Monday, October 03, 2011

Outselling Stephen King: the September eBook results

Well a few posts ago I told you how I miraculously sold more books than Stephen King (in a 48 hour period)!

Well, now I can report to you the amazingly stupendous results. Yes, this is breaking news folks! Last month DUST sold a whopping 1355 copies. Since the highest monthly total before that was 360 copies, I was bountifully pleased by this result. 
Now Dust was selling for $1.49 (that's .52 cents per book for me) for the majority of those sales and then I bumped it up to 1.99. (or .70 cents a book). The book has slowly dropped down the sales charts (from a high in the 600's) and seems to be levelling out at about 10000 on the sales charts in the US (and 4000 on the UK charts). That equals about 10 sales a day (but since I've bumped the price up to 2.99 I am making 2.05 per sale). I don't know how long it will hold at this level. What, you want to see an amazing chart? Here it is:
That chart shows dust jumping up from abut 160,000th place to 600th. Then slowly falling back down. Apparently what goes up must come down. Thanks a lot for the gravitational laws Newton!

At one point I had told myself I'd be happy if I made about $1000.00 in the space of a year. Since that goal was surpassed in the space of a month...well, I'm green with happiness. I don't expect next month's sales to be anywhere near the same amount as September. But if they continue at the level they're at today (about 10,000 on the charts) I'll actually make as much money through fewer sales (because at 2.99 I make a 70% royalty, at .99-2.98 it's a 35% royalty).

Here's the overall sales chart:
Isn't that pretty? And it has different colours, too. The blue colour represents the sales of DUST. But you can see that a few of my other books are starting to pick up a bit (in fact every book had increased sales over last month). The total for all books was 1467 copies sold.

So last month was a good one. And this month I now have all three of The Hunchback Assignments books available on kindle UK (in fact I'm giving away the first one to get my British cousins to try the series). We'll see if that strategy works.

Over and out,


Carolyn said...

Way to go, taking charge of your book with a re-release! Congratulations on your new success.

For what it's worth, I am in favor of the higher price. An author should be respected for his (or her) time, creativity, and expertise. A too-low price makes a statement about the value, which can be misleading.

I wish you continued success.

Eric Hammond said...

Fantastic, Art!
And ol' Steve's right: you ARE a genius.
And you make a fine graph.

R. Doug Wicker said...

I'd kill for sales figures such as those.

Well, maybe not kill. Maim might be more appropriate.

Unknown said...

@ Carolyn,

Thanks! It's been a fun ride. I agree that prices should be higher, but when I had the book at $3.99 it wasn't selling. So thus the gradual rise from .99 to (now) 2.99. Until I find that happy place. @ 2.99 I make 2.05 which is more than I make from most hardcovers. I will keep going higher until I see which # works.

@Eric...thanks! I heart graphs. : )

@R.Doug... err, the dinner invite is off. Sorry about that. I suddenly feel nervous... : )

Claire Eamer said...

Cool, Art! Looks like the experiment's working. Word of e-mouth might require a critical mass of sales and works for sale before it takes off. Perhaps that's part of what's happening here. Anyway, thanks for sharing. I find it very interesting and useful.

Unknown said...

You're welcome Claire. Always happy to be a Guinea pig!

Catherine Stine said...


Kim Goldberg said...

Thanks for sharing this info, Art. It's helpful for those of us just starting down the eBook path...

Linda L. Richards said...

Inspired by your experiments with Dust, I finally managed to get my short story e-book, Hitting Back, to display free on Amazon. I had a terrifically fun week watching it zoom up the charts, but for the last week, I've been trying to get them to make it NOT free on Amazon without success. Any tips?

Unknown said...

Glad it worked. The tricky part is actually getting it back to "paid" status. Just contact them through KDP. If a week or so has passed with no change, send them a follow up. The fastest turn around that I've had is a week. The slowest was three weeks.

Linda L. Richards said...

Thanks, Arthur! That's what I figured but thought I'd check. So I'm thinking that, in future, as soon as the book shows up on Amazon free, it's time to go other places and make it not free anymore. What do you think?

Unknown said...

That's exactly what I do. I just had a book go from free to paid status. It took five days from the day that I asked them to make it "paid" again.