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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Advantageous Book Sales

As an indie author I have the advantage of being able to keep up on book sales through each channel. Now that all my books can be found through Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Google Play, smashwords, etc, etc. I decided to look and see where most my sales are coming from. I'm also a science nerd and we graph everything.

Recently, kindle has gone through some changes with KU. For a short time I had all Baby Girl books available only through kindle. When KU came into place since the books were KDP select they were automatically enrolled in KU.

If you're not an author you may be wondering what KU is. KU is a monthly fee paid to Amazon or kindle by the customer and the customer can download an unlimited number of books. In my opinion it's kindle's version of Oyster or Scribd. What is KPD select? KDP select is something an author can enroll their books in but the books enrolled have to be sold exclusively through kindle. If books are enrolled in KDP select they are automatically enrolled in KU.

I had so many people asking me when or if my books would be available through other outlets that I caved after KU came into place and uploaded them everywhere. Why? Because I had many requests and to be honest I made few sales through KU so it wasn't advantageous for keep them exclusive through KDP select. Most of my sales are actual sales not borrows.

Let's take a look at my sales last month. Below is all books through all channels including paperbacks.

As you can see kindle does make up the largest single percentage of my sales but is less than half the total which in my opinion makes me a smart cookie to have my books available elsewhere. The second largest retailer of my books is iBooks! I wouldn't have guessed that before doing it.

This next graph is all books sold categorized by book.
Wow! Baby Girl 1 In the Beginning makes up most my sales. That is because the book is free almost everywhere. The only stores you won't find it free are kindle non U.S. Yes, Amazon price matched but only in the U.S. I'm not sure why because all someone has to do is hit up iBooks, Google Play, Smashwords or any of the other retailers to get it free anywhere in the world and they do.

When I decided to make Baby Girl 1 free I thought it would be a great way for people to check me out free of charge, no risk. Like an infomercial: Try Baby Girl 1 free- absolutely no risk to you but wait pick up books 2 and 3 for only .99 a piece. But wait there's more by the middle of January you will be able to purchase book 4 Bite the Big Apple for .99 as well. That's 4 books under $3.00- less than you paid for lunch!

I didn't quite think of it as an infomercial when I made the decision to make the book free but as you can see having a free series book was advantageous because I made a lot of Baby Girl 2 Moonlighting in Paris sales. It was my second best seller in December. Book 3 has been picking up lately. I'm glad to see that people are enjoying the story especially since Book 4 is only a couple weeks away from release.

As an author I talk to other authors a lot who have chosen varying channels like I have to sell their books or not. I know a large number of authors who have decided to keep their books sold exclusively through kindle. There is no right or wrong decision but I'm glad I made the choice I did and have a growing number of readers that use a variety of devices and avenues of purchase.

Wishing everyone a wonderful 2015 and keep your reading device loaded to the hilt with books!

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  1. Thanks for sharing. Really interesting. Hard to keep up with it all, but definitely first in a series being free seems to work. Thanks.

  2. Thank you for the information. However, as an indie-author myself I would love to know the difference in your KDP Select sales numbers and the post KDP Select sales numbers. The pie charts are great, but can you share your sales numbers so I can understand it a bit more? I am currently trying to decide if my next series will be with KDP Select (I have not done this in the past) and I would love a better understanding.
    Thank you

  3. Ninasden that will have to be another post to compare the actual numbers. There were only 3 books I had listed with KDP select and they were automatically enrolled in KU. I can say I had 4 maybe 5 downloads through KU. Most people opted to buy the books but they are only .99. A higher priced book may get more KU borrows. KDP select was hit and miss on sales. My book that wasn't on the select program got steady sales. I hadn't mentioned this in the post but I also get higher royalties on my .99 books through other outlets than Kindle. I definitely reccomend using kindle. Play with it and find what works best for you.