Writer Joe Konrath has a very good blog post about book sales and true fans. If you have not read it head on over and do so. Basically, he’s saying you can’t make a living just selling your e-books cheap. You have to have repeat sales. Readers have to like your work enough to come back for more. Even if the next book is slightly more expensive.Those who come back, are your true fans.
I have an experiment going on right now that will help quantify his observations for authors who are significantly less well-known, like myself. My gateway drug for readers is Starstrikers. It’s selling over 200 e-books a month on Kindle for the low price of $.99 cents. My latest book, Tales From Ocherva Volume One, was just introduced last month for the new low price of $2.99. So far it has sold less than ten books. All future books I release will be at the $2.99 price point or higher.
Over the next month or two, I would hope that readers who connected with Starstrikers, would come back and get the new e-book. Those readers are my true fans. They liked the first book and they will come back for more. Those precious true fans are in for a treat this year, because this fall I will release my third novel – Tyrmia. So that will be three e-books set in the same SF universe. Fan nirvana. It’s rare to get two books in one year from someone not writing full time.
If sales for TFO increase this month and sales of Tyrmia also rise, then it will be obvious that I have a small fan base. But if sales only stay steady for Starstrikers, then that will indicate that I’m not much of a writer and had better throw in the towel. Or perhaps go back to mysteries. Interesting times ahead, for sure.
UPDATE: You can see the parity between my two books by looking at the front page of this website. When the Kindle numbers are closer together, fans are buying. When Starstrikers is lower by far than Ocherva, not so much fan buying going on.