Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Answers You're All Waiting for about Kindle Sales

Sorry to make you wait til the end of the week for the results of my last post. But it was a tough week, bla bla bla. Nevertheless, here is the answer, which most of you already guessed in your comments. What really surprised me, however, is how your response to the GHOST WAVES cover wasn't that positive. Because I have always loved it, guess that's me showing my age and oh-so-out-of-it status.

So yes, the newly priced .99 ebook that is selling much better between the two titles, is ta-da! UNCUT DIAMONDS.

Now don't get me wrong, it's not like Uncut Diamonds is burning up the charts and headed for bestseller status. No way. It just isn't that kind of book. People seem to either love it or hate it, with very little in between responses. Regardless, my lovely bloggie friends, if you loved it or hated it, I am grateful for all the reviews and to-read statuses that you have posted on Goodreads and on Amazon. Reviews always help a book's sales, even if they are less than stellar.

So considering reviews, online presence where I have made many friends willing to give this novel a try, even if isn't really their usual genre, and (apparently) cover-- that puts Uncut Diamonds ahead of Ghost Waves in Kindle sales.

Now here is the other little secret I didn't tell you before: That when they were released in print, Ghost Waves outsold Uncut Diamonds by about the same percentage as UCD is now outselling GW on the Kindle. Bookstores just did not want to stock my novel, while they were willing to take a chance on GW. But now that everything has changed in the bookselling industry, it is what's happening with ebooks that matters more than what's happening with bookstores.

So How to get Kindle Sales?

Have an online presence and keep at it. But make friends online, don't spam people, constantly talking about "my book, my book, my book" Ugh. What a bore.

Make sure your cover is eye-catching, professional and up-to-date. A little mystery about what the book is about doesn't hurt either.

Encourage readers to post reviews about your book. The more the better, and don't get upset if you have a few stinkers in there. It helps make you look legitimate, like they aren't all from your friends and relatives.

And thanks for playing my game!

32 comments:

  1. I was surprised by the reaction to Ghost Waves' cover, too. I'm nota fan of it, either. I think it's quite busy-looking, more like a movie poster than a book cover. I like book covers to have straightforward, iconic images. Something that can stand out from across a bookstore.

    Uncut Diamonds has a simple cover, though still very detailed. It's a stylised flower with a diamond in it. Boom. Simple. Nice, strong colours that complement each other also help. A busier book cover just can't hold up. Buyers are going to skim over covers which are going to look quire small and be surrounded by other books. A good cover stands out and is very direct.

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  2. Karen, congratulations on the Kindle sales for your novel. I'm happy for you.
    Karen

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  3. So glad your books are out there finding readers again! I can't imagine how good it feels. Excellent suggestions as well!

    EJ

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  4. That's cool yours is doing well in eBook format. I try to do all of those things you listed. I don't want to hear about someone's book all the time either.

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  5. Interesting results! I thought as much :o) PS: I have a post today I think you might be interested in!

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  6. That's interesting. I figured your book was the one to sell better on the Kindle. Yay!

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  7. L.G, Yes, my book is selling better than the other but don't get me wrong, it's not really selling as well as one would want LOL.

    Jessica, I read your post and it just made me curious to know more!

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  8. I didn't like the font choice on Ghost Waves's cover. I'm a bit weird about fonts.

    I'm very weird about fonts, actually. . .

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  9. When you're selling at 99 cents it's kind of easy to get sales (I have over 350 in over a year but I don't market that hard) but reviews seem to be another story. It seems most of the people who buy the book for a buck either don't read it or don't bother to review it. Though that's maybe just as well in a way because I don't have a bunch of idiots giving it 1-star because it's not "Twilight" or something.

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  10. This is intriguing...it seems so many things are turning upside down in the publishing industry. I was a big dinosaur...reading everything on paper. But yesterday, an IPad2 that I unexpectedly won arrived at my house. Soon I will be downloading books... and I wonder how the reading experience might change for me.

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  11. when my friend self-pubbed, she set her book at $2.99 and it sold...ok. Once she lowered it to 99cents it took awhile but it slowly began to climb and now she's selling really well! So give it time. :-)

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  12. I genuinely was waiting for this post. Fascinating stuff!

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  13. Thanks for the follow-up! And I'm glad to hear that sales are heating up for you! I posted today about the Wild West changes out there...it certainly is a strange new world!

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  14. Yay!!!!!! I am so pleased to read this - brilliant! I think the cover of Uncut Diamonds speaks to a much broader audience on initial viewing!

    Brilliant news, KarenG!! Take care
    x

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  15. Great tips on getting Kindle sales.
    When I'm buying a book for my kindle I think I'm less concerned about the cover because I don't get to see them in all the colorful glory.

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  16. Not sure I could cope with a friend publishing a rubbish review of my work. You're very brave. Congrats on your Kindle sales figures.

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  17. I always like reading your advice since you're on both the writing and publishing sides.

    Since I missed the last post, I scrolled down. The cover of Uncut Diamonds is unique, which is eye-catching. I think the problem with the other cover is that so many self-published books have a similar look now. Maybe that's not true overall but for the covers I've noticed.

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  18. Interesting stuff, Karen. It's pretty clear good cover design is absolutely vital isn't it? And I do think that's a problem for a lot of self-pubbers. Being able to write doesn't mean you can create an eye-catching cver too ...

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  19. That was so interesting! I'm amazed at the difference epublishing is making in the business. Thanks for the fun game, Karen, and for the Kindle tips.

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  20. haven't read the books yet but I like both covers. Guess I'm getting old as well. ;o)

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  21. Good point about the "stinker" reviews making authors look more legit. It's totally true.

    Congratulations on your boost in sales! And thank you for venturing into this comparative study on e-sales. It's tremendously helpful.

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  22. This is so interesting and helpful. It's a bold new world and you are bravely forging a path in it. Congratulations! I guess we never quite know how things will be received by others.

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  23. I am following author e-sales closely at the moment to see how they fare, but I have to be honest, there is one particular writer who does NOTHing but blog and tweet about his self-published ebook and it is seriously putting me off following him. I think there is a fine line between promoting and being an online pest!

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  24. Congrats Karen! Always good to hear sound advice on sales. I think your first point is definitely a good one. People need to make friends and not just because they want to sell their book.

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  25. ...a bit surprised at the response to "Ghost Waves." I thought it was unique, making it something one can easily remember while browsing the market. In any sense, congrats on your steady sales :)

    EL

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  26. Very good information. That's why, even though some days I just want to write and forget the internet, I try to keep a daily online presence.

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  27. Hi Karen .. thanks - interesting two posts .. and so pleased Uncut Diamonds is doing well .. I really want to read Farm Girl .. and when I find my list - I'll be ordering ... have a better week .. Hilary

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  28. I love the Uncut Diamond's cover. It's so interesting (and scary) to see how the industry is changing.

    For now, I'm watching it closely, though, trying to decide what I will do when the time comes to take my WiP somewhere.

    :-)

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  29. Some great tips there - I do like your cover for Uncut Diamonds - the design is one that would stand out even when it's in the thumbnail size in the Amazon lists.
    Well done!
    Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

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  30. Karen, I didn't play your game because I didn't feel qualified but I'm happy that Uncut Diamonds is doing so well.

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  31. Even though my husband is a librarian, we both know e-books are the future. I want to be ready to market my books for this new (well, not so new now) format, and the information in your series of blog posts has been tremendously helpful. Thanks, Karen, and congratulations on Uncut Diamonds's success!

    Michelle

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  32. Some folks are having big successes with ebooks -- hope you do.

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