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Permlink Replies: 8 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Jan 4, 2018 12:00 PM Last Post By: Notjohn
Brian O'Raleigh

Posts: 1
Registered: 03/21/15
My book sales have dropped suddenly!
Posted: Aug 21, 2017 3:33 PM
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Hi. A year ago at this time, I was getting close to $1,000 per month between my 2 books, (hard copy and digital.) One of those books, The Storyteller of Inis Mor - has a 4.8 Star average rating with 31 great reviews. (Only 5 of those reviews from friends) And now, within just a few months, I'm selling less than $100 a month! I tried advertising. Every time I put an ad on my sales dropped immediately. It's like some sick joke. What is Amazon doing? Both books have had great reviews from the major magazines and newspapers in Australia. What do you have to do to sell good books on Amazom? Do you need to know Jeff Bezos personally. It's INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING TALKING TO STEEL MACHINES!! Brian O'Raleigh
Donna St Felix

Posts: 6,125
Registered: 09/18/13
Re: My book sales have dropped suddenly!
Posted: Aug 21, 2017 7:31 PM   in response to: Brian O'Raleigh in response to: Brian O'Raleigh
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This summer has been rough on many authors.
Some are doing good, many are not.
cdalebrittain

Posts: 11,590
Registered: 03/05/11
Re: My book sales have dropped suddenly!
Posted: Aug 21, 2017 7:43 PM   in response to: Brian O'Raleigh in response to: Brian O'Raleigh
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Part of the problem is that books have a shelf life. In traditional publishing, a bookstore would send back books that had been on the shelf 6 weeks and get in new ones. The 6 week old ones were never seen again. At least with e-publishing your book isn't pulped.

I'd recommend writing more books if your first ones sold well. Readers who liked you before will respond, and some will see the new book and buy the old ones.

Have you tried a paid promotion? BookBub is the gold standard, but you can get a bump out of EreaderNewsToday (ENT) for a lot less layout. There are plenty of other sites; many recommend trying to have all of them promoting at the same time for a real boost. BB took me from the $100 a month club to a brief glorious reign of $3000 a month, by promoting my first book (but that was then, this is now).
Ward Rogers

Posts: 1,308
Registered: 12/02/16
Re: My book sales have dropped suddenly!
Posted: Aug 22, 2017 8:40 PM   in response to: Brian O'Raleigh in response to: Brian O'Raleigh
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Brian O'Raleigh wrote:
Hi. A year ago at this time, I was getting close to $1,000 per month between my 2 books, (hard copy and digital.) One of those books, The Storyteller of Inis Mor - has a 4.8 Star average rating with 31 great reviews. (Only 5 of those reviews from friends) And now, within just a few months, I'm selling less than $100 a month! I tried advertising. Every time I put an ad on my sales dropped immediately. It's like some sick joke. What is Amazon doing? Both books have had great reviews from the major magazines and newspapers in Australia. What do you have to do to sell good books on Amazom? Do you need to know Jeff Bezos personally. It's INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING TALKING TO STEEL MACHINES!! Brian O'Raleigh

Even with efficient marketing, you may find yourself in a downward spiral. Not only are adverts and promotions not as effective as they used to be, but every readership has a limited depth. If you have only two books, once readers have read both of them, then you fall to the wayside. You are off their radar. Your old books are competing with a never-ending tsunami of new releases, thousands every month, probably hundreds in the genre in which you are jumping up and down trying to get any new readers to notice you. Writers are like sharks...once you stop moving forward, you die. Even Bezos can't resurrect a dead writing career.
Notjohn

Posts: 23,796
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: My book sales have dropped suddenly!
Posted: Aug 23, 2017 3:17 AM   in response to: Brian O'Raleigh in response to: Brian O'Raleigh
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What do you have to do to sell good books on Amazom?

Keep writing them! You evidently have only the one book, so you're doing very well indeed to earn $100 a month in the second year.

Everyone here thinks his book is good; otherwise he wouldn't have bothered writing it. But as Dale says, almost every book has a shelf life. Of every 100,000 books published, probably not 10 will will be selling regularly ten years later.

So your task is to write another book as good as the first. (But even then, it probably won't sell as well as that one did.)

If it's any comfort, I have a book that regularly sold 60 copies a month six or seven years ago. In August so far, it has sold 2. I also have a book or two that hasn't sold ANY copies this month. But since I have 26 books on the KDP, I'm still making a good living from it.

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

The blog:
http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
Ev Bishop

Posts: 1
Registered: 02/06/15
Re: My book sales have dropped suddenly!
Posted: Dec 18, 2017 8:35 PM   in response to: Brian O'Raleigh in response to: Brian O'Raleigh
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Hey, I realize I'm late to this question, but I was wondering if you've found any answers to your question re: your sales dropping off AFTER you started Amazon ads?

A few months ago, my sales slumped a bit (starting June/July-ish). I tried Amazon ads, hoping to boost them. I LITERALLY fell to selling almost no books a day (like maybe 1 - 3) instead of my average of 20 or so across 4 titles. Grr! I panicked and quit my ads after 5 days--and it a took a bit but my sales came back to where the were before I started the ads.

Sure that I must just be paranoid and continually hearing about how you have to advertise, I decided to try again. On December 10, I launched 13 ads (3 each for 3 books, 1 for 1 book). The exact same drop off happened again! December was slow but I was averaging 7 books per day. The first day I started Amazon ads my sales dropped down to 1 measly book--and though they grew a little I'm still only averaging 4 books a day now.

Any idea how and why Amazon ads would kill sales? Is it that once you start paying for ads, Amazon quits any behind the scenes work they do that lead to organic sales?

Edited by: Ev Bishop on Dec 18, 2017 8:36 PM
Donna St Felix

Posts: 6,125
Registered: 09/18/13
Re: My book sales have dropped suddenly!
Posted: Dec 18, 2017 9:14 PM   in response to: Ev Bishop in response to: Ev Bishop
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Ev Bishop wrote:
Hey, I realize I'm late to this question, but I was wondering if you've found any answers to your question re: your sales dropping off AFTER you started Amazon ads?

A few months ago, my sales slumped a bit (starting June/July-ish). I tried Amazon ads, hoping to boost them. I LITERALLY fell to selling almost no books a day (like maybe 1 - 3) instead of my average of 20 or so across 4 titles. Grr! I panicked and quit my ads after 5 days--and it a took a bit but my sales came back to where the were before I started the ads.

Sure that I must just be paranoid and continually hearing about how you have to advertise, I decided to try again. On December 10, I launched 13 ads (3 each for 3 books, 1 for 1 book). The exact same drop off happened again! December was slow but I was averaging 7 books per day. The first day I started Amazon ads my sales dropped down to 1 measly book--and though they grew a little I'm still only averaging 4 books a day now.

Any idea how and why Amazon ads would kill sales? Is it that once you start paying for ads, Amazon quits any behind the scenes work they do that lead to organic sales?


I also noticed that when running ads the normal sales seemed to dry up.
Michelle Serniuk

Posts: 18
Registered: 05/13/17
Re: My book sales have dropped suddenly!
Posted: Dec 20, 2017 7:30 PM   in response to: Brian O'Raleigh in response to: Brian O'Raleigh
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Hi Brian,

I don't write in your genre but I find the more I write the more sales I receive. I have only been doing this since May but I have 13 romance novels and 50+ erotica shorts.

I hate writing the shorts but I released one a day for two months and had consistent sales. As soon as I stopped, so did my pages read and sales. I started up again writing 2- 3 a week and my sales shot up.

I also write (under a different pen name) romance novels. When I first release one, my sales go up and then after a month they slow down, but as soon as I release the next one, my sales on all books go up. So to sum it up... Keep writing and put stuff out there. Your fan base wants new work.

BTW, I do no promotions. I pay no money to advertise. My philosophy is like pissing in the wind... If it works it works, if it doesn't I love writing and will do it whether I make money or not. Currently, I make only a couple hundred dollars a month but I'm sure if you invest in promotions and keep publishing, it will click!

Best wishes for your success!
Michelle
Notjohn

Posts: 23,796
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: My book sales have dropped suddenly!
Posted: Dec 21, 2017 3:48 AM   in response to: Ev Bishop in response to: Ev Bishop
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Here's a useful blog post on promoting your book: https://insights.bookbub.com/marketing-a-new-book-tactics-authors-publishers-love

And one on getting the most out of your Amazon store listing: https://www.writtenwordmedia.com/2017/03/07/sell-more-books-on-amazon/

And a somewhat biased look at the whole process of self-publishing (you can ignore the BookBaby promotions): https://www.bookbaby.com/pages/pdf/5-Steps-To-Self-Publishing.pdf

(But nothing can stop a book that has entered a death spiral. The fewer sales, the lower the sales rank. The lower the sales rank, the less likely to appear in search results. Doesn't appear in search results? Doesn't get bought! Personally, I depend largely upon my own websites as an advertising platform for me and my books.)

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook. Each does one thing well and the other thing poorly.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

The blog:
http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
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