Tag Archives: sales

Book Sale Advertising Cost

Not many things cause me to jump for joy, but today as I looked at my book stats on Amazon ranking, I noticed Be Still was ranked higher. How did I get sales? Facebook advertising. But that came at a cost of $30.00. One sale with a royalty of $1.75 at the cost of $30. This is marketing! Welcome.

I’m still not being condescending. As an author and entrepreneur, and non-marketing expert, I have had to experiment with several avenues of advertising. Next month I will try Pinterest as I have found that Twitter has not panned out at all (and was very expensive). Another marketer contacted me today stating they could get my books into the hands of 100 bloggers and reviewers and would only cost $3,500. I asked how many they would guarantee would actually leave reviews and/or blog review, they had no answer. Again, buyer beware.

As an independent author, I will continue to try different avenues of marketing. For now I will set my sights on preparing for the 2017 L.A. festival of Books coming up soon. I did find this venue to be great for making contacts and creating an email list. Sales weren’t fantastic, and I didn’t recoup my costs, but the exposure was fantastic.

Sales to date have been good however, much of that has come at a cost of trial and error. I try and bring what I learn back to my blog but I still haven’t found that ultimate trick to “find readers.” If you have advise on Pinterest advertising, I’d love to hear from you.

Tania L Ramos RN BSN

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Quarter 1, Iuniverse

So I received my first quarter sales/royalty report from Iuniverse yesterday–only one week late, but who’s counting. It was among one of the lowest payouts I have had, thusly, I proceeded to pout and continue to put on my nursing uniform, with heavy disappointment.

doves cry

I now know what it sounds like when doves cry. *cough*

However, when I was able to download the actual reports today, I gotta say that as far as payouts goes, I’m not buying me a new car just yet, nor have I hit the pinnacle $100 sales (short .50cents) via royalty generated through Iuniverse (although I’ve made ten times that amount in out-of-the-trunk-of-my-car sales), but the actual sales  were the second largest I’ve had.  All sales, minus one, were e-books, which reflects on why the royalties were so low, because the payout is only about $1.00 per book.  There was one physical book purchased, and with the payout rate, I’m going to assume it was through Barnes and Noble because Amazon payout on physical books is half that.

All-in-all the 1st Quarter was okay.  I’m not sure how the 2nd Quarter will look because I haven’t been promoting too much.  Not that I gave up, but I did get tired of all the social media time hoarding and too be honest, I just needed a bit of a break to enjoy my free time.  I am a writer not a marketer! I may just make t-shirt that says that.  Over all sales have been fabulous, but again, the majority of books sold have been physical copies I carry with me. And starting in July, I will hit the active marketing scene again.

I was told if you sell (for profit) ten books to people you don’t know, you did nice.

Sell fifty books (for profit) to people you don’t know, you did good.

Sell one hundred books (for profit) to people you don’t know, you did great.

Sell more than one hundred books (for profit) to people you don’t know, you have surpassed the average sales of the indie author.

I’m happy to report that I am well over the one hundred mark in paid sales and have been since last October and pushing 200 this summer.  But feel free to put more icing on my cake! Amazon, the best $3.79 you’ll ever spend also available on Kindle, Sony readers, Kobo, and iBook.

****Want to know more about Iuniverse royalties, check out my other link here to show the exact breakdown https://newauthorpublishing.wordpress.com/2013/03/08/my-iuniverse-stats-2012/*****

Tania L Ramos, Author Still Putting Up The Numbers

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Sales versus Rank

Recently, I came across an ad which promises to increase sales on Amazon.  Sounded promising, so I clicked the link.  I was hit by something that made complete sense, yet didn’t.  One of those conundrums that begs to ask the question: is this moral?

The premise of this site was simple and mimicked that of a pyramidal type business.  Pay your $19.99 along with 1,000 other authors who are on KDP and the offer then closes to this select group.  Then when you have your KDP free days, all the authors download each other’s books which raises your ranking. Simple, right?

Here is where I struggle with this (and where I think self-published authors start to get a bad rap): is it legit? I can sit here and barter with hundreds of other authors and boast that my numbers are in the top 1oo, but did people actually read my book? I mean, isn’t that the point of writing? When did publishing a book become more about numbers than it did about the actual material published?

It’s everywhere, isn’t it? Buy 1,000 Facebook likes for $9.99, by 10,000 Twitter friends for $19.99, and now you can buy your Amazon rank through some pyramid scam.  I realize we all want to be number one, and heck, I’d settle for staying in the top 1,000 on the regular Amazon ranking system (not KDP), but i’d like to be there because people actually read my book, not because 1,000 other authors downloaded my book.  I mean, if they downloaded 1,000 books, what are the odds they actually read or will read yours? 1 in 1,000!

My other concern was that the website boasted an increase in sales, but is giving it away free an increase in sales? I posted to Facebook once, in response to a similar question, and stated, “If you give away 10,000 books on KDP and become #1 because of it, you are NOT a #1 seller, but a #1 giver-awayer.” Don’t get me wrong, I understand the reasoning behind free days, I really do.  It is a great marketing strategy and wonderful way to let people know about your book, but this system is hard to judge.  I met a woman who loved downloading on “free” days, and stated she downloaded over 5,000 so far, but when asked how many she actually read the  number was an approximated 50.  Oh, and of those 50, more than half were traditionally published authors.

This has become all too prevalent, and here I am trying to teach my kids that hard work pays off.  One day they will tell me, “No mom, for $19.99, I can buy my grade or 1,000 college credits.”  Here I am busting my gluts to really sell my product, and all I had to do was buy my rank? I’m concerned.  Any thoughts?

Best-book-ever

The Cookie Cult at my Door wore Green

     What? You may ask.  This is one of my favorite times of the year: Girl Scout Cookie cult time.  I was busy revising chapter fourteen and in the middle of thinking how much I could go for a nice chocolate chip cookie, my doorbell rang.  The dogs went wailing down the stairs and I heard the cute little alarm on my door say in her pompous voice, “front door open.” The next thing I heard was music to my ears as my son shouted, “Mom? Girl Scouts.”

     “Thank you cookie cult gods for hearing my silent, reverent prayers,” I whispered while pushing the cat off the bed so she wouldn’t step across my keyboard accidently hitting delete. I hate when they do that.  Like little kitty paws know exactly what hot buttons would corrupt my computer to a point I can’t go back and fix it.  I ran down the stairs as quick as my Hello Kitty house-boots would take me.  “Put the dogs out I back,” I shouted, wanting to be able to peruse my cookie selection without seething K-9’s at my heel.

     “5 boxes for $20,” the eager salesgirls grinned.  I was delighted, even over joyed, to know inflation hadn’t hit the cookie cult business yet. I bought five boxes of delectable, sugary, calorie rich goodness.  All I could think of was the cookie ice-cream shakes that were in my future.  I whispered to the boxes that I would see to it they were treatedwith the utmost of eating ompassion there could exist between a woman and a box of Lemon-aides.  I coud already taste the cool Thin Mint complimented by rich chocolatey icream blended together.  I quivered at the thought then ran into the house to see two teenagers standing in the kitchen.

     “Don’t eat them all!” I shouted, secretly wanting to hide the boxes in my closet and covet them for myself.  I paid for them afterall.  Nevertheless, the kids dove into the boxes and I couldn’t help but think of the promise I broke to the cookis when I said they would be eaten with compassion.  No.  They were consumed with the unsatitiated appetite of ravenous cookie-avors.  I had to walk away, but not before my son asked me to explain to his friend why I call The Girl Scouts a cult…here is my theory that I was once asked to defend as a red wagon approached ladedn with yummy goodness–

     First of all, to correct my child, I did say The Girl Scouts were a cult in jesting, but it was the pyramid scheme that I was impressed with.  Children, cloaked in emerald green, wearing sashes adorned with badges is the best pyramid scheme I have ever encountered and gladly purchased from.  Here, parents send out their lovely daughters to sell these cookies in order to elevate the status or finaces of the troop (my theory only. I was never in Girl Scouts so I don’t know.) They earn badges so other little girls will want to join the emerald green, cookie toting cult thus elevating their status and earning more badges.  The next generation comes in and perpetuates the cycle as the older girls move into a higher group at the top of the pyramid.  Children are smitten by the badges, camps, and events so more girls join thus making their troop grow.  More girls, more cookie sellers=more money.  And the pyramid grows bigger.

    Okay, so I was asked why they were a cult.  My response.  Because they wear green uniforms and have ranks.  And they push us to eat these amazing cookies so we’ll be so stuffed and sugar innoculated that we won’t notice as they infiltrate the world around us.  Who would dare ever suspect the girl scout cookie peddler after all? Not I.

     DISCLAIMER! I am not knocking the Girl Scouts of America.  I think they are a wondeful organization and give our young girls something to do when our government has taken so many other venues of socialization away.  I love what they teach and agree with their mission statement.  This conversation i spoke of came up as a joke when my son and I saw a Girl scout tugging a red wagon filled with cookies across a parking lot.  Sometimes we talk to talk, and this was one of those occasions when my son asked me to defend a comment I made about them being a pyramid scheme…of course we bought $20 worth of cookies after.  And i’d do it again.  I love Girl Scout cookies!!!!

     Also, the little cookie break gave me a sugar rush which allowed me to finish chapter 15’s revisions.