Saturday, November 13, 2010

September Ebook Sales

Once again looking at the data of book sales in detail draws a different conclusion than the 'knee jerk' reaction. The quick answer is that last year the pbook market had an unusually strong September and comparing against that is tricky; this time I have far more graphs than prior posts. Do recall the AAP numbers are comparing wholesale sales. Thus pbook 'sales' lead the much more 'retail' ebook sales.

Ebooks are gaining share. I expected more of a 'September bump' due to the introduction of the Kindle 3. The lack of a large bump doesn't mean much, September is a month that in the start of the end of the year ramp up in ebook sales. In many ways the October data will be far more interesting.

To the charts (with further comments):

I'm plotting the data in two forms.
1. A plot chronological with time to show the long term trend
2. By month, with each year being its own line. This shows seasonal trends which are strong in book sales.

The 2nd graph really shows the growth of ebook sales year over year. It also shows:
1. Device sales drive ebook sales
2. The beginning of the year 'tiff' hurt ebook sales
3. Ebook sales are back on a growth trend
4. Kindle 3 sales have yet to impact ebook sales

As ebook sales have increases, we see that mass market paper back sales have mostly drifted in their normal band.

When plotted by year, we see mmpb sales are weak, but there is no trend with ebook sales. If anything, I would say over-pricing or a poor 'product mix' is more to blame than ebooks.

Paperbacks sold poorly in September. In the past, September was one of the strongest months for paperback sales (if not the strongest). This year's weak showing is probably due to the customer switch to ebooks.

The year to year comparison clearly shows a missing peak. Who didn't order paperbacks? Some retailer (or several) didn't stock up this year on adult paperback pbooks... This could be corrected in October, so it will be worth looking at the next data set.

Harcover sales are in their normal band:

Year on year comparisons show that 2009 had an abnormally strong September. 2010 hardcover sales are on the weak side, but that is probably just the economy.

Ebook sales are strong and have a very seasonal tendency for growth (end of year and post-Christmas). It looks like adult paperbacks are taking a hit with increased ebook sales. Otherwise, it does not look as if ebook sales are impacting print sales. Ebook sales growth is also greater than the impact to paperbacks, so it is possibly ebooks are growing the market!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Authors, Make it 'Stupid Easy' to buy your book!

In a discussion over at Konrath's that authors need to make finding their books very easy to find.

One author had a book with a title that was also the title of
Eight books!

My recommendation when you make a comment on blogs is to have a text file which allows you to 'cut and paste' your sinature:

Your Name (or pen name)
Author of: link text/image

Link to multiple books. If you're selling one, put in a *very* brief description.

On your web page please have on the side and at the bottom a link to buy the book. Make it obvious! (e.g., Buy the book for KINDLE NOOK SONY). Do not link to Smashwords expecting buyers to realize that is where they can buy a book. Also, do not hesitate to become an 'Amazon affiliate' to gain a bigger cut. ;)

Also, please make which book in a series your book is. I'm really getting to dislike having to google to fine out which is book #1 in a series! My favorite way is to put the book # in the title. For example:

One Kiss (Book#1 of the Toad series)
Long Tongued Prince (Book #2 of the Toad series)
Warts and Legs (Book #3 of the Toad series)

Every time you make it easier for your customer, you are more likely to sell. Heck, it might just be a sale to a 'drunk clicker.' But at least that is a sale. If your book is read and liked... even better!

Make buying your book 'Stupid easy.'

Got Popcorn?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Book buying in October

How many books did you read last month? Myself? Not as many as normal for me. Why? Draculas . We recently had a child, so the scene in the delivery ward just stopped me. Great writing... almost too good.

Why that intro? I notice my credit card bill and the first 7 items were ebooks to replace what I read in October. (Yes... a slow month was 7 books.) :) What I observed:
1. For the first time in years, not one book over $5. Not one.
2. Median of $2.99. This month none below $2 (other than free books...)
3. I buy in batches (rarely one book at a time).

I've been tracking ebook sales and it just feels as if October was a strong transition month from pbooks to ebooks. I'll be curious to see the (very delayed) sales numbers.

I'm not going to be a big buyer in November. I must have downloaded a hundred free books in October. Just for the sake of organizing books on my Kindle, I should read through them! Not to mention a Robert Jordan pre-order should be delivered. ;)

Don't worry indie authors... I'm hooked. I'm sure that at least four books will be purchased.

A recommendation:
The unsuspecting mage (free today) has sucked me into a new fantasy series. Fun!

I will conclude noting it is easy to understand why readers want a series. Once a character and series is interesting... it is so much fun to continue to the next saga. If I didn't organize my Kindle well, I'd forget to continue a series if the next book wasn't available. (I'm going through too many new authors to slow down!) So once you have a good thing going, expand the brand!

Got Popcorn?