Update on Book Sales

It has been a while since I updated my website due to some issues with WordPress. I was essentially unable to login until recently. I wanted to make this update back in April because it was ahead of schedule by a month! On April 3, 2014 I sold my 5,000th copy of the ebook version of my book, 25 Money-Making Businesses You Can Start in Your Spare Time! This was a goal of mine that I wasn’t sure I would reach. I am just amazed at how my book took off and some of the amazing reviews it has garnered on Amazon.com.

I suppose I should shoot for a loftier goal now — say 10,000 ebook sales? Sounds great to me! I will be sure to let you know when this happens. In the meantime, I launched the paperback version of the book and have been very busy raising my one year old daughter and starting a new business.

Thanks for the ongoing support, and feel free to post comments or questions anytime!

 

My Book Just Hit #1 on Amazon.com!

Money-Making NEW2My book, 25 Money-Making Businesses You Can Start in Your Spare Time just hit #1 on Amazon.com in the Home-Based Business category, and #8 of all books under Entrepreneurship!  My book is doing very well and I am close to achieving one of my personal goals for sales, within the next few months! Exciting times!

Another Book Sales Milestone!

I hit another milestone the other day in goal to be an author. I sold the 4,000th copy today of my book – 25 Money-Making Businesses You Can Start in Your Spare Time! I launched the Kindle book as an experiment after removing the content from my other book, Starting Your Own Business: An Entrepreneur’s Guide. It was one of the chapters in that book.

That was in late September 2012. And to my amazement it began selling quite well on its own. It has been a fun and interesting time since. My end goal is to sell more than 5,000 copies…and at its current rate, I think I just might hit that goal by May!

 

Kindle Book Promotion – Part 2

In my previous post on Kindle promotion I discussed the first day of my short story promotion on KDP Select (Kindle Direct Publishing).  To review, prior to the promotions I had sold 4 units at $0.99.  My promotion (free Kindle story) began on a Friday and through various posts and tweets, I was able to manage 106 downloads in the first day.  It may not sound like a lot, but I was quite pleased with this.

On day two, I utilized similar tactics (4-5) Twitter posts and 1 post on Facebook and LinkedIn.  On Twitter I used some new hash tags such as #ShortStorySaturday, #authors, and a few others.  According to the Amazon.com page for “The Path”, the ranking for my story actually reached as high as 1,341 out of over a million books!  I decided to use this little tidbit for my post on Facebook and LinkedIn.  It got some great responses from friends!  Overall I was able to get another 46 downloads on day 2 — for a grand total of 152 downloads!

I even got a 5 star review!  I am pretty happy with the results.  It is hard to say if readers stumbled upon my story via Amazon or if they were directed to the site straight from a tweet, retweet or Facebook.  But it does show that these “free” promotions work.  If I had been trying to give away a full novel I am positive the numbers would have been much higher.

I will continue to learn from my fellow writers/authors on Twitter — looking for promotional ideas that work.  And I will continue to work on my material.

I will repeat my belief in what John Locke noted in his book,How I Sold 1 Million Ebooks in 5 Months.  If you have other books available for sale, when a customer reads and enjoys your free book, there is a good chance they will buy your other books.  I hope to benefit from this strategy in the future.  I intend on promoting additional short stories (they will all be longer than “The Path”) and also hope to one day soon have a full novel for sale, as well as other non-fiction books.

And I hope to one day be able to call myself an author, and perhaps even make a living out of it!

What has your experience been like promoting your ebooks on Amazon, B & N, Kobo or iBooks?

 

Kindle Book Promotion

Day one of my very first Kindle promotion for my short story “The Path” just ended.  When you sign up on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select you are given up to five days during the 90 day period where you can offer your book for free to Kindle users.  This allows you to (potentially) gain a significant number of new readers who may not have heard of you or your book before.  The ultimate goal is to gain positive book reviews and create word-of-mouth buzz to boost your book sales.  Also, as John Locke noted in his book, How I Sold 1 Million Ebooks in 5 Months, if you have other books available for sale, when a customer reads and enjoys your free book, there is a good chance they will buy your other books.

I don’t mind sharing specific details, as this whole experience is an experiment to learn the best approach to promoting ebooks on Amazon.com.  Because I do not have a novel to sell yet, I am relying on a short story to carry out the research.  This already puts me at a disadvantage because when faced with getting a free novel or a free short story, I’m sure most would go with the former.  However, they can also download both — so there is hope yet :).

My story has been available on Amazon.com since April 4, 2012 — approximately two weeks.  I did some promotion of the story on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn — first focusing on letting my friends and followers know that my story was available.  And then promoting the fact that the story was free for Amazon Prime members.  As I mentioned in a previous post, because I am not able to offer the story for free at all times, it normally has a cost of $0.99.  Do I expect to sell a lot of units at $0.99?  Definitely not.  Since this effort is really about getting some exposure, and learning the ins and outs of promoting a book/story I really just want downloads, whether I get paid or not!  This is why the promotional days are so important.

So let’s get to the results.  In the two weeks prior to the “free” promotion I actually sold four units!  It doesn’t sound like much, but I was happy that four people were willing to pay $0.99 for my story!  This meant that some of the elements of my promotion worked — be it the cover graphic, or its description, or simply curiosity from one of my tweets or posts.  What ever it was, I sold four copies!  In just one day of the “free” promotion I had an additional 106 downloads!

That is quite a difference in exposure!  Now potentially 110 people have read my story on a Kindle, and hopefully most of them will check out my future stories and novels!  I am pretty excited about the potential here.  To put it in perspective I had previously posted the story on my website and invited friends and social media contacts to check it out.  If I had to guess I would say I got about 40-50 views.  I also posted the story to Wattpad and got another 85 views over the course of a couple months.  When I signed up with KDP Select I removed the story for both of the other sites.

In order to promote my Kindle story this time, I came up with 4 or 5 tweets that I could post throughout the day which would let my followers know that my story was available free for a limited time.  I also used tags such as RT to ask for a retweet,   #Thriller to classify the story genre and allow people searching for thrillers to find my posts.  I used #Kindle and #Amazon for the same reason, as well as some others like #authorssupportingauthors which helps to rally the writing community to support you.  I used HootSuite to schedule the postings at specific times throughout the day, as I work full-time and would not necessarily have time to manually do this myself.

I have been observing my fellow authors and writers on Twitter for several months now, and there are definitely techniques and best practices for promoting your books on Twitter.  Because of the nature of Twitter, a post can get lost almost immediately, so it is necessary to post many times throughout the day.  I often notice this practice on my Twitter feed and although it seems like overkill or even borderline spam sometimes, it would be difficult to capture enough attention without this practice.  I highly recommend not doing this with some other social media platforms, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, however as those feeds have a much longer life and this would definitely come across as spamming your “friends” and colleagues.

There is definitely a fine line.  I posted two of the five tweets to my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts as well.  Even that felt like too much, but from past experience, I have gotten much more response from Facebook than other platforms as there is a personal connection and my Facebook friends are often truly interested in what I am up to.

Tomorrow is day two of my “free” promotion and I look forward to many more downloads.  I will be utilizing 4-5 different posts again on Twitter and perhaps one on Facebook and LinkedIn.  I will be recording the results, and refining my methods as I go along.  Then I will have three days remaining, over the next few months to repeat what I have learned.

I am currently working on more short stories which I hope to complete in the next few weeks, and a non-fiction project that I will be discussing soon enough.  I hope that each time through the process will become easier, and more successful.

Please check back to read more about my experiences publishing and promoting ebooks on Kindle and other platforms including Nook, Apple iBooks, KOBO and others.  I look forward to comments and suggestions!

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