I was reading a great interview with fellow indie author and all-round nice bloke James Everington about promotion where he indicated that some months he puts a lot into getting the word out about his work and achieves few sales, and other months he puts no effort in and sees sales creep up again. I’m now into the fifth month of trying to identify a sales pattern for my work so I can try and target my efforts, and I’m getting nowhere. It’s an exercise in futility. My sales are chaos theory given form…
For example, for two months straight I outsold in the US by a margin of almost 2:1. Why this was I have no real idea as my work seems very UK centric to me. I did find that there were a few sites in the US that streamed books from Amazon so I can only guess the extra exposure on these helped. Last month, however, US sales almost completely dried up. Why? I haven’t a clue.
Throughout March I sold steadily on Amazon UK – the beginning of the month saw the greatest flurry of activity but I was selling at least one or two copies per day if not more. From about the 20th of the month, this slowed to (even more of) a trickle. Nothing for about 5 days straight at the end of the month and then suddenly a late surge of a further 3 on the 31st. (I advertised that proceeds for all sales were going to Japan for March and if anything that seemed to slow things down, which was a shame as I wanted to donate as much as I could).
When I went to bed last night I had sold 3 books – UK only – in April. When I got up this morning it had doubled. One of them was someone in the US obviously taking pity on me. It’s just bizarre. I’m an analyst by trade so I remain convinced there’s a discernable process and underlying cause to anything. But with this I’m at a complete loss. There are agencies out there who will charge you a nice fee to sort out promotion for you, but I find it hard to believe they’ll be doing much more than pissing in the wind based on the incomprehensibility of the appeal my books seem to have, randomly, at times, and in places unknown.