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An Unexpected Journey from Indie to Amazon Author - Part 2

Talking about the first month's sales...

On February 13th Lake Union Publishing re-released EVERYDAY LIES. I had no idea what to expect in regards to sales or rankings on the various Amazon sites but so far have been amazed at the results.

The main target market for the book has been the UK market with 65% of sales coming from the UK store to date. 30% from the US and 4% from Australia. The other percent mixed up from European countries. It is interesting that as an Australian author with a book set in Australia, my market doesn't appear to be here. Of course that is very dependent on the marketing activity that is undertaken and as time goes on no doubt I'll see spikes in the US and Australian stores if promotions are done there. What has been very exciting is seeing orange banners on the book in all three stores. Not only did it receive New Release Bestseller flags in a number of categories, in all three stores, but it also sat in the UK store for a couple of weeks with a Bestseller flag. The New Release flags, while highly desired, don't replace the thrill of a Bestseller flag which is taking into account all titles in the category, not just the new releases. It has also been an exciting month for my family as when the book released I talked to them about my goals for the book. I wanted to see one of my books in the top 1000 books of the US Amazon store. I haven't achieved that with a paid book before - free yes, but not paid. Everyday Lies was in the top 1000 of the US store within a few days of launch - so the goal post shifted (after a celebration of course!) - top 500 here we come! 500 was reached very quickly and by the end of the second week it was sitting at #169 in the US store! That's as low as it has gone so far in that store. I have a ten year old who has been very keen to check the sales figures and rankings each day and likes my mini celebrations. So he wanted more goals set. So the top 100 in any of the stores was set and if that happened we'd be going out to our favourite Thai to celebrate. Well it did! Suddenly we were top 100 in both UK and Aus, then top 75, then top 50 (yep, every little milestone saw plenty of screaming and dancing around the house), then top 25 in the UK!

As far as store rankings go, the book has so fare reached it's best at #22 in the UK store (the entire store!), #27 in the Australian store and #169 in the US.

These rankings have far exceeded my expectations for this book, but have set different expectations for the next four Lake Union will release! Of course we are now eyeing off the top 20 and then the top 10. That would be incredible and the celebration if top 10 happens will be a fancy restaurant in the Sunshine Coast hinterland that we love (once Corona has gone of course). We did go to Thai to celebrate the top 100, but the book as already at about 25 by the time we got out to dinner so by then we were celebrating more than top 100.

A few years ago I read on another author's blog how they were having some wonderful success and continually looking forward to the next goal, forgetting that they'd just achieved something big and should be reflecting on that rather than just moving the goal post each time. I took that on board as it is so true. The publishing world is tough, and while we'll all love to have J.K. Rowling's success (actually I'm not sure I would - that's a lot of pressure) the reality is for many of us, being able to turn our writing into a career is a major achievement, with the "will it last" words playing over in the back of our minds. I therefore do intend to celebrate many small milestones along the way.

Of course I have been asked how many books have I sold since it was re-released. I can't actually share sales figures but what has been incredible is that in a three week period, Amazon sold more copies of EVERYDAY LIES than I did in the 2+ years I had it as a self-published title - and it did very well as a self-published title!

One upside to being with Amazon as a publisher, compared to other traditional publishers, is you have access to a sales dashboard which seems to update every few minutes with eBook sales in all territories. Most publishers send a royalty report every three or six months, where as I can check mine daily, hourly, (cough cough) every five minutes. Mm, upside or a downside? I was very guilty in the first few days of checking it constantly and being amazed that five minutes could pass and more books would be purchased. Leave it for an hour and suddenly thirty, forty, fifty or more sales. Go to sleep for the night and wake up to discover you sold one hundred, two hundred books or more. I have calmed down now and only check a few times a day. The book has been increased to full price too which has seen sales slow a little compared to what they were but that works well for me too as the higher priced book equals a larger royalty per book.

So what's next? I still have one book to complete for my contract with Lake Union. I received the structural edit for HER LAST HOPE last Friday and have a few weeks to complete that and return it. I'm looking forward to having that out of the way so I can get back to writing something new.

Speaking of new, the next new release from me is RIVAL SISTERS which is due for release on 1st August. Still a few months away and hopefully the world will be back to normal by then.

If you have any questions or comments I'd love to hear from you. As I mentioned last month, I love the idea of keeping an on-going account of my Amazon experience so this is for me as well as anyone who might be interested!

For now, remember to celebrate each milestone along the way, rather than constantly pushing the goal posts and most importantly, stay healthy and look after yourselves and your loved ones in this very unsettling time. 💕

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