First of all, let's start with the numbers. Here's the breakdown of sales for February. The Breeders sold 552 and had 78 Amazon Prime borrows. Nessa sold 250. So, with only two titles on Amazon and one of them a novelette, I made roughly $1500. If I were to add one more title that sells like The Breeders, well, as Mater from the movie Cars would say, "Dag gum, dems some job quittin' numbers right dere."
So, I'm selling well. The question is how? Well, I have a few good guesses as to why I'm doing well right now. I'll lay out the top five to give you an idea of what I think put me over the top.
1. Write something people want to read. The Breeders is a cross-over YA/Adult dystopia. People are still out there looking for YA dystopias. So I am riding the crest of a Hunger Games wave and the odds are ever in my favor. I know other authors having similar success in genres like SciFi, Paranormal Romance and Erotica. That is the bonus of being an indie author. If you spot a trend that you are already comfortable in, you can write, edit and produce a book fast enough to ride the wave. Bottom line is no matter how good a book, if people aren't reading that genre, it won't get sold.
2. Put out your best book. I took 18 months with The Breeders. I must've revised it 100 times. I am not exaggerating when I state that figure. I think I reread and changed that draft about 100 times. I had critic partners that were writers. I hired an editor and she did three passes on it. I have read a lot of self-published titles with my stint as reviewer for Underground Book Reviews. Most of them do not read like a book that has been revised 100 times. If you want a book to sell, it has to be as good as something sitting on a bookstore shelf. No short cuts.
3. Reviews, reviews, reviews. I now have close to 80 reviews for my book. It has been a slow build, but now that I have amassed those numbers, the book is selling itself. This is something that takes time. Once you write the best book you can, be patient. If it's good, people will review it and momentum will build.
4. Building platform. I read a great book called Platform by Michael Hyatt. I recommend it for any creative type that is trying to wheel and deal. From Michael's ideas I've been doing some major consideration in regard to my platform. I've tightened up my blog, posted more content and thought deeply about what topics might draw readers. I've started tweeting even though I didn't understand it. I've build a decent following on Facebook using an ad I bought for $50. I've also been reaching out to other authors in my genre, talking, sharing and cross-promoting. It's taken a lot of hard work, but I think I'm starting to see the fruits of my labor. Platform matters.
5. Put out more titles. Nessa was an experiment to see if I could put out a quality short that would help sell my main title. As a novelette, or 30,000 words, it was quick to write (about a month) and it only cost me $100 for the cover art. I'm hoping since it is priced at 99 cents people will pick it up on impulse. I'm also hoping they'll like it and buy The Breeders or vice versa. So, each book is helping sell the other. Magic.
So, there you have it, five ways I've found success selling books through Amazon. What about you, what's helped you make headway in selling your titles?