On 9th July I made a big ol’ public declaration to sell a thousand copies of my fantasy novel The End of Magic by Christmas, and I promised to keep folks in the loop with the ups and downs of sales and marketing with a weekly update.
A few caveats…
- I can only do this in the USA… Unbound have the UK rights and I have no visibility on sales other than the twice yearly statements.
- I’m going to stick with Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.
- I’ll be counting both Kindle and Paperback sales.
- Here’s week seventeen!
The more observant of you may have noticed a lack of updates in the last… ooh, let’s see… TWO MONTHS?!
What happened? Where have I been?
A few days after my last update, I got a long-awaited email from my lovely agent Ed Wilson. He had read the draft of my new book… and he had notes. Lots of notes. All good stuff that I was keen to get my teeth into, so I dug in and got started. On top of that I was also working on…
- The Bestseller Experiment podcast (on top of the twice weekly episodes, we’ve been working on an exciting new thing that will be announced on Monday’s new episode).
- Script rewrites for a movie I’m working on with Jon Wright.
- The TV show that I’ve had optioned is also taking off, so there’s meetings to be had.
- And I’ve been editing other people’s books too.
Those are my excuses and I’m sticking to them. But seriously, the book rewrites have been soaking up almost all of my time and energy. It’s been hard work, but I think it’s been worth it. The book is with a beta reader now, which might mean a bit more tweaking before it goes back to my agent, but the bulk of the work is done before it goes out on submission (I hope).
So what happens when you don’t do a single bit of marketing for two whole months? This… this happens…
Hmm. It’s almost as if Amazon has rigged it so that if you don’t spend ad money you won’t sell any books… hmm.
What to do now? Do I call it quits and focus on the next thing? That’s tempting. There are only forty days till Christmas. I’ve sold 137 copies and I need to sell 863 copies – that’s about 21 copies per day. It ain’t gonna happen.
But… dagnammit, I worked too bloody hard on this book to give up on it now, and it’s a good book. I get genuinely good reviews from readers. One big lesson from promoting Back to Reality earlier this year is that throwing money at Amazon does, sadly, work. We sold over a thousand copies in six months and we did that by spending about a grand on ads, which gave us visibility and momentum and it improved our ‘also boughts’ on Amazon, which is crucial. And we’ve not spent a penny since and we’re still selling a few copies every day at full price because of that momentum and visibility, so we’ve almost made all that money back.
Also, the option was renewed on my TV thing, so I have a bit of cash to splash.
Screw it. I’m going on an ad spending frenzy. I know not everyone can do this, but I’m running out of time. Let’s see what damage a grand can do between now and Christmas. Hold on to your hats, folks. There will be an update next week!
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