Transparency In Indie Publishing, June 2012

Once again I find myself at the close of another month. I remained opted in to KDP Select as I was the month prior though borrows were fewer: 43 then versus 26 in June. May must have been a fluke, because historically borrows have hovered around 30 or so. That’s pretty good when Amazon pays out more than $2.00 per borrow.

I did a five-day free run of Walking At Night (my short story collection), moving 373 copies. Back in February I ran it free for only one day and moved 388 copies. In comparison June’s free run wasn’t a blowout, but it did still move a decent number of copies. I price this compilation low (currently $1.29) and earn around $.45 per copy. I include a preview of Into the Badlands in the back, so I’m using this as a cheap loss leader.

Did the free promo drive sales of the novel? It’s hard to say definitively, but I did see a bump in June. Into the Badlands sold 449 copies in the US; in May it sold 397 copies. The price remained at $2.99 for both months, so something else must have triggered the bump. Maybe the sample chapters in the freebies I gave away drove some sales or some recent good reviews might have pushed me higher in the “also bought” lists.

UK sales of Into the Badlands were up too. In May I sold 10 copies; in June I sold 17 copies. It’s nice seeing this market slowly increase; it’s resulted in some nice little $30 checks making their way into my bank account. Being native English speakers (as native as you can get) means this is an untapped market for a guy who writes in English. If I could make more inroads across the pond that would be incredible. I’ll be updating my UK author page soon, ensuring it’s as up-to-date as the US version. With a little work that market could really grow.

The free days for the short stories really seems to have caused a bump in the UK; 2 copies sold last month, 16 copies this month. In the US the numbers are comparable for both months; 18 last month, 24 this month. Overall the short stories continue to sell poorly, but do still move a few units. Since releasing it in October of last year they’ve earned me around $200. Including the free days they’ve reached over 1,000 readers.

All in all I sold 506 copies of my books in June, the best month I’ve had since February. The drop in sales I’ve been seeing over the past several months has leveled out and sales are actually increasing again. I couldn’t be happier about that.

And another milestone was passed this month: over 4,000 books sold since September 3, 2011. 4,246 to be exact. If sales remain steady I should hit 5,000 sold by September, 2012, even if my next book didn’t sell a single copy. These are true sales and do not include freebies or borrows.

Speaking of horror, one of the most exciting things to happen for me in June was finishing the final draft of my upcoming horror novel, The Desolate. Editing seemed to be taking forever, but I powered through it and finished it up. I sent it to my editor a few days later. Release date is schedule for August 1st. So far she’s on track to meet this date. Will The Desolate sell as well as Into the Badlands? I hope so, but it’s hard to say. I really hope that my “zombie” and post-apocalyptic audience will take to this horror novel. I also hope this book finds a new, untapped audience. That’s a win-win for both the readers and me.

Not ever one to sit still, I have more projects in the works. I’m finally going to write that novella I’ve been considering. It’s going to be called Muster Drill and should weight in around 20k words. Target release date is sometime this fall. I want to get another book out there before Christmas, because if this Christmas is anywhere near as good as last year, I want as much available as possible. I’ll include a sample of Into the Badlands in the back of the book and will probably run a free promo on it to drive interest in my full-length work. It’ll also be fun to work on something with a quick turnaround.

And then next spring will see the release of my next novel, Beyond the Badlands, the sequel to Into the Badlands. Outlining is complete and work on the manuscript starts July 1st. It should be a fun ride.

What will July bring? Sales of Into the Badlands have been increasing for the past couple months, so I really hope that trend continues. I’ll be focusing more on the UK market’s potential next month and I’ll remain in KDP Select for now, having already opted back in last month. I’ll also be finishing up my novella and beginning the manuscript for Beyond the Badlands. July should be an interesting and busy month.

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