Tracking Performance

I track the sales of all my books on as many distribution channels as I can. This allows me to achieve several objectives.

First, I can see if I am reaching a larger number of readers over time. While I don’t have a specific target figure for how many readers I want to get during a given time period, I do want to see the number of new readers go up over time.

The second objective I can evaluate is whether I am retaining readership as my series continues. I don’t just track the total sales, but the sales ratio of each consecutive book. (Note that this analysis only applies to a book series.)

In the example below, Book 1 is offered for free. I expect a large number of downloads, and while I hope that 15000 readers actually read the first book in the series, I have no way of knowing this. What I can measure is the number and ratio of readers who go on to buy Book 2. In this example, that 375 fans who liked Book 1 enough to purchase Book 2. This now becomes a metric I can manage through campaigns, pricing, promotions, etc.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine if the percentage shown (2.5%) is an average number, higher or lower than average, since I don’t know of too many authors who actually track this number. However, the editors at Misque Press have given me access to the sales figures for one of the leading series it publishes, The Unfinished Song series by Tara Maya. The ratio of Book 2 in that series to the first book in the series is almost 6%, meaning that more than one reader out of twenty who downloads Book 1 goes on to buy book 2.

This shows that after the second book in the series, my results are not that different than those for a successful series like The Unfinished Song. These statistics showed me that I have to find ways to get more people who download Avid Angler to move on to the second book in the series, Busty Ballbreaker, from one out of 40 readers to one out of 20.

Of course, that is easier said than done. Some ideas include:

  • Make sure that there is a download link to the next book in the series in each book
  • Use pricing as a way of encouraging purchase of the subsequent story in the series
  • Increase advertising of the second book in the series

If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear from you. If you offer me a suggestion of how to accomplish a higher purchase rate, let me know what book in the series you’d like and I will send you a link to get that book for free.

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