My Self-Publishing Journey: The Results of Experimentation

First an announcement:

Next Saturday I’ll be on a panel about writing at the Himmel branch library.

ROMANCE: MORE THAN 50 SHADES

The Saguaro Chapter of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) will present a panel discussion, including:

  • 12 pm to 1:30 pm – A Q&A, lead by Jesse Petersen, Roz Denny Fox, Connie Flynn, and Frankie Robertson. Topics covered will be creating characters, starting the book, sagging middles, and ending with a bang.
  • 2 pm to 4 pm – Vicki Lewis Thompson, Mary Tate Engels, and Cynthia Garner will facilitate a workshop in which participants create a heroine.

Seating is limited to 50. Call 594-5305 to register. Registration begins January 22.

The talk starts at 12:00 noon. I hope to see you there!

******************************************************

I mentioned about a month ago that the results of taking LIGHTBRINGER and WITH HEART TO HEAR down from Kindle Select and making them available on Smashwords and Nook had been distinctly lackluster. At that time I’d sold only one copy of WHTH on Barnes & Noble. Sales on Amazon weren’t a lot better. So I lowered the prices on both to see if that would stimulate sales.

The answer is: No.

What did work was running a fairly successful free promo on Kindle Select for DANGEROUS TALENTS. Sales of DT and its sequel FORBIDDEN TALENTS improved significantly, and LIGHTBRINGER ans WHTH also enjoyed improved sales on Amazon. On Nook I sold one more copy of WHTH. In two months LIGHTBRINGER sold nothing on Barnes & Noble. Even so, I was reluctant to pull the books off of Nook and return them to KS because so many authors are saying, “Diversify!”

So I asked my circle of self-publishing friends who are on several distribution platforms where their sales came from. The two who write erotica and erotic romance said a significant percentage of their sales came from Nook. The other two, who write mystery and romance, said almost 90% of their sales came from Amazon.

Based on this info I made the decision to pull LIGHTBRINGER  and re-enroll it in Amazon’s Kindle Select program. (WHTH is still available on Nook.) I wish KS didn’t require exclusivity. I wish I could use their tools and still have my books available for all of the readers who chose Nook or Kobo over Kindle. But the Nook and Kobo readers aren’t buying my books. The Kindle readers are. Now.

At some point in the future I’ll probably try diversifying again. At a different time of year. With different books.

This is the nature of experimentation. You try something. You measure the results. You create a hypothesis, change a few variables, and experiment again to refine the hypothesis. Eventually you develop a theory that guideS future experimentation. And if you’re lucky, you become wildly successful along the way. 🙂

I’d love to know what results other writers out there have had. Over the last year, where have most of your sales come from?

 

7 Comments

Filed under Publishing

7 responses to “My Self-Publishing Journey: The Results of Experimentation

  1. Kilian Metcalf

    I don’t sell, but as a reader, I buy. If there is a free book in a series, I almost always buy another book at the same time. If the free book is the first, I’ll buy the second. Even if I don’t like, hey I got two books for the price of one. I tell my Goodreads and Facebook friends about it, too, to spread the word. I would take credit for being an angel, but the truth is I love to read and like the idea of discovering new writers. If people don’t buy their books, they will stop writing, and I’ll run out of new stuff to read.

  2. Shanthie

    I saw your book Dangerous Talents advertised for free on Daily Kindle Books. At the time though I was not a fan of paranormal romance, obtained it from Amazon. I was intrigued by some of the reviews and finished reading it the same day. Your writing style is good and tell the story well. So, the next day I purchased Forbidden Talents. Subsequently purchased Veiled Mirror, Lightbringer and With Heart to Hear. I have only the last two to read. If I was not tempted by the free offer on Dangerous Talents, I wuld have never got around to reading your books or even realise that I liked that genre. Hope this information helps.

    • Wow! Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy the next two stories as much as you did the others. Drop me a note here to let me know what you think.

      • Shanthie

        I have completed reading all the books purchased. Enjoyed them all. Would love to read a continuation of the “Talent” series. Noticed that there were a few “hooks” that could be used for another part/s.

      • I’m glad you enjoyed the books! I do have more stories to tell in both the Celestial Affairs universe and in the Talents universe — I just wish I was a faster writer!

        If you have a moment, and feel so inclined, it would be lovely if you would leave reviews on Amazon, too. In any case, thanks for reading!

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