Sales Talk – Again

A couple of weeks ago, I shared some of my sales stats, pointing out that A Good Man was my best selling book by some distance and that my sales were pretty evenly split between Smashwords and Amazon. But I also said that the Smashwords figures represented a number of different channels, including Banes & Nobel’s Nook store and Apple’s iBooks, and since I had the information in available, I’d really like to break the stats down to reflect those sales channels.

Well, I’ve been able to do that now and it makes interesting reading. Or, at least, I think it does.

First off, let’s just look at how my all-time sales breakdown by channel, shall we.

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As you can see, three of the Smashwords channels are pretty small beer, with Sony, Kobo and Diesel accounting for just 4% of all my sales in total. And given that I’m no longer on Kobo after the Great Porn Purge of 2013 and that Sony have announced the closure of their store, it’s probably a good thing I don’t sell in great quantities at either of them.

Sales on the actual Smashwords Website make up nearly a quarter of all my sales, as opposed to two fifths on Amazon’s platform. But I can reveal that most of those sales were A Good Man just after its release and before it got pushed through to the other stores.

The real interesting point here is that Apple and B&N make up nearly 20% of my all times sales, despite not carrying A Good Man until after it initial sales boost of its release had calmed down.

How is that possible?

Well, take a look at this graph. It shows how the share of sales has changed over the past two and a bit years at my four main channels.

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The blue line represents sales at the Kindle store and you can see that sales there have actually been on something of a slide.

The purple line is Smashwords and you can see the spike in sale share around Q4-2011 when A Good Man was released, but after that it’s been pretty stable at between five and twenty per cent.

But the interesting lines are the green one, which is Apple, and the red one, which is B&N. Sales at Apple spiked at around 50% in Q2-2012 and have sat at between twenty and thirty per cent ever since. But look at that red line. Sales at B&N took off in 2013, jumping up from an average of between nothing and ten per cent at the start of the year, to in the region of 50% by the end of the year.

If that keeps up, then by the end of 2014, the first graph I showed you will have changed quite a bit.

What’s the point of this? Well, it tells me that I really need to take proper advantage of Smashwords ‘Pre-order’ facility and make sure that my next book is available at two of my major sales channels (Apple and B&N) by release day.

It also tells me that when I’m tweeting links out to world, I’m probably better off tweeting links to the iBooks, Nook and Kindle pages for each book rather than the Smashwords link.

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