Thursday 29 March 2012

Sales Riding High!

For some reason, my UK sales of Hamelin's Child are going through the roof this month. I've now trebled my February sales and there are still a few days left in March. US sales are still just ticking slowly along, which is perhaps just as well as I still haven't got my tax ID sorted out - need to ring the embassy in London and check if it's OK for Andy to go on my behalf, since he's often in London for work and I've been once in the last 10 years!

Why are sales so good? What am I doing that I wasn't doing before? I suspect it's one or both of two things. The first is simply that success breeds success. Once sales reach a certain level or a specific number/day or whatever, certain algorithms kick on in amazon and the book starts appearing in "people who bought x also looked at y" type of lists - the ones you see on the screen whenever you browse amazon. The secret of these lists is to get associated with someone who sells hundreds of thousands of books in your genre and tap into their market - I don't think I'm there yet, but fingers crossed!

And then there is Authors Electric: a daily blog by professional UK authors independently publishing ebooks. Now people might quibble over the word professional, but the fact is the majority of the 28 writers involved have been and/or still are published by the traditional print publishers (generally "the big 6" or imprints thereof). Most of these writers are either publishing new work straight to ebook themselves or have the electronic rights to their other books. Remember that it's only recently that electronic rights were even thought about in standard book contracts.

I was lucky enough to be invited to join AE at its inception by fantasy writer Katherine Roberts. Over the past few months, some of the authors have been giving talks at events (I believe some of them will be at the London Book Fair in April) and involving their media contacts - with the result that the site is getting over 7,000 hits per month. It's something I'm proud to be a part of, even though I can never think of anything remotely interesting to blog about on my nominated day of 6th of each month.

Via AE, there is also indie e-book review, run by author Cally Phillips. This is one of a number of new sites aimed at showcasing and reviewing quality indie ebooks. To make it on here, a book must meet a high standard of editing and writing, as well as be a good story and not all books received are accepted for review. Hamelin was reviewed last week and I also review books for the site.

So are these the reasons for the books success? I don't suppose I'll ever know for sure. I know that I get some recommendations - old school friend Jane Spence says she promotes me to people we knew at school and for that I am grateful. School was long, long ago and very far away (and probably in a different galaxy), and I'm surprised anyone even remembers me as I don't think I made much of an impression and I didn't keep in touch with more than a handful of people!

Meanwhile I'm just enjoying the ride while it lasts and trying to get some work done on other stuff.

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