So, this post is gonna be full of graphs. I feel like people have expressed some interest when I’ve done stuff like this in the past, so a blogwanking/mathy type of post every few months might start to be a more regular thing around here.
Disclaimer: I’m not bragging and I’m not whining. Some of you will not be doing this well and some of you will be doing WAY better. I don’t know that I have useful advice, but I’m good at taking it. 🙂
First, let’s look at daily hits over the last few weeks:
The interesting thing about my traffic is that without actually feeding everything into a spreadsheet (I’m not that far gone yet, but I keep almost doing it) is that I can’t really figure out when my good days are. Good times to post seem to be roughly every three hours– around 9, around noon, around 3, and around 7-9, which sort of breaks the pattern– but I don’t seem to have a single day or couple of days where traffic is better than others. Let’s look at weekly traffic:
Note two things: one, the huge jump in December, that stuck around for a few months and then went away, the enormous (and inexplicable) spike in April (I wasn’t Freshly Pressed or anything like that; I still have no idea where those views came from or why) and the steady build in traffic since the crash after that. I’m right about at the point where I was where traffic spiked in December again; it’ll be interesting to see if it happens again.
Here’s monthly, showing the same phenomenon, basically:
This month will edge May by a few hundred hits, I think, meaning I’ve had increasing traffic three months in a row, which is good. Still not up to December’s numbers but I feel like they’re coming.
Now the (mildly) depressing part– but, again, I’m not whining, I swear. Let’s look at book sales. The Benevolence Archives, Vol. 1 went on sale on May 10 and has had two free days. One I went to some trouble to promote, the other I deliberately did virtually nothing for. Sales are the red line and free copies are the green:
It has not escaped my notice that you can barely see the red line for most of the graph. Incidentally, I think the book’s going free again around my birthday in about a week and a half. Unless I decide that putting the book free on 4th of July weekend is as bad of an idea as making it free on Memorial Day weekend was.
Let’s take a closer look at sales:
Shit ain’t making me rich, obviously. I’ve never had a day of double-digit sales, and haven’t had a day with multiple sales since the week the book was released. Two days in a row with sales since then have been rare, too, and that dry spell for the first half of June was discouraging. Now, again, the goal for this book has not been to make me rich, and as soon as Skylights is out, it’s probably going to go permanently free. I’m also probably not going to go with the Kindle Select program again, because… well, you see the results of letting Amazon have the book exclusively. If they’re promoting it, I don’t see the results.
Not that I’m promoting it as much as I could be. I know you guys see a lot of it around here, and there’s Facebook and Twitter, but I’d be willing to bet good money that nearly every single copy has either gone to someone who already reads the blog or knows me personally or both. Maybe 95%. Thing is, that means that free or otherwise I’ve moved over 100 copies of my book to my readers on a blog that gets 200 hits a day; I can’t feel bad about that.
I still need to find some promotion methods that reach beyond my immediate audience, though. I’m working on some possibilities and am way open to hearing about more. And since I’ve got the grant I’ve got some room for paid advertising, too, if I can find anything that I think will convincingly work.
Meanwhile, I gotta keep working on the next book, and the book after that.
Oh, Twitter, right. See if you can pick out exactly when I started working on increasing my Twitter followers:
It’ll be interesting to see how long I’m able to keep up spending time on babysitting my Twitter presence and whether it’s going to prove useful in the long-term. My theory that no one ever clicks on links on Twitter appears to still be true; even with a couple hundred new people who haven’t seen previous promotional opportunities for Benevolence Archives, blog links and book links regularly go without being clicked on at all. Right now Twitter is still slotted in my brain under “fun” and not necessarily “useful,” but we’ll see what I can do to change that.
The Facebook page has 67 Likes, I think. There’s no graph for that.