How to Sell 500 Books in Three Days (Hint: Bookbub!)

Amber keeps on biting a chunk out of the market.

Amber keeps on biting a chunk out of the market.

In my ongoing self-publishing experiment, I've always wanted a Bookbub. What's a Bookbub you ask? It's a "featured deal" that appears in the Bookbub newsletter (which is sent out to millions of subscribers). And it's a brilliant way to sell a great number of books in a short period of time (at a reduced price, I should add). There are authors who have hit the USA Today Bestselling list with the help of Bookbub. A huge volume of authors apply for a featured deal and a much smaller volume are accepted. If you want to read more about that process then read How the Bookbub Selection Process works.

I applied for Amber Fang, my vampire/librarian/assassin novel and was accepted for Bookbub's International featured deal (which basically means the ad would run everywhere but the US. That's not as big as having both US and International...but it's still a great thing to happen). I quickly paid my $112.00 US before they changed their minds. The book was featured in the Sept. 29th, 2017 newsletter (alas, I wasn't subscribed so don't have a screenshot of the ad itself). I had lowered the price to 99 cents (instead of $2.99) because I wanted to get as many readers as possible. Here are the results (prepare your eyes for a graph! A graph!):


So that gives you an idea of the sales in the first five days. And a general breakdown per platform. What you want another graph? Okay, you asked for it.


So, as you can see the number of sales for the first five days was 546 copies and the income was $213 US. Which means I made my money back (my first goal) and that the book also found 546 more readers (perfect timing since I'm preparing book 2 for release). I'm really pleased with that number of sales. Bookbub's own chart suggested the average for "supernatural suspense" is 390 copies. So Amber Fang is above average! Amazon, of course, was where the majority of sales were for the book, but Kobo also scored high. The sales on all markets were mostly to Canada, UK and Australia (as shown by the handy Kobo graphic):


And finally in terms of bestseller lists the book hit #27 on Kindle in Canada and #319 overall on Amazon.UK. The book burned bright, then fell back to its more regular 1 or 2 sales a day (at $2.99). But my hope is with the next book these readers will return (especially if Amazon is kind enough to nudge them with an email) and purchase book two at full price.

There. That's it!


P.S. Oh, wait, it's not complete without a screen capture of me and Stephen King:

Hanging out on the UK charts...

Hanging out on the UK charts...

Modo Lives! (in softcover)

I'm so pleased that Orca Books will be releasing Modo: Ember's End in softcover in February of 2018. For those who followed the creation of the novel it was launched on Kickstarter and Indigo back in 2013 and released in 2014 in a slick, cool limited edition hardcover. It was all such a great experience. But there is one problem with Kickstarter and that's how to get the book into schools, libraries and bookstores. Problem solved: the brave and mighty Orca Books has stepped up to release a softcover version of the story.

I just received the Advanced Reading Copy and it looks great!



I can't wait until February! Click HERE to read more about the book. Or HERE if you live in the U.S.



Writer In Residence: March Update! How To Make $

I have far too much fun sending out a newsy piece for the librarians at Saskatoon Public Library each month. This is what I wrote for March.


Writer in Residence


I can teach you how to make $50,000 dollars over the weekend. Actually, I can't teach you that (unless you're a romance author). I just put that sentence up there to get your attention. I've been talking with writers all month about how stories are everywhere and we're all storytellers.

Let's say you were late for work this week. I bet you didn't just say, "Yo! Bossy Wossy, I'm late. But I'm here now." Instead you likely added details like, "Well, when I turned the corner I saw the bus was already speeding towards the bus stop. I ran like the dickens to get there, valiantly risking a fall--you remember I have a glass hip, right?--but I had to stop to let a group of goslings cross my path. Otherwise, I would have been on time." See, that's a story. And in it you were the valiant protagonist.

So I encourage you to add those details to the stories you naturally tell. For example if a patron returns a book with dog-eared pages you could say, "Oh, that's perfectly okay. Only one in three people who dog-ear pages gets a visit from the Terminator. So the odds are on your side."  See how that perks up the interaction? Take a look at that $50,000 in a weekend offer again. Your mind can't help but write a story about it. Maybe you make that sum by stuffing envelopes or selling skin products. But it could also be that you could make that money by putting on a dusty hat, grabbing a bull whip and smuggling a rare book from an ancient Mayan temple to Saskatoon. See, the story just writes itself.