Author Topic: How do you feel about posting sales stats?  (Read 8166 times)  

Offline KMatthew

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How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« on: February 02, 2014, 11:30:57 AM »
I've been posting monthly sales stats on my blog for a while, and have been posting them on here even before that. I'm a really big fan of motivational threads and success stories, and I love the idea of helping other people to succeed, because I remember what it was like at the beginning. My sales figures are really starting to get up there though, and my family is becoming concerned with the idea of me sharing that information publicly. I can understand their concerns, for various reasons, so I'm debating on making this the last month I share sales figures. I was just curious what other people think on the matter. I know a lot of authors, the vast majority that make more money than me, don't share sales figures. What would your reasons be not to share them? And for those who like the idea of sharing, why would you continue to share your sales figures?

Offline PamelaKelley

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2014, 11:40:16 AM »
Wow, congrats on a great month! I love threads like that too and if you've been sharing all along, why not continue? Why should higher sales numbers mean you shouldn't share? I just checked out your blog for the first time and found it really interesting to hear the breakout of where the sales are coming from and any promotions you did that worked. This kind of information I find really helpful.and I really do need to get my books up onto Google Play!
« Last Edit: February 02, 2014, 11:52:54 AM by PamelaKelley »

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2014, 11:44:25 AM »
I really love reading sales thread.
So I'd love for people to continue posting their numbers, it's inspiring.

I can understand people feeling uneasy about divulging the amount of money they're doing, though.
It opens the door to a lot of people feeling envious or feeling like they can have a say on what you do with that money.

I sell very few books each month, so I'm not one to give advice.
But I love your milestone threads and I look forward to them.
It gives me hope that one day I can achieve some small part of your success.

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Online Nanny Ogg

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2014, 11:45:05 AM »
I don't mind people posting sales stats. It's up to the individual author if they do so or not. For the past couple of years, I've been posting my sales stats on my blog annually. They're nothing to shout about though I'm doing ever so slightly better than previously, but that's because I have more books out and I'm marketing more (and I think my writing is improving, too). I don't post them here because I'm rubbish at coming up with the motivation stuff.  ;)

I can totally understand why people wouldn't want to share, though. It's your call. :)

Offline ゴジラ

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2014, 11:50:58 AM »
I wish more big sellers shared their monthly stats. I'm so CURIOUS.

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2014, 11:52:04 AM »
I love reading sales numbers too, but can understand why people prefer not to post them.

Offline kwest

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2014, 11:53:32 AM »
I've always enjoyed threads about sales, even when I wasn't selling well. They gave me hope that someday I could.

Money is a weird subject, but I think the positives of sharing sales numbers outweigh the negatives. Sharing information is key, and if an author has gotten to a point where they are selling thousands per month, who wouldn't want to now how they managed that?

At least, that's what I think. When I read sales threads on here, I never get the sense that the author is bragging. I get the sense that they are just trying to pass along info that can help others, because they've been there in the trenches and they know what it's like.

Offline Evenstar

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2014, 11:55:16 AM »
Oh please keep posting! I love your threads. I would totally post mine but they arent enough to make it useful information to anyone. If I put Nov: 5 books sold
Dec: 20 books sold
Jan: 35 books sold
(not my actual figures just an example) I cant see those sorts of numbers doing anything to help anyone, so I dont post, but if i had some really good interesting figures like you do (and I kept any kind of track or record at all, which i dont) then I would post. Please do!

Offline RachelAukes

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2014, 11:56:24 AM »
I haven't seen Joe Nobody on the boards lately, but he'd had some valid points about sharing numbers. If I remember correctly, he'd mentioned that reviews on his books were "dinged" following any time he shared numbers.

Personally, I love it when people share numbers. I find it valuable in understand trends and results of marketing, but I also understand jealousy and pettiness also exists out there.


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Online Lydniz

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2014, 11:56:35 AM »
I have considered posting mine, but it would be pretty useless information since a) as I'm anonymous I can't prove them in any way and b) I didn't have any grand business plan and have pretty much just been lucky so I can't even give any useful tips on how I got my sales. If and when I launch a new pen name I'll give some more thought to it, though.

Online Nathalie Aynie

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2014, 12:01:17 PM »
I have considered posting mine, but it would be pretty useless information since a) as I'm anonymous I can't prove them in any way and b) I didn't have any grand business plan and have pretty much just been lucky so I can't even give any useful tips on how I got my sales. If and when I launch a new pen name I'll give some more thought to it, though.

 :(

The history on the boards says you'd get backlash if you did not provide all your titles, price points, methods, color of panties, and a complete list telling us book by book if you used the Oxford comma. Be cautious.

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Online Lydniz

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2014, 12:04:32 PM »
:(

The history on the boards says you'd get backlash if you did not provide all your titles, price points, methods, color of panties, and a complete list telling us book by book if you used the Oxford comma. Be cautious.

I know, and to be fair it's only reasonable that people should be able to look at my rankings. However, I can answer two questions: a), my underwear is black and b) I don't use the Oxford comma as a rule. These two things are, naturally, the secret of my success.

Offline Quiss

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2014, 12:05:03 PM »
I don't like to post because I think I'll jinx myself. Honest truth.

Also concerned by what Joe Nobody posted previously. The other day I mentioned that things were going well and that day got a low rating on Goodreads by a new member who rated a bunch of books all on the same day. I'm actually more disturbed than ticked by that. Seems a bit creepy.
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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2014, 12:06:00 PM »
I don't like to post because I think I'll jinx myself. Honest truth.

Also concerned by what Joe Nobody posted previously. The other day I mentioned that things were going well and that day got a low rating on Goodreads by a new member who rated a bunch of books all on the same day. I'm actually more disturbed than ticked by that. Seems a bit creepy.


People are weird.

Offline Calvin Locke

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2014, 12:07:54 PM »
Familiarity breeds contempt. That applies to the lower rung of people, but those people exist everywhere. Why risk sabotage? I'm curious too, but there's absolutely no need to tell, and to some it would sound like bragging. I think mentioning milestones is okay, but after that, you could do something like: 'After implementing strategy x, my sales are up 150%'. That's helpful.

Offline Quiss

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2014, 12:10:17 PM »
Ohhh ,yes!!!!! 
Speaking of bragging: I'm THIS close to 5000 books sold!
It makes me want to jump up and down, even if it looks like bragging  ;D
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Offline Christa Wick

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2014, 12:14:44 PM »
I'm relatively open about my numbers on AUTHOR forums. I don't post them where I expect a lot of readers to be looking or where my non-immediate family might see them because I'm a way soft touch.

I like seeing numbers by other authors who are making a living wage (I'm just going to define that as $2000 a month). I like it even better when it's packaged with additional information -- what genre, how long has the name been out, how many names is the $ spread across, number of books out, etc.

I understand authors outside romance not wanting to give out numbers because of worry over new competition in the field (I don't think of publishing as a zero sum game, especially at the prices indies can charge). But I understand them worrying whether I want to write X, but I don't think X makes money, then they come along and drop some numbers and all of a sudden half of my production time goes to writing in their genre. Romance writers, thanks to Brenda Hiatt's Show Me the Money page, have been sharing details a lot longer than other genres IMO.

On the topic of retaliation, as far as I can tell, all my one and two-stars have been from genuine readers. Not that I agree with them, but they don't seem to be drive-by shots because of something I've posted on an author forum. I have, however, found my book reclassified into Apple's erotica dungeon after mentioning on an author forum how well it was doing on Apple (I had three titles in the overall top 30 and the #1 free title for about five days -- it was FREAKING GLORIOUS!). I still choose to believe that was coincidence, but next time I have something like that, I'll probably keep my mouth shut until after it has begun to ebb. :D

Offline Edward W. Robertson

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2014, 12:20:06 PM »
Oh please keep posting! I love your threads. I would totally post mine but they arent enough to make it useful information to anyone. If I put Nov: 5 books sold
Dec: 20 books sold
Jan: 35 books sold
(not my actual figures just an example) I cant see those sorts of numbers doing anything to help anyone, so I dont post, but if i had some really good interesting figures like you do (and I kept any kind of track or record at all, which i dont) then I would post. Please do!

I think sharing numbers like that is really valuable. It helps put things in perspective for anyone who might otherwise be reading a thread full of numbers followed with 000's and thinking "What the hell is wrong with me."

Plus it's extra cool when someone who spent months posting 12, 19, 8 starts posting 800, 600, 2000... ;)
    

Offline Christa Wick

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2014, 12:20:51 PM »
Familiarity breeds contempt. That applies to the lower rung of people, but those people exist everywhere. Why risk sabotage? I'm curious too, but there's absolutely no need to tell, and to some it would sound like bragging. I think mentioning milestones is okay, but after that, you could do something like: 'After implementing strategy x, my sales are up 150%'. That's helpful.

Disagree. Let's say I sell 10 books a month -- will my 150% growth strategy provide the same result for an author who sells 1000 books a month but isn't yet using the same strategy? "150%" is a number that looks great when unsubstantiated, but can become statistically insignificant when substantiated. When I see someone make that kind of post, I do try to see what their rank is (if their books are known). If the rank is not very good, I throw their result out as support for the strategy -- BUT I will still examine the strategy. I.e. does it still sound like something that could work and will at least do no harm if implemented?

Offline vrabinec

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2014, 12:24:08 PM »
I'm not gonna share mine if they're really embarrassing. Maybe I can fool some of the newbies that way into thinking my advice is wise even if I'm not selling. I must influence innocent minds on message boards, even if I'm probably wrong. It's a pride thing.   ;D

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Offline Christa Wick

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2014, 12:24:24 PM »
Stella, I agree with Edward. I like seeing progression posts (it's nice if you also include # of titles out each month)

and

QUISS -- awesome! That is a great milestone to celebrate.

Offline RachelAukes

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2014, 12:29:01 PM »
Ohhh ,yes!!!!! 
Speaking of bragging: I'm THIS close to 5000 books sold!
It makes me want to jump up and down, even if it looks like bragging  ;D

Woot!!! Dance, woman, dance!


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Offline PeanutButterCracker

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2014, 12:31:42 PM »
I like to read about sales #'s. I don't tell them every month, but I try to pop in and keep up.

I really like to hear about release day #'s.  Some of my friends just blow my mind with their release day #'s.

Offline ゴジラ

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2014, 12:32:07 PM »
Woooo, Quiss, congrats!!

Offline Calvin Locke

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Re: How do you feel about posting sales stats?
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2014, 12:33:44 PM »
Disagree. Let's say I sell 10 books a month -- will my 150% growth strategy provide the same result for an author who sells 1000 books a month but isn't yet using the same strategy? "150%" is a number that looks great when unsubstantiated, but can become statistically insignificant when substantiated. When I see someone make that kind of post, I do try to see what their rank is (if their books are known). If the rank is not very good, I throw their result out as support for the strategy -- BUT I will still examine the strategy. I.e. does it still sound like something that could work and will at least do no harm if implemented?
Hence why I said 'after that'. Once someone has established themselves as in a certain spot sales-wise, they can speak to what works and what doesn't. Not that everyone can't, but as you said, a five book increase off ten does not really mean a strategy works across the board.