Author Topic: Is December really a slow sales month?  (Read 3476 times)  

Offline solo

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Is December really a slow sales month?
« on: December 21, 2017, 04:43:26 PM »
Hi. I have read some authors comment that December is a slow sales month. Now that we're approaching Christmas day, I did notice a reduction in sales of books and KU reads though my ranking in the BSR and subgenre went up. Which means slow sales throughout the Amazon universe.

Can those with more experience please clarify? Thanks!

Online Ryan W. Mueller

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2017, 05:14:12 PM »
Oddly enough, I've been doing better than usual over the last week.

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Offline kw3000

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2017, 05:17:11 PM »
I'm not certain about this, but I wouldn't be surprised given it's such a busy time of year and customer dollars are stretched in all directions. I imagine things pick up quite a bit in the new year.

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Offline andycat

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2017, 05:18:00 PM »
I find it gets slower and slower up until Christmas (as people get busier and busier) but then there's a nice bump after Christmas when a lot of people are still on vacation but the majority of their social/family obligations are over and they have time to read again. (Plus probably some bump from people who got new devices for Christmas.) Overall (at least for me) the month tends to average out to slightly-above-normal when all is said and done.

Then again, I write romance, and I think moms are a group that are particularly likely to be very busy leading up to the holidays. Your milage may vary. :)

Offline solo

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2017, 05:20:52 PM »
I find it gets slower and slower up until Christmas (as people get busier and busier) but then there's a nice bump after Christmas when a lot of people are still on vacation but the majority of their social/family obligations are over and they have time to read again. (Plus probably some bump from people who got new devices for Christmas.) Overall (at least for me) the month tends to average out to slightly-above-normal when all is said and done.

Then again, I write romance, and I think moms are a group that are particularly likely to be very busy leading up to the holidays. Your milage may vary. :)

Thanks! It would great to hear from other experienced authors too. This is my first December sales month and clearly puzzled.

Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2017, 05:21:36 PM »
December's usually one of my best months of the year. Pre-Christmas lots of paperback sales and holiday-themed romance. Post-Christmas lots of gift card spending. I have seen a dropoff in paperback sales the last day or so.


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Offline kyokominamino

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2017, 06:46:51 PM »
You're not imagining things. I actually compared my 2016 November and December to this one and then to the other months of the year and it's the worst sales period for me. Keep in mind that I am also a total nobody. Others are doing well, but a lot of the prawns like me are out here dying. It usually recovers next month, though, so keep your head up, grit your teeth, and have some spiked eggnog until it's over.

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Offline Rosie A.

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2017, 07:58:48 PM »
You're not imagining things. I actually compared my 2016 November and December to this one and then to the other months of the year and it's the worst sales period for me. Keep in mind that I am also a total nobody. Others are doing well, but a lot of the prawns like me are out here dying. It usually recovers next month, though, so keep your head up, grit your teeth, and have some spiked eggnog until it's over.
I'm in the same boat! This is only my first year publishing so I don't have other years to compare to like you, but the summer was really good and it slowly tapered off. I've made a handful of sales this month and it suxxxxxs.
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Offline 9 Diamonds

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2017, 08:33:58 PM »
We're slightly up so far this month against December 2016 sales, and it looks like, with pages read, we'll be considerably ahead. This month is on target as being one of our best months, on average.

Offline JRTomlin

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2017, 09:25:44 PM »
It may vary according to genre or other factors, but I've always found November and December my slowest months of the year. It happens every year.

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Offline solo

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2017, 09:50:27 PM »
Thanks! Inputs and comments from experienced authors really help us understand what's happening. For us new authors, we expect December to be a great season (based on marketing models of other items) but it appears books operate differently.

P.S. JR, love your avatar!

Offline elizabethbarone

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2017, 10:08:34 PM »
December is always slow for me (though December 2016 was one of my best months -- probably because I released a book in November then a followup Christmas novella in December). This month's been especially slow (but I just came off a 90-day cliff, and I haven't done a lot of promo, either).

Lots of factors can contribute.

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Offline JRTomlin

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2017, 10:11:21 PM »
Thanks! Inputs and comments from experienced authors really help us understand what's happening. For us new authors, we expect December to be a great season (based on marketing models of other items) but it appears books operate differently.

P.S. JR, love your avatar!
Glad you like it. :)

January and February make up for it for me. Things pick up for me almost immediately after Christmas. Of course, every year I worry that it won't happen this time.

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Offline AmesburyArcher

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2017, 03:33:36 AM »
Mine has been very good, but I noticed it slowing up yesterday with the sales coming in later in the day--no doubt because people were out shopping or doing Solstice/Christmassy things (as I was myself--out on a Solstice lantern walk to the secred spring in my town of Amesbury). Today, sales/reads are flatter than a pancake so far.
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Offline TobiasRoote

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2017, 04:26:49 AM »
I was pretty static through Nov/Dec/Jan last year, then it dropped in Feb/Mar. It's a lot harder to tell this year because I'm completely wide on a range of platforms and all are performing well. I had a good November and anticipate it will be higher this year in December and hopefully January with a new book out on the 10th and my audio book getting into its stride, will be even better.


[edit]
I've just checked my figures and if I'd stayed in Amazon and KU this last year I would have had to give up writing. Where my Amazon figures are going down, my wide figures keep going up. Hopefully, that should continue as I've only just got some of the income streams up and running and they're already giving me optimism for 2018.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 05:08:22 AM by TobiasRoote »


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Offline Evenstar

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2017, 04:59:22 AM »
December is always supposed to be a bad sales month because people are so busy preparing for Christmas.

However my sales are always better than normal because of my teen romance books. Teens are off school and they don't have to do all the shopping and cooking etc that keeps the parents away from reading.

But January is usually the best month of the year as people take more time for themselves, are staying in, and have brand new kindles to fill.

Offline solo

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2017, 07:05:16 AM »
For a new author like me, it really looks strange.

Went back to my sales dashboard and found sales of e-books and KU reads started tapering off 18 December. I only have 2 books live on Amazon. But a comparison of the trend for the 1st half of December and today shows a daily sales reduction of about 15 ebooks and around 10,000 KU reads (can't really rely on the KU breakdown as reports may be delayed from other places). Yet BSR and subgenre ranking remained the same.

Interesting trend. A bit strange. Will monitor it. But I really do hope sales pick up after the 25th.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 07:07:52 AM by solo »

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2017, 07:20:57 AM »
Pre-Christmas lots of paperback sales...

This.

I normally sell a lot of print. But this month, I've been like...






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Offline Saboth

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2017, 10:27:07 AM »
Thanks! Inputs and comments from experienced authors really help us understand what's happening. For us new authors, we expect December to be a great season (based on marketing models of other items) but it appears books operate differently.

P.S. JR, love your avatar!

Yeah, it's funny, this is my first year publishing. The common logic I heard was, "You've GOT to have something out for December!" So I released a second book 1.5 weeks ago thinking that with the mad Christmas rush, I was going to cash in, but sales are about 1/5 of what my September-released book was, and everyone said September is an awful time to release a book.

From what I can determine from AMS, and just looking at the store, it seems the giants of the genres all released this month, and everyone is pumping massive cash into ads, promotions, newslists, etc. So little newbies with $1 per day AMS ads get swept away like a dust mote under the bed.

Offline brkingsolver

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2017, 11:02:20 AM »
I released a book last December and had my best month ever, but most of that came in the last week of the year. I also released a new book this December and I'll probably do about the same as last year or a little better. The payoff for the December release comes in January. I earned about 90% of my revenues in 2017 in the first six months, but I didn't release anything new between June and December.

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Offline LilyBLily

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2017, 11:25:44 AM »
December so far has been very bad. I'm putting some hopes in my new series, which releases next week. I'm very glad I don't have to pay key bills like the mortgage with this (lack of) income.

Offline TonyGonline

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2017, 11:38:25 AM »
My ebook sales have been ok but I've sold a good few paperbacks, which is unusual for me....I could do with lots more unusual  :)

Offline archaeoroutes

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2017, 11:41:24 AM »
It's my biggest month for print.
It's also pretty good for ebooks, but then I tend to release an anthology at the end of November each year, so that would affect the comparison.

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Offline solo

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2017, 03:58:59 PM »
December so far has been very bad. I'm putting some hopes in my new series, which releases next week. I'm very glad I don't have to pay key bills like the mortgage with this (lack of) income.

Checking  my sales today.....  :o
Ebooks down 20 to 25 daily compared to 1st half of December. KU reads almost flatlined. Ranking is up. LOL
I'd rather go with the opposite - ranking down but sales up in the same proportion.

Offline rjspears

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Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2017, 04:52:28 PM »
My sales seem to be down, but KU numbers are up.
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