Edit The Second One, Sell The First One: Rinse, Repeat, Profit

Bit of a status update, this post. My wonderful editor–Misti from RedAdept–finished her initial edit of Venus Rising at the end of last week, and we had our edit kickoff call this Tuesday. Some of you might remember this post from the same point during the writing of Ascension Point. Highlights included an hour and a half on the phone to talk through all of the things that needed fixing, and a mammoth 619 comments from Misti on my first draft, as well as all of the inline edits she’d suggested. This time?

Twenty five minutes on the phone. 90 comments on the draft. (Fewer than on the first chapter alone of that draft of Ascension Point.)

So, yeah–it certainly seems like I’m improving as a writer. Hurrah! I’d thought so, but it’s nice to have something approaching quantitative evidence.

Anyway. Lovely wife is away at a conference this week, giving me a certain amount of spare time to fill. There are only so many back episodes of Chuck that I can watch in one evening, so I spent quite a lot of time on my edits, and sent Misti a new draft last night. It’s looking really good, and I’m confident the final draft of Venus Rising that I release in April is going to be great. Exciting times!

In other news (the ‘sell the first one’ part of the headline) today Ascension Point is Ereader News Today’s Book of the Day. This is far and away the biggest promo I’ve ever done. Greg at ENT gets thousands of applicants in January for the 240 BotD slots available for the coming year, so I was thrilled that he deemed Ascension Point worthy of one.

It’s $150 for the promo, and as you’ll have seen from my post a couple of days back I chopped the ebook price down to $2.99 to make it even more enticing to the ENT subscribers. 75 sales will see me break even, which would be a lovely goal to achieve; mainly I’m after some word of mouth and a few more reviews. After eleven hours–and with folks on the west coast of the U.S. just now getting home from work and checking their email–I’ve sold 49 copies and the book’s Amazon rank has gone from 673,000 to 11,000, so it’s looking pretty promising!

I’ll post final numbers in a few days once the bump is over, for the interest of the more writerly readers out there.


2 thoughts on “Edit The Second One, Sell The First One: Rinse, Repeat, Profit

  1. I was going to comment to tell you that 49*$2.99 pretty much adds up to $150, so you only need 50 books to sell rather than 75 – but then I realized you’re probably factoring in Amazon’s cut on the sale price, so I won’t say that because I’ll look stupid.

    On a more serious point – the Book of the Day thing sounds like a very valuable promotion. Not so much from a short-term financial point of view, but I would imagine you’ll see a trickle of ongoing sales, a bunch of reviews, and then (presumably) some kind of positive impact from the increased sales rank on Amazon.

    Do you have any idea (or have you seen any kind of analysis) to indicate the positive impact of a high vs a low sales rank?

    1. Haha–yeah, Amazon keeps 30% of the sale price, which still gives authors a 70% royalty. That’s compared to a standard 10-20% royalty that traditional publishers offer, so it’s a big part of the indie publishing appeal.

      Your analysis of the BotD is spot on. My main goal is to get the book into the hands of a lot of readers in one go, boost the book up the rankings and hope it gets some traction there, as well as getting some more reviews, word of mouth, etc.

      (The secondary goal was breaking even on the cost of the ad, to make the whole endeavour free. Happily I’ve done that now–at 86 sales when I last checked.)

      Another indie author called Edward Robertson has done loads of analysis of Amazon ranks vs. sales. He actually did a post on it last month: http://www.edwardwrobertson.com/2013/02/a-quick-way-to-calculate-amazon-sales.html, which says: “Here’s a quick and dirty formula: 100,000/rank # = sales per day.”

      Ascension Point had a rank of about 2,000, which would be about 50 sales/day, which is about right.

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