EBook Sales for May 2011

I’ve been chronicling my ebook sales since February of this year – in late January, I put up my entire Lawson backlist, have added some new Lawson adventures since then, and have been keeping track of sales – for other authors to have a glimpse at how I’m doing. I find great inspiration in reading about the success of folks like Joe Konrath and others, and while I’m nowhere near them in terms of sales numbers, I’m pretty damned happy with how things are going.

So, without further ado, here are the numbers for May as of 1PM EST on May 31st, 2011:

Total EBooks Sold for May: 3,068

This is down slightly from April sales, and I’ve made a few hundred dollars less than I made last month. But I’m still doing extremely well. And I’m thrilled with the sales.

As with the preceding months, the vast majority of my sales are coming from my Lawson Vampire series on Amazon. And while sales of THE FIXER (book 1 in the series) are down from last month, sales of the other installments in the series are actually up over last month. Looked at another way, last month I had four titles that sold triple digits. This month, I had seven titles that sold triple digits. And this bears out the thought that the more titles you have, the better it is. Why? With more titles, there’s less pressure on any one title to do the heavy lifting, so to speak. THE FIXER sold less, but other titles sold more, which makes up for the decrease in sales for book 1. In fact, once I reach a certain number of titles selling at the $2.99 price point, each title will have to sell very few copies (comparatively speaking) in order to maintain and even grow my monthly income.

That’s pretty cool.

On the Barnes & Noble front, sales stayed about even with last month. I know some folks who sell better on B&N than Amazon, but at least 90% of my sales come directly from Amazon US. I’d love to see my B&N Nook sales match my Amazon sales (wouldn’t that be nice!) so I’ll be devoting some time to trying to figure out how to do that.

Additionally, my sales on Amazon UK are frankly disappointing. And sales on Amazon Germany are nonexistent for the month. Not one ebook sold there, despite my attempts to market to German Kindle users. I have heard, however, that German publishers are pushing back hard against the “encroachment” of ebooks and that the European market (minus the UK) might be up to 2 years behind the US market in ebook consumption. No idea if this is fact, but it is being bandied about online.

For June, I’ll be launching two new Lawson adventures – one a novella, THE SHEPHERD, and one a short story, OATHBREAKER. I’ll also have PREY out before too lone, although that is a SF/horror title.

I continue to look for ways to maximize chances for finding new readers in this brave new world. And I’ll continue to update my experiences from those attempts. If you’ve got your own experiences you’d like to share, please leave a comment below or send me a message. A rising tide floats all boats, so if we, as authors, can help each other – all the better!

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share this around!

Fun Stuff To Do This Weekend…

So, in case you missed my status update over on Facebook, tomorrow is “The Rapture,” whereby all radio stations in the world will play that song by Blondie for 24 hours straight.

Okay, not really. It’s actually crazier than that. Apparently, The Rapture means this: “…when in the End Times the Christians will be gathered together in the air to meet Christ.”

Why they chose the air and not a great all-you-can-eat Chinese food buffet is beyond me, but maybe it has something to do with frequent flier miles. I dunno…seems like it would be cheaper to arrange the restaurant than it would be to pay for all those air traffic controllers to not fall asleep and make sure none of the “chosen ones” collided with each other. Just sayin’.

In any event, if you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend, I suggest taking all your old clothes and shoes and laying them out in a way that suggests you were just zapped up in the Rapture. This is especially fun to do with dry ice in your shoes to really give that effect for your neighbors. A sign saying “Later suckers!” would probably really rub salt into the wound as well. Y’know, have fun with the day.

OR you could get a FREE sneak-peek at the latest Lawson adventure THE SHEPHERD by emailing me a copy of a receipt for another Lawson adventure and I’ll shoot you out the first 3 chapters of this new adventure (unproofed). So, if you’ve bought a novel, novella, or even a short story – get the receipt and zap me a copy of it. I’ll send you out a .pdf as soon as possible. Email it to jonfmerz AT verizon DOT net

April EBook Sales

I’ve been making a habit of posting my ebook sales figures because I know how other writers are interested in this data. I’ve done this for the past couple months and it’s time once again to examine how I did, this time over the course of April.

You may recall that in March, I posted a 46% jump in sales over the month of February. I aspired to the same jump in sales in April. Simultaneously, I’ve done some other research and seen several writers talking about how traditional print sales routinely slump in the third month and how they expected that same trend to affect ebook sales.

So without further ado, let’s get to the hard facts:

1. I sold just over 3200 ebooks in the month of April.
2. While number of ebooks sold was somewhat lower than in March, I sold more ebooks at a higher price point ($2.99) than I did in the previous month.
3. My sales for April in terms of actual dollars were 30% higher than they were in March.

This is the 3rd consecutive month I’ve posted strong gains. I am currently making more money with ebook sales than I have at any point in my entire career as a writer – minus the times I did freelance non-fiction work and also worked as a freelance advertising copywriter. And it’s been 13 years since I was fired for writing that novel on the company computers, which is when I decided to really make a-go of this writing thing.

Now, while I did not reach my goal for another 46% jump in April, a 30% jump is extremely strong in and of itself. Also, April contained a peculiarity I was unaware of. Midway through the month, I experienced a complete sales slowdown. I was terrified because without any warning whatsoever, everything ground to a screeching halt. For 2-3 days, my sales slowed to a trickle. Worried, I contacted other writers and found they were experiencing the same thing. Turns out, that April has always had this little surprise embedded in it. Could be because of tax season. Could be because of the change in weather in certain parts of the country.

But the slowdown didn’t last long. And then sales really picked up.

Better news as well: Amazon announced the launch of their German Kindle store. This was yet another platform to sell on. And while my numbers out on the German Kindle store have totaled exactly ONE ebook 🙂 I have high hopes this will be a serious channel in short order.

For May, my goals are much the same as they were at the start of last month: sell more.

THE SHEPHERD, a new Lawson novella, will be out next week. And the Lawson short story OATHBREAKER will be out soon as well. I’m very excited about the future for many reasons, and ebooks are just one of them.

And you can buy my Lawson series on the Kindle by clicking here. | Or for the Nook here.