Snapshot of the 1st 30 Days of a first time Indie Published Novelist

apple

So, it has been a little over a month since the launch of my first novel, Silenced Memories. I thought I would give a little bit of an update on the progress and my discoveries as a first time published author.

    • Advertising/Marketing:
      • The first 4 days of my book release, about 40 blogs hosted a book blitz of my novel. Although I am not sure if this translated into many sales, I do think it helped spread the word about my book. I used a service for this, as I just didn’t have the time to contact all of the blogs myself.
      • Goodreads giveaway – 3 signed books (2 went to the U.S., 1 to Italy)- 500+ added the book to their “to read list”
      • Aside from the release blitz, I have yet to really advertise or market. An occasional Tweet or post on Facebook is about it. The only time I have seen any direct correlation between a Facebook post/ad and sales on Amazon is when I directly targeted my hometown.
      • Why am I not investing in advertising/marketing right now? –I know there is debate about this, but I really want to have 1-2 more books available before I push my novel. I’d like my readers to be able to become “attached” to me as a writer by reading several of my books – and then they’ll be more apt to sign up for my email subscription. If I only have 1 book, they may forget me, and I need to spend money again to try and find my original customers + new ones.
    • ACTUAL SALES
      • In the first month, I sold about 500 books at a price of $2.99 E-book ($9.99- paperback)
        • I honestly have no idea if this number is a good one or not – but I am happy with the number, considering I didn’t really market (and this is my first book)
      • 80% of my sales have come from Apple.
        • Yes, this is not the norm, correct? How did this happen?
        • Well, for some reason, Apple included my novel on the “featured page”
          • I was listed as a romance suspense new release for about 7 days
          • I was selected as a Romance “Our Pick” – about 15-20 books are featured for 1-2 weeks before rotated.
          • My book was also on the Apple Featured Homepage under “popular romance”
          • Because of being featured as an “our pick” – I sold about 20-35 copies a day for 7 straight days, which got me onto the Romance Suspense Recent Best Seller List –which then got me on to the “all-time best seller list” –made it to #2 on the Romance Suspense recent best seller list at one point.
        • VISIBILTY = SALES (obviously) – I am still scratching my head as to how I ended up hitting the lottery in terms of visibility (as Mark Coker from Smashwords says you have about a 1 in 200,000 chance (or something) of an unknown being featured. So, of course, I am super happy & excited about this –but again, no idea how it happened –so I have no advice to offer in terms of how to make it happen (or for it to happen again for my next book.)
        • Clearly, the “OUR PICKS” listing was what drove my sales –because as soon as they rotated books and picked the next group of new releases, my sales slipped to less than 15 a day – and then less than 5 a day. It has been a bit like the stock market in terms of sales the last week.
        • Also, Apple’s best seller lists are DIFFERENT than Amazon’s. Amazon uses algorithms to choose their authors – Apple has a marketing team (humans!) who make the decisions.
        • My book is also listed as a ‘customer also bought’ book for other novels
  • AMAZON
      • Without being a KDP member, I don’t really see any sales, unless I advertise- and by advertising I mean I have spent maybe a total of $20 on Facebook ads.
      • I basically have anywhere between 0-3 sales a day (e-book/paperback)
      • My first 3 days of sales were about 50 (and I think 40 of those were people I know!)
      • My book (despite only 7 reviews) is listed as a ‘customer also bought’ book for other novels
  • B&N/Kobo + everyone else
    • 9 total sales (e-book sales) – So far my paperback has only been purchased on Amazon and not at BAM, B&N, etc (where it is sold online)
  • REVIEWS
    • Amazon – 7 reviews – and I think the number is low here because so many people who bought the Kindle know me (and cannot leave a review)
    • Goodreads-12 ratings/10 written reviews
    • B&N- 4 reviews
    • Apple- 32 ratings/5 written reviews
    • Blog review

Okay, so here is an honest picture of a self-published novelist in her first 30 days. I am pretty sure my numbers will drop, unless I begin to advertise (but again, I think I am holding off until the March/April release of my 2nd book) . . . I am providing these numbers and this information to other indie authors who are curious about results. ANY SUGGESTIONS?

Check out my book on ibooks, Amazon, or one of the other major retailers. Check out my website at: brittneysahin.com

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16 thoughts on “Snapshot of the 1st 30 Days of a first time Indie Published Novelist

  1. So many sales! That sounds so great! Congratulations!! There are lots of Tweet Teams on FB. You post a tweet link as a comment, then you retweet everyone else’s and they do yours. Plus, you might join a group like ASMSG. It’s a built-in support system. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think all of that sounds wonderful! You’ve done so well for not really marketing your book. I’ve heard the same thing though about waiting to market until you have more than one book, because then they won’t easily forget about you. So, that’s a smart idea. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you on focusing on the next book & not so much on the marketing end. Lots of authors do not invest in ads/mktg, etc- myself included. I didn’t when I started in 2012, used mostly my blog to talk/post to myself :). I released my 1st book, everything changed, then my second book came shortly after- it was the right move. I read a lot of Joe Konrath’s blog back then and still do. Though things are ever changing in the publishing world, I feel some remain the same. Good storytelling. Stick to what your gut is telling you. Congrats on the sales, that is a great number and way to go on being featured on Apple! I think you will do even better with your next book. Your following will continue to build. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Amber. And I will check out Joe’s blog. My life has been hectic lately, but I have your books on my list to read, and I look forward to when I can relax and read (which I will probably do during sleepless nights when my baby arrives next month!!) Thanks again for the feedback 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That is a lot of sales! Congratulations. Looks like you hit the jackpot there with Apple, but even 10 books to people you don’t know in the first three days on Amazon seems good to me – especially with minimal advertising. 7 reviews on Amazon is good too. There are self-published books I’ve seen on there that rank quite highly in the sales charts so must be selling but have no reviews or maybe just one or two. Thanks for posting this report 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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