Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Amazing June Ebook Sales Report

Here's my monthly update on the ebook sales experiment. The totals below are from these six books.

They are sold on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, and iBooks.
Feb: 12
March: 43
April: 377
May: 274
June: 182
And here's the handy dandy chart (you knew there'd be one, didn't you?):

As you can see sales were down for the second month in a row. This was partly due to Amazon having a massive ebook sale for the first two weeks of June. My sales picked up again after the sale was over, so I'm pleased that they reached the "heights" that they did in that short of a time. Again the majority of my sales were on Kindle (about 80%) with Nook being in second place at 10% and Smashwords and iBooks at the bottom.

One side note that doesn't show up on the chart above is the number of sales at 99 cents compared with the sales at $2.99. I sold 141 copies @ .99 cents. Since I make .35 cents per book that totals $48.85. But I sold 18 copies at $2.99. Since I make 2.09 per sale (70% royalty) that totals $37.67. So there's more money in the 2.99 books. They just have to start gaining momentum. I also gave away 49 copies of Draugr on iBooks and Smashwords, so I made nothing on them. But, of course, I see them as promo.

I'm not totally thrilled by the # of sales, nor am I disappointed. Things are steady and this month I have an ad for DUST in Kindle Nation Daily so that should help with sales. Also, though the extra money that is trickling in is nice, this whole experiment is about knowledge. I have learned so much about the ebook ecosystem and still intend to write a novel for ebooks only.  I am curious about the summer sales. I know people read more during these months, but do they buy more? Or are they all on the beach (out of wireless range?).

Either way, it's fun to watch.



Lioness said...

"I sold 141 copies @ .99 cents. Since I make .35 cents per book that totals $48.85. But I sold 18 copies at $2.99. Since I make 2.09 per sale (70% royalty) that totals $37.67. So there's more money in the 2.99 books"
You made more money on the 99¢ books than on the $2.99 so isn't that what you want to sell?

Unknown said...

You're right. I should have pointed out that of those six books 3 are selling for .99 cents (Dust, Draugr, and Shades).
2 were selling for $2.99 (Loki & Drang)
1 for 3.99 (Tribes: which didn't sell any copies in June so I dropped it to $2.99 this month)

What I should have said is that there is a greater potential for me to make more money if I was able to get the # of sales of $2.99 books to rise.

It's kind of moot though because the $2.99 books that are selling are spurred on by the fact that the first book in the series is .99 cents (and free on some platforms).

Scott Hunter said...

Hi Arthur - I'm experimenting with the Kindle price as well right now. Early indications show that dropping the price from 2.99 to 1.50 has increased sales significantly - and this only over 5 days. Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how the whole month shapes up. Keep up the inspiring work!

Miss Fletcher said...

Pretty interesting, and congratulations on the numbers!

It seems you have a solid backlist, so I am surprised to see the .99 sales are not translating into more people picking up your 2.99 books.

Have you tried pricing all at 2.99 at any point? .99 is such a competitive price point, it really is luck if your title takes off. Or have you considered making one entirely free across all stores to upsell the rest?

Anyway, good luck with July!

Unknown said...

Scott: I haven't tried the $1.50 price. Partly because I want to keep several of my books in the 2.99/70% royalty. I always wonder about price psychology. Would $1.49 sell more books than $1.50. Or does that extra penny add gravitas?

Thanks for this suggestion. I may try it. After all experimentation is the name of the game.

Miss Fletcher: I did start out with all the books at $2.99. My intention is to have them all at that price except for one loss leader, so to speak. I'm just waiting for the Dust .99 cent sales to reach a thousand then I'll bump it back up. Draugr is free on iTunes and Smashwords, but as you know I can't change the price on B&N and Kindle to free, so I'm waiting for their "robots" to figure it out.

Thanks for the good luck wishes. Same to you, fellow Machead.

Gayle Nastasi said...

I always enjoy following your updates, Art! I think you're doing very well (compared to my own sales, LOL!) and I'm learning quite a bit from your willingness to share.

I've now got three books in ebook format. Two are also available as paperback, and one of the three is a non-fiction book about how our pets view the "problems" their owners experience with them. The non-fiction sales actually seem to be better than the two fiction pieces.

Of the fiction, one is my mid-grade dog mystery, The Corpse that Wasn't There, which is published through a small independent publishing house, and it's the publisher who made the ebook available, so I really can't track sales directly. It's the first in a series, so it'll be interesting to compare sales now with what happens when the second book comes out in the fall. I do know that most of the sales of that book were in paperback format.

The other is a collection of three short stories that are "classic fantasy with a twist". That is self-published and the one that does not have a paperback version.

I find that people still want paperback, and with the two that came out in ebook format first, I had quite a few inquiries as to "when the paperback will be available". In our modern day, with Amazon reporting that they sell more Kindle books than print books now, that came as a very mild surprise. (I personally prefer reading on my Nook, it's easier on these old eyes, LOL.)

I also found it interesting, tho' not unexpected, that the author makes a much higher royalty percentage on ebooks than on paperback (when self-publishing), and the paperback version makes a greater profit if sold through CreateSpace directly than it does on Amazon.com proper. Interesting, since Amazon owns CreateSpace....

Anyway, I'm rambling. LOL Just a note to compare experiences and to once again say Thank You.

Unknown said...

Thanks Gayle!

I agree, paper books are still a giant part of the market. They've been around for a few hundred years so they're not getting much buzz these days!

I do plan on releasing my ebooks as paper books, but that's a project for...well...when there's a moment to do it! : )

Catherine Stine said...

Very interesting, Arthur. I just awarded you a Liebster Blog Award. Come check it out at:

Beth said...

It's awesome that you're able to make money off your back list.

I found you on Catherine Stine's blog and I'm a new follower.

Unknown said...

A Liebster! Thanks that's wonderful. I really appreciate it. They like me, they really like me. : ) Thanks Catherine.

And thanks Beth. I'm enjoying making money off my backlist. I enjoy making $ period for some reason. : )