I've been having an interesting few weeks watching the sales rankings on Amazon, keeping an eye on the success of both The Chimera Secret ( Ethan Warner's fourth outing ) and Soul Seekers ( my first self-published title ). I've never been a fan of staring at rankings - I've always felt that I should be busy writing instead and with Simon & Schuster's immense marketing campaigns for the Ethan Warner series, getting noticed has not been an issue so far in my career. Now, though, with my valiant new venture into self publishing underway, rankings have taken on a new importance.
Chimera was on offer at £0.99 for a month before the release of the paperback on July 18th, and it peaked in the 1,380 position at this price. Since heading back to full price it's slid down the charts a bit, but remains high enough to be attracting attention ( 3,000 or so at the time of writing ).
Soul Seekers peaked at around 1,000 in the Kindle chart before slipping back down to about 10,000. This is quite amazing as I have not yet performed any publicity for the book. I have approached a small number of Young Adult book bloggers for reviews, but haven't heard back yet and am not chasing for now. I suspect a few fans of Ethan Warner bought copies speculatively, and I know one of them reviewed it favourably on Amazon after reading it.
These figures might not mean much to some, but as a rule of thumb if a book hits the Kindle ( paid )1,000 position it's selling about 100 copies per day. Get to the 100 position and you're selling 1,000 or so per day.
After thinking about all of this for a day or two, I think that Chimera probably would have broken into the top 100 if it had stayed at the same low price - it was climbing ever-faster before the promotion ended and without a huge investment in marketing from either myself or the publisher. Even now, it's selling well at four times it's original price. Soul Seekers ( self published through my literary agent ) is priced a little too high for my liking and is also in a different genre to my traditionally published books, so to have reached so high and still be selling ( albeit in lower numbers for the time being ) is a great start.
The BIG test, for me, will be the launch of EDEN. This is my first completely self-published title, and like the Ethan Warner books is a combination of thriller and adventure. I'm doing some last minute research on pricing, categories and marketing methods as I await my editorials, and then it'll be the last application of polish on the manuscript and the various descriptions for Amazon before the launch. Fingers crossed, the genre placement, the price and the high ratings of all of my books will be enough to push this new title up where I want to see it: the top 100.
I should have a launch date set within a week or so, and will continue to update on how my other books are doing soon ( eight reviews at the time of writing for Chimera, two for Soul Seekers, all of them five stars!! )