37:1/12/16 Price, sales and immediate feedback: the real skinny

37:1/12/16 Price, sales and immediate feedback: the real skinny

In a much earlier post, I mentioned that my information about sales was running about 90 days behind. (A sale made in June would post up on 15 August) This was a problem for 2 reasons. 1, it made it difficult to know what impact my actions were having. Was all my social media effort making a difference? And 2, looking at my Amazon ranking, I might think I was making progress, but I had no real data to help me evaluate what my Amazon rank meant.

But since I’ve taken over direct control of my Amazon sales (with the change in the Amazon link and subsequent Google problems of showing the bad link), I now have real information. And I know just how poorly I was doing before I took over active control. April – October (that’s all the info I have as of yet from my old system) I made 57 sales. Since 14 December (less than a month), when I took over active control, I’ve made 147 sales.

A general observation. What the Amazon ranking seems to mean: If your ranking stays between 100,000 and 200,000, you are probably selling 4-5 books a week. Something like that. 200-260 books a year, more or less. If you can stay in that slot. Anything below that is just white noise; your book’s ranking being pushed around by the movement of other books. (Okay, you’re selling a book every now and again or you’d be dropping below 1,000,000.) The real action is between Amazon ranking 100,000 and 1. In that slot, you are making regular sales, and the online Kindle books sales estimators will probably give you a reasonable estimate of how you are doing.

Specifics: I dropped my price to $0.99 on Amazon and ran an ad on Ereader News Today on 5 January. I made 56 sales between 5-7 January. My Amazon rank topped out at 9,808 on 6 January. I ran an ad on BookSends on 10 January. I made 25 sales between 10-11 January. Today my Amazon rank is 35,823. Why were the BookSends sales so low compared to Ereader News Today? Was the second ad too closely spaced to the first ad? Was Sunday a bad day to run an ad? Does BookSends have less thriller readers? (Their category is “Mystery Thriller.” Ereader’s is “Thriller Suspense.”) I have no idea.

What I do know is that my current strategy of low price plus ads leads to readers. And I need readers. Now I need to find a way to take my strategy to the break-even point.

All my social media platforms continue to develop. (Thanks, friends!) One observation. If you want to reach people with a post on Facebook, do not mention a specific price in your post. Facebook will severely restrict that post’s reach in hopes of you paying to boost the post. Hey, it’s America.

Well, that’s all for now. Any thoughts? I’d love to hear from you.

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