First quarter book saleswanking

Behold, the Spreadsheet of Doom!  Clicking to enlarge is basically your only option.

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 5.23.02 PMI’m borrowing the quarterly roundup idea from Gene’O here; I’m doing book sales today and will do site traffic sometime later this week.  As always, I’m not bragging (because tons of people do way, WAY better than this) or whining (because tons of people don’t do this well,) I’m presenting the information so that people who find it useful or interesting can look at it.  I figure that I would find this really interesting if someone else posted it, so surely someone will find it interesting when I do.

Note, as always, that I’m going to be using the word “sales” a lot; as far as I’m concerned any download of my books is a sale even if it’s a free book.  I have not made a lot of money this month, especially since a number of my Skylights sales were KOLL sales and I don’t even know the payout for that right now.  I’m not worried about it.

tl;dr version: I’m pretty pleased with myself at the moment.

Some things about March:

  • I’m currently three books shy of tying January’s sales.  As it is still March 31 for several hours it’s not unimaginable that I might tie it, but it doesn’t feel likely.  I’d have to have the best day of the month two days in a row to pull off a tie.
  • March featured my longest string of days without a no-sale day since I started paying attention, from the eighteenth to the 28th.  The 29th was a no-sale day, but the 30th was the best day of the month.
  • March also featured my longest string of multiple-sales days since I started paying attention, from the 21st to the 27th.
  • Probably related, March had the fewest 0-sale days since I started paying attention, at 7.

Skylights sales were a little disappointing this month; 7 ebooks and one print sale.  The story this month was Benevolence Archives, which clocked 45 downloads between Amazon, Smashwords and  Actually, the real story of the month is– not only did BA 1 move 26 copies there in March after a total of four in January and February, it’s currently the top-selling science fiction book on the site and #10 in all fiction books.  Now, granted, the site’s new, but that’s still awesome.  Sales are down at Smashwords, but that’s probably because as I’ve noticed momentum over at OpenBooks I’ve been shifting my promotion over there accordingly.

Actually, this might be why Skylights is a bit down as well– with The Sanctum of the Sphere hitting next month, I’ve been pushing BA 1 harder than Skylights anyway.  Preorders will show up with first sales next month; I can’t really calibrate how I feel about pre-order numbers until I see first-day sales.  We’ll see what happens.

As far as the quarterly numbers:

  • In all of 2014, starting when BA 1 came out in May, I sold 477 copies of Benevolence Archives and 47 copies of Skylights.
  • In the first quarter of 2015 I’ve sold 119 copies of Benevolence Archives and 63 copies of Skylights, and those 119 copies of BA were without the benefit of any free promotions at Amazon.  Nearly half of the 477 downloads at Amazon were in a single day.
  • There have been 90 days in 2015 so far, meaning that I’m averaging nearly exactly 2 sales a day.  I was hoping to average one sale a day in 2015.  I’m quite happy with that number.
  • This means that, total, I’ve sold 596 copies of Benevolence Archives and 110 copies of Skylights.  I feel like that’s pretty damn good for someone who was a total unknown less than a year ago.  Could it be better?  Sure.  But once Sanctum comes out, I’m going to start doing signings.  So April and May are going to be real interesting.

Feel free to ask questions, if you’ve got them.


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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.

7 thoughts on “First quarter book saleswanking

  1. I’m impressed by your organization and drive to track! I’d probably give up and hope that whatever promotion I did found favor with the numbers. Thank you for your insight into how one might do this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, and this is just me, but you keep talking about your books and I have no idea what they are about. My idea of sci fi is Star Trek and Firefly. Will that make me like them? Hate them? Also, I gotta say the phrase saleswanking, while undoubtedly accurate, has less appeal than you might think…


    1. I want to be sympathetic and nice about this, but there are literally ELEVEN different links on this page that you might click on to find out more information, and the masthead links and the book covers are on every post on the blog. I’m not sure what else I could possibly do to make that information more available short of putting book descriptions in every post, which would get very annoying quickly.

      On the one hand, if you enjoy ST and Firefly, that makes me think you’ll enjoy my work a lot, particularly BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES. On the other hand, if a fleeting reference to masturbation bothers you enough that you mentioned it in comments, perhaps I’m not the author for you.

      Lucky for both of us BA’s free, eh? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations. I hadn’t even heard of OpenBooks before this, but it seems like a great anti-piracy initiative. Smashwords seems to also be working really well for you.


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