Saturday, January 15, 2011
I Sold 44,334 Kindle Books In December
Last month I sold 44,334 books on Kindle UK. That’s a lot of books. I don’t know of any Indie author who even comes close to that in the UK. I know that I’m not a true Indie author in that I am also published by one of the best publishing houses around – Hodder and Stoughton. But I have published five books on my own and they are true Indie books.
I know of only one Indie author who sells more than me in the US and that’s paranormal romance writer Amanda Hocking – and she sells more than twice as many as me.
I’m putting my December sales figures onto my blog so that people can see for themselves where my sales are coming from.
In December it was my vampire book Once Bitten that sold best, accounting for 22,607 sales. Interestingly it is my New York serial killer story, The Basement, that is currently selling best – and heading the Kindle UK bestseller list. But in December it was lagging behind Once Bitten with 17,321 sales. For most of December Once Bitten and The Basement were Number 1 and Number 2 in the Kindle UK bestseller list respectively. As of today, it’s The Basement that’s Number 1.
Someway behind in December was Dreamer’s Cat which sold 3,899 copies. Dreamer’s Cat is a science fiction murder mystery novel and I never expected it to sell as well as the other two. Science Fiction is always going to be a niche market. Though I am pleased to say that for the most of the time Dreamer’s Cat has been on the Kindle it has topped the UK Science Fiction list, both as a book and as a download. More copies of Dreamer’s Cat were sold in December than of 1984 and Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, which I think is pretty good going.
I have two other books that I put on Kindle myself – Bangkok Bob and the Missing Mormon, which sold 302 copies, and Private Dancer, which sold 205 copies. Why are they so far behind the other three? Because I am selling them at full price. I did that because both books are set in Thailand where they are both published as ‘real’ books. They have been professionally produced and therefore I believe that they should command a premium price. But there’s no doubt that I would sell a lot more if I reduced them to 99 cents (74p) like the other three. Why don’t I? It’s partly because I believe they are worth the money, but it’s also by way of an experiment. US Indie writers like the great Joe Konrath and Amanda Hocking can sell their work for $2.99 and $3.99 and still command high sales. I wanted to see if it was possible to do that in the UK. And I’m afraid that the answer is no. Not yet, anyway.
There’s another reason that the two Thailand-based books don’t sell as well as my three cheap books. That’s because they haven’t been picked up by Amazon’s automated recommendation system. When someone buys a copy of either The Basement, Once Bitten or Dreamer’s Cat, the buyer is immediately given my other books as a suggested purchase. But they are not given either Private Dancer or Bangkok Bob and the Missing Mormon as a suggestion. It’s as if they haven’t been linked to the other books so therefore don’t benefit by association. That I think will be the key to getting those two books into the bestseller list, and I think I have come up with a strategy that will achieve that. How? All shall be revealed!