Warning: This post contains sales information. If this offends you, please look away. All data is provided in the interest of helping my fellow authors make informed decisions.
I feel a bit vulgar about posting the sales numbers for Absolute Liability, but I promised to share the whole journey, and this is part of it. I’m not bragging. I put the book out and hoped for the best; readers are the ones who are making this happen, and I am beyond grateful.
Before I divulge sales data, I’d like to point you to this post about How to Succeed by J. A. Konrath. I’ve never been big on the concept of luck. I’ve always believed that hard work and quality writing would bring success, and they do help a lot, but since Absolute Liability took off, I’ve had to factor in the fact that I got lucky. No one can predict with certainty which books are going to succeed or fail at a given time in a given market. If people could, publishing companies would not be in the trouble they’re in now. They’d only be putting out bestsellers and all writers would be making a fortune.
But that just ain’t the way it is.
Luck is involved.
Below is the sales data by week for Absolute Liability with commentary. This includes all sales (BN nook, SW, Kindle, and paperback), but the ranks listed will be for Kindle, which makes up the vast majority of my sales.
- July 1-3: 36 (a respectable first three days on the market with zero publicity)
- July 4-10: 63
- July 11-17: 428 (July 15 was the beginning of launch, including big promotions. The book hit 430 in the Kindle store. I thought this would be the peak.)
- July 18-24: 706 (Rank slipped back to around 1,000 and then started to improve.)
- July 25-31: 819
- August 1-7: 1086
- August 8-14: 1493 (KDP had a meltdown this week, and we suspect that I’m missing about 200 sales.)
- August 15-21: 3693 (August 17 the book cracked the top 100.)
- August 22-28: 5082 (Strong ranks in the 50s all week.)
- August 29-31: 1965
So there you go. Now you know what it took last month to crack the top 100 in the Kindle store. It took a buttload of sales. At this moment, there are 22 independently published novels in the Amazon Kindle top 100, 19 of which are priced at $0.99. One of the non-.99-centers is the second book in an indie series, one is a rerelease of a known author’s backlist book, and one is an unpublished novel from a previously published author.
So take that information and do with it what you will. I’m not recommending selling at $.99, but I do like that price point as a part of an overall strategy, whether it’s used as a special promotional price or as a loss leader in a series. More about that later.