Track sales, look for trends, they said.
But I did it anyway, and the take away is pretty straight forward. Being a visual type, I graphed it. This is the total sales in the first two months after it was published, in the order the books were published.
The old series (black line) is still showing the effect of KDP’s long tail, with a steady climb in regular readers. The early books in the series still get a few sales every months, plus I use them for free giveaways. In the three years the chart covers, new releases in the series have doubled their first two month sales.
The red line is a spin off series. It started nicely and it’s doing nicely.
The scattered points are unconnected. The green is an urban fantasy short story that sank without a trace. Yellow, is the third book in a YA series, that’s been badly neglected, with years between books. The two blue spots are Hard SF, not connected to each other.
The circled points are $0.99 short stories. They seem to sell as well as the longer stories—in their series.
So, what’s the take away from this bit of belly button gazing?
(1) Series are good, and spinoff series can build on the reputation of the old series, plus attract new readers who might be put off by seeing “Book 37 in the Wine of the Gods Series” but are happy to try “Book 1 of The Directorate.”
(2) Going to have to abandon the YA. Except for the fun of it.
(3) Hard SF sells. Heck, it’s a lot of what I read.
(4) Must start advertising and get all those numbers up.
Now I probably ought to do the same for the first six months, the first year . . . Chart them by date instead of simple sequence, to look for seasonal effects, and time between releases . . .
This is a rather tentative start which, frankly, mostly shows me how little I analyze my sales. 😀 In fact, I’ve probably horrified the more businesslike writers here (Hi, Dorothy!) with my casual neglect of the numbers.
So, have you analyzed your sales lately?
What are your conclusions, about what sells and what doesn’t?
And, here’s one of the Hard SF novels. Available in paper, in case you’re looking for wrapable Christmas presents for the readers in your families.