th grade and even then you both hated each other due to an ill fated, spitting incident? Yeah, me too. Except unlike a normal person I dwell on it for 2 weeks and ask my love about 15 times a day if he thinks maybe I’m obnoxious and that’s why they dropped me.

The answer, of course, is probably yes. But that’s not the point. The point is that a normal person wouldn’t be so butthurt in the first place. But I have to worry about I offended them with my vagina jokes.

Now that we’ve covered what a neurotic mess I am, maybe we should move onto the stuff everyone cares about. My numbers for today.

I don’t mind saying that my numbers surprised me today. Someone suggested that if I could sell 5 books in a short enough time frame, I might actually get into the top #2000. That sounded like a doable challenge so I did a short lived stint of self promo on Twitter and Facebook and offered to love a baby squirrel for every copy of my book that was bought. Amazon doesn’t update real time so I have no idea how many copies I really sold, but several people told me that they bought one. I didn’t quite hit 2k, but I got a better ranking than ever before.

sales graph 6k

In case you don’t feel like blowing it up for a good look, that’s #6,129. Unbelievable. That’s better than I expected to see for months probably. It’s all been better than I expected. Not better than I hoped. I hoped I’d be a bestseller by now, but I’ll  totally take what I’ve gotten so far.

My numbers as they are right now are 44 US, 2, Uk = #6,745. It averages out to about 9 sales a day. That’s really awesome to me. I gave out another dozen free copies today, but I didn’t nudge my promo ads in any forums today so that number is lower than it most likely would have been otherwise. Honestly, I feel like my attempt to get my book into a lot of hands is going really well, but I can’t know how effective it is until my next book comes out. If my sales are strong from day one, I’ll know that it paid off.

Oh gosh, not sure how I missed this but you have got to check out Ben’s live tweets of I Wish… He did some hilarious, yet accurate couplets. If you’ve never had the pleasure of having your book reviewed via rhyme you’re really missing out.

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Day 4- more numbers! Yay!

Right now I’m at 33 US sales, 2 UK sales = #9,300. I gave out 12 free copies today. I’m just jotting this quick like so I won’t look up the total, but if I had to guess I’d think that I’m getting close to 100 people who have bought or been given a copy. That’s a lot of potential readers. I can’t help, but feel like I’m doing good in my quest to get my book into as many hands as I can early on.

I had an exciting moment earlier today when I was telling someone what my numbers looked like. I looked up my numbers like I always do and was shocked to see that I’d hit my lowest rank yet. So you know I had to take a screen cap of this incredibly beautiful moment. It ranks up there with holding one of my own children in my arms for the first time.

sales graph

Yeah, I made it into the #7,000s today. The very HIGH 7,000s, but still… I chose to think of it as my first visit to what will someday become familiar territory for me. What I’m exceedingly grateful for is that my highest numbers still are less than #12k. These are the little things that give me comfort in the idea that someday I might just be able to make a living at this writing thing.

Which is nice because when I do the math I realize that while I’ve finally gotten enough today to warrant a deposit when Amazon does their payout, it’s still only like $12. I still haven’t earned back that first breakfast, but I feel like I’m definitely heading in the right direction. I just need to keep doing what I’ve been doing except like hundreds of thousands of times. Winking smile

For those of you who are just coming to my blog for the first time and may have missed it. I’m giving away free copies of I Wish… until Sunday. Check out this post to find out the details. I feel the need to state that for the people who keep ending up on my blog because of my boner assassin post. I’m not judging you, I’m just laughing because you’ve got to be feeling ripped off if you were looking for something sexy and got THAT.

I was going to end the post on that note, but then decided that a pretty flower would be less callous and insensitive of me. I’m sorry, purveyors of smut. If I ever write a single erotic thing, you’ll be the first to know. Just leave me an email so I know how to contact you.

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Day 3 by the numbers

I think I might stop doing this every day soon, like say at the end of the first week. But for now the number continue to interest me so I’ll keep posting.

Right now I’m at 23 US sales and 2 UK sales which equals a ranking of #13,965. I’ve been bouncing between the low #10k and #15k all day.  More interesting to me is that I gave away 15 copies of my book today. I’m looking at about 60 total potential readers so far after 3 days. I’m excited about those numbers. I was also offered another spot on a blog, which is awesome. Oh, and I got a 3rd 5 star review, but it looks like they bought a copy so I guess I can’t really count it towards my experiment.  NOT that I don’t appreciate it, mind you. It’s just not relevant to this.

I’m still not live on B&N yet. That’s a little annoying. I got that up for approval on Sunday afternoon so it’s been at least 48 hours now. Hopefully tomorrow is my lucky day.

It’s hard to set concrete goals with indie publishing. Or probably any publishing for that matter. You can’t say that I’ll sell X copies by Y day. You can promote your butt off, but you can’t make anyone buy. I think the only attainable goals you can really make are things like “I’ll spend an hour commenting on blogs” or “I’ll do some social networking for 2 hours today”. And that’s why I’m not taking any of this too seriously.

That’s not to say that I don’t want to be a full time, earning a living with my words writer. I really desperately want that more than anything. I just don’t think there’s anything to be gained by being a slave to my numbers. I’m giving myself this week to check as much as I want and to flog my promotion to death, but after that I’m letting it go. I’m checking once a day, tops. But most importantly, I’ll be working in earnest on my next book. I have a couple of really appealing projects to choose from. Maybe I’ll work on a couple of different outlines. There are so many words out there waiting to be written and that really excites me.

Also today Courtney Cole posted an interview with me. The questions were fun so even if you don’t care a bit about hearing me talk about myself, it’s still a fun read.

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The life of a published writer

So after my post yesterday did I leave you guys buzzing with my almost certain amazing success? Because I sure had myself thinking I was on fire. And don’t get me wrong, my sales are still pretty amazing for a debut indie, but they aren’t as high as they were yesterday.

No screen grabs today, but my numbers as of a couple of minutes ago are 19 US sales and 2 UK sales for a ranking of #14,481. It’s still not live on B&N.

Of course, one factor that might be affecting my sales is that instead of promoting my Amazon page (like that), I’ve been plugging my book give away promotion which lasts until this Sunday if you haven’t taken advantage of it yet. Even though my book is bargain priced at $.99, if you could get it for free why pay for it?

For those curious about my experiment it’s still awfully early into it. Most people probably haven’t even had a chance to start reading it, let alone decide if they want to review it yet. I plugged my promo on Twitter, the Amazon forum, Kindleboards, and Nathan Bransford’s forums. I’ve gotten a helluva lot of page hits for me today. I probably average about 50 a day usually and today I’ve gotten 250. So people are following my links.

A lot less people are taking advantage of the free books than I thought they would. I don’t know if it’s because it’s not their cup of tea or if sending me an email is the deal breaker because it’s more work than they care to deal with. But whatever it is, I’ve only sent out about 20 free copies in the past 2 days. So there are about 40 potential fans out there right now. That’s a pretty promising start, I think.

I can tell you what I know for sure this has yielded me so far.  I’ve had one 5 star review posted (I don’t count Courtney’s review in this experiment since she beta read my original draft already) and offers to be featured on 2 different blogs. Not bad for having been published for like 36 hours, right?

Are you wondering what’s left to do once you get your book up? Surely the hard part is over. Now you just plug your book a couple of times and wait for Amazon’s check to clear, right? God, that’d be nice. I’ll bet it’s a lot more like that after you’ve got a couple of books up. But if you’re anything like me, you realize that you’ve got a couple of formatting issues to work out and a list of minor typos (thanks to my mummy’s eagle eye for catching those. She even noted locations. Now that’s the dedication of a mother’s love right there.)

Also, once you’re published you need to set up your author page on a lot of different sites. I’ve only gotten around to setting up my pages on Amazon and Goodreads so far. I also had to answer a bunch of promo emails, post my promo on the sites I mentioned above, fill out an interview for Courtney’s blog, all while checking my numbers obsessively. You might not think you’ll get caught up in all that, but it’s easier said than done once they are there to check. In fact, just talking about checking made me have to stop blogging and go look.

For me it’s really not about the money, because let’s get real… 21 sales at $.99 is like what? 7 bucks maybe? I still haven’t worked off the celebratory pancake breakfast we had yesterday. No, for me it’s almost like gambling or something. Is my number going to go up or down? The whole thing feels really arbitrary to me as if there’s next to no correlation between sales numbers and rank. I’ve watched my number drop for no evident reason since I hadn’t sold a copy in hours.  Who knows?

So as you can guess, I haven’t piled my fortune together into a heap that I can swim around in like Scrooge McDuck yet. I haven’t given up though. I believe in my story and I think that my choice to make it easily accessible is going to pay off in the end. I strongly believe that once more of my target audience becomes aware of my book it’ll sell itself.

You know what’s kind of weird though? I suspect that if a girl liked reading Twilight she’ll probably like I Wish… too. The weird part is that the two stories have nothing in common. And where they really differ is in the main character. Thistle isn’t a Bella, that’s for sure. Personally, I think that’s a great thing. Hopefully, my potential fans agree.

 

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I Wish… is live!

I Wish… went live on Amazon sometime while I was sleeping last night and I woke up to find that not only was it available to purchase, but I’d already sold 2 copies.  I told the minions that once I sold a copy of my novel we’d go out for breakfast and eat victory pancakes. So you can guess how we spent our morning.

I promised myself that I would be transparent about my sales numbers because it might be helpful to someone else and also because I know that’s what I really want to know about as an up and coming indie author.  I’m reserving my right to change my mind later, but for now I don’t see any reason not to share.

I grabbed a couple of screen caps that were current as of… I think about half an hour ago. Amazon changes sometimes minute to minute so no promises any of this information is still valid.

Please note that my book is a YA paranormal about witches. My numbers probably won’t mean much if you write adult thrillers or Christian romance or something like that.

My ranking was #9,788.

amazon rank

Not a bad rank at all, right? Lord knows I was pretty dang excited about it (still am actually… breaking into the top 10k on my first day? Awesomesauce.). So wanna guess how many books sold that equals? 100? 50? 25?

books sold

Nope, not even close. Evidently all it takes to hit the top 10k in the first day is to sell 11 books.  I don’t know the exact time frame since my book went live at some point before I woke up, but I know the time frame was less than 24 hours. I’m guessing somewhere between 12-16 hours. 

And there you have it. My first day as a published writer. I need to thank all my #pubwrite peeps who were so supportive and I know more than a few of you bought a copy. And my mom, of course, obligated to buy though she is by the fact that in a few years it’ll be my fancy schmancy writing career that buys her dog food in the old folks home. I don’t know who all of you were who bought a copy, but I really want you to know that I appreciate the hell out of that show of support. I sincerely thank you all from the very bottom of my heart.

And for those of you who don’t feel motivated to buy a copy just yet (What are you thinking? This is an awesome book, my mom says so.) never fear. You still have a week to take advantage of my offer of a free copy. Check out this post for the details. You definitely want to read this book. All the cool kids are doing it.

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