Saturday, April 23, 2011

Trends I've noticed in my Kindle e-book sales

I've noticed a few general trends over the last six months in my e-book sales for the Kindle on Amazon. In no way do I consider this information scientific. Nor do I consider it applicable to all who publish for the Kindle. But there are some interesting things of note, at least for me:

1.) My sales on the weekend, Saturday and Sunday, are roughly about half of what they are during the weekdays. I've had several other writers tell me they've experienced the opposite, with more sales on weekends. Why is this? I don't know. Maybe it has something to do with the fact I've published mostly fantasy novels and horror short stories.

2.) On the flip side of this, my horror tends to sell better on weekends than during the week. Wonder why that is?

3.) About 95 percent of my sales are through my fantasy novels.

4.) Short stories don't seem to be big sellers, even when packaged together. At least for me.

5.) Fantasy readers don't reach out to other genres, or at least they don't in my case. Since the vast majority of my sales are through my fantasy novels, it's obvious those readers aren't coming back for my horror short stories or my more literary works. But then again, they also aren't coming back for any of my fantasy short stories.

6.) My sales on Amazon, averaging about 3,000 per month over the last six months, has not equated to similar success over at Barnes & Noble. At B&N, I'm lucky to sell 50 e-books a month, and that seems to be staying pretty flat. At least my Smashwords numbers are growing each quarter, but not by leaps and bounds.

7.) The second and third e-books in any of my trilogies tend to sell about 75 percent of the number of sales of the first book in any of my trilogies. That leads me to believe that roughly 75 percent of those who read the first e-book in one of my trilogies liked it enough to want to continue the series. Those are numbers I can deal with.

8.) Trying to figure out the Amazon ranking game is near impossible. There have been days when one of my e-books has sold only a single copy, yet it's somehow jumped up in the rankings. Other days one of my e-books has sold 50 copies, but it's actually gone down in the rankings. I realize the rankings are based on many different factors, including the sales of others' e-books, but this strikes me as odd. Though it's not something I lose sleep over.


Stephanie Abbott said...

This is super-informative, thanks for putting this out there.

I am just starting with a novel under a pseudonym and it sold almost nothing until I put it out for Kindle. I have a Nook Color myself and like B & N but haven't seen any action there.

Charles Gramlich said...

Your sales dwarf mine. Sometime it would be great if you might tell us a little about how you are promoting the works and where.

Ty Johnston said...

Charles, my secret is ... luck.

I do very little promotions. I comment on a few blogs, and every once in a while I'll comment on the Amazon forums. That's about it.

I think I got into digital publishing at just the right time, just before it became popular enough to draw a ton of writer-publishers. That plus Amazon itself does a quality job by promoting my works to other e-books.

Along the way I have done some few promotions. For example, I've had two e-books promoted at The Indie Spotlight. And I've done a couple of interviews. But that's really about it.

PJ Lincoln said...

Thanks for the note, Ty, on JA's blog. I know need to get more titles out there and I did suspect, too, that my story being a short was hurting sales. When I ready to release the next one - a memoir - I'll probably make the short free.