Last Friday was Angry Sheep Publishing's first anniversary. Here's the breakdown of the year in numbers of books sold along with my thoughts for each month. (Please note: I have NOT included any books I gave away for free!)
Total books sold April of 2011 - 6
I released the novella Seasons of Magick: Spring the last weekend of the month.
Total books sold May of 2011 - 28
I released the novel Blood Magick at the end of the month. At this point, I'm looking at what I call the "Friends & Family" buys. I'm merely acknowledging the source of the sales. I'm not dissing the folks supporting me at this point because without them I wouldn't be doing what I love.
Total books sold June of 2011 - 21
Amazon discounted a lot of traditionally published books in order to prove a point to the Big Six. I wasn't the only one to see a slow down in sales.
Total books sold July of 2011 - 30
I released the novel Zombie Love at the beginning of the month.
Total books sold August of 2011 - 22
I released my non-fiction book Creating a Business Plan for the Indie Writer in the middle of the month. While I gave away forty copies of the non-fiction, fiction sales slowed for most indie writers because of another major sale at Amazon, this time with the Big Six's cooperation. It's been the one time since I started indie publishing that I really worried.
Total books sold September of 2011 - 15
This slow down I can blame on no one but myself. I did no promotion and no writing because of an outside project that, with hindsight, I realize I should not have taken.
Total books sold October of 2011 - 25
I released the novella Seasons of Magick: Summer in the middle of the month. Sales picked up, and I promoted, but sales weren't where I wanted them to be. This started a major debate between me and my support team over what constituted an effective cover.
Total books sold November of 2011 - 14
Seasons of Magick: Summer was re-released with a new cover and a new title, Die for Me. As you can see, sales tanked again, but I wasn't sure if it was the new cover alone or the Christmas Crazies in the retail world.
Total books sold December of 2011 - 23
Looking at the day-to-day sales data, I realized most of my sales were late November and early December. i.e. during Thanksgiving Break for most schools. I hoped to release the novel Zombie Wedding in time to capitalize on Christmas Break also. Because of extra hours at the Day Job for holiday staff coverage, Zombie Wedding was not released until New Year's Eve. Also, every other title of mine sold at least one copy except for Die for Me.
Total books sold January of 2012 - 26
Seasons of Magick: Summer was re-released with its original title and cover. While three more sales may not seem significant, I started to get communications from fans. For me, this was the greatest achievement!
Total books sold February of 2012 - 84
The first week of the month, I released a novella under a pseudonym since it was a radical departure from my other releases. I also started a cross-promotion plan with another author. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the results of both experiments.
Total books sold March of 2012 - 132
I released the novella Seasons of Magick: Autumn at the end of the month. I shifted down on promotion because I needed the writing time, but the efforts of February started to pay off.
There's lots of things other indie writers have done to spur sales. So why haven't I tried certain things like like giving away novels or signing up for the Kindle Lending Library?
I want slow, steady growth based on people who give my books a try, love my writing and come back for more. The last thing I want is to be a flash in the pan. Other methods work for other writers. This is my personal vision.
As I write this post, it is shortly after midnight on April 30th, 2012. Ten days ago, I released my fourth novel, Amish, Vamps & Thieves. When I checked a few minutes ago, I had sold 168 books from a list of nine titles across six retailers.
And you know what? I'm pretty damn satisfied with my progress.