Saturday, March 30, 2013

Data From the Month of March's Book Marketing Experiments

As promised, I have collected the sales data for the month of March to share with any reader following my experiments based on pricing. To be honest, I am a bit surprised by some of the results and encouraged by others.

To start with, I will never put five Kindle ebooks on sale for .99 cents at the same time again. Ouch! What was I thinking? I was thinking I was going to boost their sales rank and the lose in net revenue this month would be made up in future months due to increased sales from improved Amazon Sales Rankings and Amazon Search Results.

The results? Mixed and I managed to "lose" several hundred dollars in net revenue. Live and learn. The information has helped me to understand pricing for my Kindle books a bit better, I just need to let go of the money for this month.

First, the bad results. I lowered the price of my all time best selling Kindle book to .99 cents. The result in terms of improved sales ranking, search results and total sales? Nothing. I sold the exact same number of copies of this book as I did last month when the price was $5.99. So I cheated myself out of several hundred dollars.

The sales rankings and search results went up and down just a bit, but at the end of the month, were nearly identical as the previous three months results.

Content, not price, must be the motivating factor for individuals who buy this title. Perhaps more 5-star reviews will propel some more sales. I guess this information is good to know, particularly in deciding what types of books to write in the future. This particular title was particularly labor intensive and time consuming, but has earned a lot of money so perhaps something similar needs to be added to the list of works planned.

Two of the Kindle titles made a huge jump in sales with the resulting desired improvement in both Amazon Sales Ranking and Amazon Search Results. I had raised the price of these two titles from $2.99 to $4.99 and their sales had plummeted. Obviously I had overpriced these two books. The price has been returned to $2.99.

Another of the titles increased in total sales by a grand total of three copies. Amazon Sales Ranking and Amazon Search results stayed consistent. The original price for this title must have been right on the money.

The final copy actually saw a dramatic decrease in sales, making me wonder if the low price discouraged potential buyers. The original price was $2.99. Two dollars is not a big difference but did the difference make potential buyers think the .99 priced edition was a junk book? The Amazon Sales Rankings and Amazon Search Results for this book dropped and it will take effort on my part to rebuild the books results.

The return of my e-newsletter seemed to make a positive impact as sales picked up with a day of the delayed edition reaching the individuals on my list.

The five day Free give away of a book netted 110 free downloads and 1 borrow. I sold two POD copies, the normal average for POD for this title, and nothing else. The Amazon Search Results for this title improved by several pages, but still no actual sales. The content in this book is excellent so it is puzzling as to what I am doing wrong in marketing the book. I am starting to think the title I came up with is the problem.

I learned three very valuable pieces of information this month that I want to share with the readers of this blog.

My newsletter is the most successful marketing tool I have. I must create some "spare" newsletters I can schedule for release if for some reason I cannot write the newsletter for that week.
Pricing does in fact play a role in sales.
While I am annoyed at the money I missed on the one book, I did learn experimenting with pricing is essential. I'll just have to get over it.

I hope this is blog post encourages the authors who read my blog to engage in some experimentation and research of your own.

Get the data.