March 2010 was my most successful month since first putting my books on the Kindle in March of 2008. Here is a year-by-year March recap for Starstrikers: March 2008 – 4 Each for $5.60, March 2009 – 2 Each for $2.80, March 2010 – 230 Each for $80.50. To be fair, the first two years, the cover price was $4.00 and this year the cover price is $.99.
The February 2010 sales for Starstrikers totaled 27 and January’s total was just 5. Clearly something happened in February to spark interest in my book. I’m not exactly sure, but I have an idea what may have caused it. The end of January was when Amazon and Macmillan started their war about pricing books on the Kindle. For several weeks customers could not purchase well known, established writer’s books on their Kindles. I think this led to them to look around for something else to read and many came down to the bargain books that were either free or only a couple of dollars. I can’t prove this is what happened, but it might explain why at least one sale per day was the norm for Starstrikers throughout the month of February.
Then in early March, sales began to take off with at least one day in which I sold 7 or more books. This kind of mini-surge in sales was enough to lift the book onto a few bestseller lists in the SF > Adventure and SF > Space Opera categories. From there, momentum rose until the daily average sales went from three, to five and finally, to ten. I think once your book gets on a few lists, it becomes easier to stay on the list as being on the list exposes your book to more eyes and hence more sales.
The increase in sales from February to March was a whopping 460 percent. This seems to fit what established authors have indicated that in the past three months their sales have tripled. I’m not sure that many more people have purchased Kindles, so something eles must be going on. Maybe readers with Kindles have already burned through all the NYT Best Sellers and are now looking for other books to read. Maybe the iPhone and PC Kindle apps have helped expose more readers to Kindle books. In the end, I might never know.
It’s interesting to postulate where sales might go in April. Will I see further growth or will the numbers remain steady? Only time will tell. There is another possibility. I have one other book on the Kindle, a Mystery novel staring a computer programmer. Null_Pointer is technically a better novel than Starstrikers and it has potentially greater appeal as a traditional Mystery. So far, sales have been around five per month.
If that book takes off, possibly from computer geeks who liked the Space Opera book, then I could see another big spike in sales. I’ll let you know what happens a month from now.