Prepare yourself for graphs and stuff...
This is the third blog post in my self-publishing adventure. If you'd like to read them in order click the links:
I recently released the third and final (?) book in the Amber Fang series. I am both thrilled with and frustrated by the results. My first goal was to break even. Goal achieved! But barely!
OK, let's start with the money first. This is what I spent on all three books.
And this is the income generated...
And because I promised a graph...
I really like pie. But I don't like pies where I only get a sliver of a piece. And if I want to feel sad, I can go..."Oh, I wrote three books and made $642.00." Ah, but who wants to feel sad? Besides Eeyore that is?
The books made an okay amount of money. Not the yacht-owning, oil-rig spurting amount I had been promised by my imagination. The books should have made more. Here were my mistakes:
1). Having a year pass between book 1 & 2. Oh, I thought I could write faster, but life got in the way. That time lapse meant that the first book fell way off the charts by the time the second book came along. And it's much harder to push an "older" book back up the charts. Next time I'll write and release all three books within weeks of each other.
2). Going Wide (to start). If I'd started with Amazon only, I would have been able to test out the Kindle Unlimited audience (where an author gets paid for page reads). After sales slowed down on Amazon I could have taken the books to Kobo, iBooks, etc. I didn't do this at first because I didn't want to disappoint readers who don't use Amazon. But it is much harder to now take them off all the other vendors and just put them on Amazon.
3) I spent too much on ads on Book 2. Most of those ads didn't convert at a rate that was helpful to the launch (and to making my money back). Amazon rewards books that are new by pushing them up the charts faster. If I'd had all three books ready to go and spent the ads on book 1 then book 2 and 3 would have mostly taken care of themselves.
There are other things I'd change. But that's a start. Still, I'm learning.
Hey, must be time for another chart. Here is a breakdown of the sales by vendor.
That's a pretty big drop off. Book 1 had 4000 sales. But 2 had 400. And 3 had 141 (now those two books just came out in November and February, so they're not quite done selling). Again, if I'd had all three books ready to go I think there would have been better sales across all three. Readers like reading their sequels immediately. Not a year later.
My Big Fat Takeaway
It was worth it in terms of understanding how the "system" works. Don't make my mistakes! But also these books are completely paid for now. So every single book that sells from here on in is a profit. And I have several options to kickstart the series again...from trying for a Bookbub in the US or moving all the books into Kindle Unlimited (or even giving them new ASIN's so they look like brand new books on Amazon). I do believe there are still plenty of readers out there who would enjoy this series.
So that's the final update.
And it's all been training for my next experiment. This:
The launch of this series is coming March 20th. Watch the skies...or at least the bookshelves.
Never give up. Never surrender.
P.S. Click this lovely image to learn more about the Amber Fang books.