Spent waaaaay too long today making charts in whatever the OpenOffice version of Excel is called (Calc apparently, I just checked). Numbers on their own don’t mean all that much to me, but in chart form it all looks rather positive, a gradual increase in sales from month-to-month, nothing spectacular, no sudden jumps, just a slow rise. I think what I may try for my second half-year as an indie author is a ‘no active promotion’ strategy, it’s what I’ve been doing for the last two months or so and not promoting seems to have had no effect on my sales at all. I’ve done giveaways and a couple of guest posts, but I think what’re actually getting me sales are Amazon’s mysterious algorithms; Also Bought lists and relevant-but-uncrowded book categories. I think it’s important to do some promotion to start with, ‘hand-selling’ as it’s called, I was terrible at that and still am, but once you’ve got a couple of cross-sales with other, similar books you start showing up in Also Boughts and I think that, more than anything else, will bring a trickle of sales. Further than that you just have to hope that you’ve written a book that will appeal to whoever’s buying it enough for them to recommend it to others.
I think that a good strategy for a beginning indie author would be to combine efforts with other indie authors in the same genre, with similar books. Say you hook up with five other authors, you all agree to price at 99 cents initially, you all release your books at the same time, you all buy each others books and encourage others to do the same. This will help everyone, because whenever a potential reader finds any of your books, they’ll also see the others in the Also Bought list. That means any promotion you do also helps the others in your ‘group’, and any promotion they do helps you. In game terms, you’re increasing your ‘Promotion Multiplier’ with every additional person in your group–although I think five would be pretty much ideal, seeing as that’s how many books show up on the first ‘page’ of Also Boughts. The hardest part of this strategy would be finding other indie authors with similar books, other than that it’s an initial cost to you of a few dollars, you get a couple of sales right off the bat, and everything you do to promote your book also helps others.
Anyway, I hear the beautiful sound of a courier van’s door sliding open, which means Child of Eden is here. Very, very much looking forward to this, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, described as ‘basically Rez 2’, unbelievably beautiful, this is a game that is decidedly for me.