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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, in my previous life I was a network engineer for AT&T. I managed the performance of the toll network for the Eastern U.S. into Canada. What does that have to do with book sales? I think, the probability of having twenty sales of one book in less than two days, and then having no sales for a week is about as unlikely as having ten million telephone calls in an hour and then having ten thousand the next hour. And it's driving me a little crazy trying to figure out why. And, as far as I can tell, there was nothing unusual to drive up sales, or to drive them back down again. I wish I knew what the difference was and then I could do it every day. Any thoughts?
 

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Have you Googled your name and book title to see if you got a mention on a popular blog? Is it possible the first few sales were an accident but that briefly put you onto some niche category list, so that others found you? If it's a physical book, maybe a friend bought up twenty copies so they could pass some out to everyone they know?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dara,

Thanks for your comments (and I love your book covers). Yes, I have Google set up to let me know when my name comes up. And I was only referring to ebook sales. Sometimes I think that Kindle doesn't report sales for a few days. It's kind of frustrating to go from the top 2% in sales to the top 20% in a few days. Oh well, such is life. Thanks.
 

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They can fluctuate. I think there are a number of factors such as the price of the book and the audience and - certainly in UK, not sure if US is similar - what date most people get paid (UK it's generally during the 4th week of the month so a lot of book buying goes on the following week). You get to accept that you might sell 40 books a day one week and 10 a day the next. You see a pattern that averages out. Just as sales can drop, they can pick back up again.
 

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Larry Buttram said:
Dara,

Thanks for your comments (and I love your book covers). Yes, I have Google set up to let me know when my name comes up. And I was only referring to ebook sales. Sometimes I think that Kindle doesn't report sales for a few days. It's kind of frustrating to go from the top 2% in sales to the top 20% in a few days. Oh well, such is life. Thanks.
Thanks, I've been admiring your cover for The Greatest Gift. :) You may be right that it's just a glitch on Amazon's part, a delay in the sales report. Sometimes that happens to me and I go from low sales to a glut of them all at once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dara,

Thanks for your comment regarding the cover for The Greatest Gift. A friend of mine did most of my covers. The girl on The Third Generation is his daughter. She's Asian although in the story she's half Black and half White. I just had my first sale in a couple of days.
 

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Larry Buttram said:
So, in my previous life I was a network engineer for AT&T. I managed the performance of the toll network for the Eastern U.S. into Canada. What does that have to do with book sales? I think, the probability of having twenty sales of one book in less than two days, and then having no sales for a week is about as unlikely as having ten million telephone calls in an hour and then having ten thousand the next hour. And it's driving me a little crazy trying to figure out why. And, as far as I can tell, there was nothing unusual to drive up sales, or to drive them back down again. I wish I knew what the difference was and then I could do it every day. Any thoughts?
I discovered in advertising, where among other things I controlled research budgets totalling $160mpa to answer exactly this sort of question - that some questions have no definitive answers, that you have to take your luck where you find it, and run with it.

A random thread about readers' book buying budgets gave me an insight, once someone else added her experience, into the peaks at the beginning and end of each month. I've never in my life budgeted buying books or music, so neither the explanation nor its mechanism would have occurred to me without the serendipitous thread I stumbled across. Pure happenstance. I'm sure it is true in some cases.

Here's the kicker. In the particular peak I was investigating, it wasn't true. There was some other explanation, of which the likeliest candidate became clear when the peak just kept getting taller and a little mental arithmetic showed a geometric progression; it was a book that had been kickstarted and was taking off. Good luck in sorting out the tiny elements of word of mouth that created that buzz!

Marketing books is more akin to throwing bread on the water than marketing Heinz diet mayo. It's futile to seek the same level of analysis, knowledge and control.
 
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