While chatting with a friend this weekend she asked how my book sales were going. My second suspense novel, ‘Dark Circle,’ was recently released and a frenzy of promotional activity soon followed.
While it’s easy to see how “real time” sales are going–those books which I sell to local retailers or outright to readers at an author event–the online sales are a little trickier to understand. What makes the numbers increase one day on Amazon or Barnes & Noble but result in zero sales the next day? Why are digital book sales gangbusters during this month and molasses slow during this one?
Partly, I believe it’s my inexperience selling online. I’m still learning the book-tracking ropes. I know that my online venues are probably capturing more data than I can figure out from Google Analytics or my author dashboard on sites like Amazon, Goodreads or Barnes & Noble. Then there’s all the social networking to decipher. Did an increase in sales recently come from a helpful tweet or funny Facebook exchange or was it something else, or nothing in particular?
As an indie author, my entire fiction career feels a little “fly-by-the-seat-of-one’s-pants” at times. But it’s good. It’s a beneficial way for me to learn (I’m a jump-in-with-both-feet-type) and also a good way to fail (not much money wasted–time, yes, money, no). I’m looking at all these book promotion attempts as a series of experiments.
And I am learning along the way. Inspired by the success of such indie authors as J.A. Konrath and Hugh Howey I drink in their experiences. And other authors are so generous that I’m blown away. I have learned so much practical information from fantasy author, Lindsay Buroker and suspense novelist J.F. Penn. I’m excited rather than scared that I can’t see what’s coming next.
What about you? Do you find online sales to be the “meat and potatoes” of your market or do you prefer real time sales? Is attending a book club as the author-of-the-month your norm, or does tweeting suit your personality and pocketbook more?