I’ve blogged about the sales results of paid advertising (here, here, and here) and the sales results of this blog (here).
Today, I’m going to examine the results of other free advertising options, mostly forum posts, interviews, other blogs, and reviews.
The chart below shows my total daily sales for all three of my books combined along with various reviews, interviews, posts, etc. Click the chart to enlarge it.
As you can see, this chart is a bit harder to evaluate, so let’s go over it in more detail.
KindleBoards posts. I’ve posted on Kindleboards to announce book releases and blog posts. As you can see with the green triangles, there are a few correlations between the blog posts and a spike in sales, but it’s not consistent. Of course, posting on message boards can’t hurt. But, at least for me, it doesn’t result in a huge spike in sales.
Interviews. I’ve been interviewed on three sites, but it doesn’t appear that any of them really impacted my sales immediately.
Spalding’s Racket. It looks like the biggest jump in sales came when Nick mentioned my novel, Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance, on his blog, Spalding’s Racket on January 28th. I sold 10 books that day, a very good number, and 20 the next! Nick’s blog has about 100 followers, and I’m sure that some portion of those sales were due to him. Thanks, Nick! I encourage everyone to check his blog out. He does a great job of making noise about new and independent authors.
The other thing to notice about this chart is that after the release of my 2nd and 3rd books, there was an obvious bump in average sales. Really, it seems that for consistent increases in sales, publishing more books is the best strategy.
What all this tells me is that I haven’t found a silver bullet to get me huge spikes in sales. All of these unpaid advertising options probably help me get sales over time, but there isn’t one that seems to rise above the others as a sure thing.
I could ask what would have happened if I hadn’t been posting on messageboards, getting interviewed, getting reviews, and so on. Of course, we’ll never know for sure, but I have to believe that my sales would not be growing as quickly.
So, what’s my advice for all the other self-publishing authors out there? Well, even though it’s hard to find direct correlation with unpaid marketing efforts (interviews, reviews, other blogs, etc.), you should still do your best to get them. Eventually, all those mentions will start boosting your sales. And, you can’t sell books unless people know about them.