Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Trends

When Gods Fail is up and published. A story that was several months in the making, the final edits were done, and it was put up only a few hours into this day. Please enjoy it.

One question that keeps coming back at people, is how to judge how a book is being received. With e books, it seems that one should be able to dive into and see which books do well, and which ones don't. For the most part, I have been too busy editing and typing to worry about such things, but even a few looks (and here is the unfortunate part, most sites barely give any information on the books—for example some will only give sales, nothing more—Smashwords is one site that gives the most, though it has a long lag with the other sites in their premium status) hasn't given me anything concrete.

For example, there can be large view ratios to downloads (perhaps from a result of having a good cover, but not good enough blurb?) or small (though sometimes it is too small to know, i.e. 2 people saw it, and one person downloaded it). Most have a declining (though none have tricked down to nothing) level of views, while only a couple have an increasing trend (giving credence to the point that readers do know where to find the item, viewership could always be more, but it's good to know the books are not being entirely ignored). Downloads don't seem to be in step with the views (of course a spike in views will almost always lead to at least one download, though sometimes one view will lead to one download... no real pattern, even for a single title).

What this means is that it is all very hard to parse. The promotion on Amazon KDP Select, ended up not having a single payoff (sales after the promotion dates), though out of (a million?) many titles, it managed to come in pretty high in the rankings (again that doesn't mean much, rankings aren't just sales... making it even harder to figure out).

As a business, one has to look at these things with the mind of getting more and more books seen, then assume they are strong enough to be downloaded. And yet it is all a very subjective business. I am thinking about spending a few hours a week studying this so that I may be able to further parse how to sell more books (which blurbs/cover combo seems to increase the downloads, etc), but feel that I need to get out these few books before I do that (more data to play with, then). One step at a time.

I will have the last in The Struggle Series done by the end of February (editing might take a week on top of that) and then I hope to work or finish the first of the Caveman Series (Hominin Tales?—there's a thought for a title) and finally start the other ones that I wanted to get done. (To love a Rat, another piece on Iraq, somewhat metaphorical in style; Village, a fantastical story; City Life, the start of a series that will follow a man in new york, examining post-modern America; Assassins, another global, though hard to swallow book, that will follow several characters... this one is the hardest yet) as well as these other titles. Hopefully (after two weeks of editing and covers) I will get back to writing huge amounts soon.

Check out When Gods Fail, the link should be working.

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