It's amazing what a good promotion can do for the numbers on your book. Yet, "numbers" do not always translate into sales.
It leaves one, in all of its crooked glory, with the proverbial ...
"Rock and a Hard Place"
Today, I want to share with you all my experience during last week's promotion for "MarcoAntonio & Amaryllis".
The BIGGEST complaint in the Indie Author world is "lack of sales".
Second only to "I can't get any reviews".
You see, everyone sees to know the mathematical equation:
Finished Book + Great Cover + Great Reviews
Sales, sales, sales!
Now, what if I were to tell you that that's not always the case?
"Insane" you say?
Sure is, isn't it?
It had been some time since I'd put "MarcoAntonio & Amaryllis" on any type of sale or promotion. Realizing this, I opted to do a 5 day freebie last week, as there hadn't been any movement on it for quite some time sales wise.
Now, during the time of the promo some things happened which caused me to change the books cover. If you don't follow my blog frequently you can read about it HERE.
So, I did all of that, and this is how things panned out.
- Since January 2015 I hadn't had a single sale. Not even a "sample" read. :( *long sigh*
- I put the book on Promo starting on Wednesday July 22nd, and ending on Sunday July 26th.
Please, take a look at these numbers.
Day 1: 146 Downloads
Day 2: 72 Downloads
Day 3: *Side Note: This was the day that the new cover went live online.* 13 Downloads
Day 4: 21 Downloads
Day 5: 24 Downloads
Giving me a grand total of: 276 Downloads
This drastic change in numbers during a 5 day period resulted in my book hitting Number 2 in one category (Spanish/Hispanic Fiction) and Number 3 in another (Historical Romance).
Now, as good as it felt to fly among the "Best Sellers" ranks, at the same time, I was kind of let down.
Why? Well, because THIS was, in all of its crooked glory, the proverbial ...
For those of you who do not know what a "Catch 22" is, it is a "moral/emotional or circumstantial dilemma or difficultly from which there is no escaping because of mutual, intertwined and/or dependent conflicting conditions".
Here are the reasons why:
Question and Observation #1:
Was it moral, honorable or ethical to be among the Top 5 when my book was being given away for free during a promotional week? I honestly didn't know. I mean, I did sort of earn it after all. But, did I earn it on noble terms? I have no answer for that.
Question & Observation #2:
While I, and the people which had already read my book, knew that I deserved that position, the people that were downloading it just because it was free didn't. Dose that mean the Top 5 position didn't count? People will take anything if it is being given away.
Question & Observation #3:
Will my book ONLY EVER get downloaded, looked at and/or read when it's being given away? If so, then what's the point in trying to sell it at all? I can just leave it free all the time and stay basking with the Top Dogs.
But, is that fair to my book, my talent and myself? I mean, I WORKED HARDER THAN SHIT to make my book all that it could be. I deserve to get paid for it.
Yet, what's the point in having a price point, if no one is going to buy it anyway. For that, I should just take it off of the market. I rather it NOT be available, than it be out in the cyber-world yet I'm continually duped out of my due earnings.
So, how does one resolve that? I just don't know.
Question and Observation #4:
Did the change in cover actually produce more sales? If I were to make my judgement solely by the "sales/downloads", I'd have to say no. It surely didn't. As a matter of fact, the downloads dropped significantly.
It makes one wonder why. Was it because people did not recognize my book because the cover was so drastically different? Shoot, who is to say!
Yet, if I were to look at the grey area, I could in some way say, "Well, IT WAS the 3rd day of the promo. I can't really expect to have a lot of downloads by that point." It is a logical assumption after all.
But, is it true? Well, shit if I know.
So let's practice a bit of the Science of Deduction here.
In looking at all of the available proof, I would have to deduce the following—which, in no certain terms, also seems to be the bottom line.
It does not matter how talented you are, how much hard work you've put into something, how much you deserve it, how great your cover is, or how fantastic other people think your works are. You will not make a sale unless you are attached to the right group of people.
A person such as myself can only ever hope to have his/her book looked it IF, and only IF, it is free.
So this begs the question:
Is it worth all of the hard work and unequivocal effort?
As for me, sometimes I wonder.