Friday, 1 January 2010

Hold a Self-publisher to account: Month 4


smashwords - 335

Scribd - 7

Total - 342 (forecast: 300)

Lulu direct: 3

Bookshop: 2

Total: 5 (forecast 5)


1 Dec - Words with Jam ezine is issued, featuring 2 columns of mine, both mentioning Songs

1 Dec - Free-e-day

6 Dec - my article on "The Inconvenient Truth About Voice" republished on Publetariat

8 Dec - Songs enters the Smashwords top 50 (the only time I tweet a link this month)

13 Dec - Songs features on Deborah Riley-Magnus' Christmas Shoppnig recommendations

16 Dec - Songs reviewed by Guy Gonzalez on Google Reads - receiving 4 stars

18 Dec - Songs on the smashwords premium catalogue (again?)

18 Dec - Thirteen Shadows Waiting fro Sunrise released


I met both targets this month, which was very pleasing. Analysis of the download graphs, though, is confusing. There was the anticipated spike for Free-e-day, and also a (surprisingly large) spike for one tweet mentioning I was in the top 50 on smashwords. But there was a major month end spike, with well over 20 downloads on each of 4 days in the last week of December, correspondnig, as far as I can tell from google, to no particular event - all I can suggest is people at home with new Kindles they want to load up.

The 3 sales on Lulu, 2 of them to strangers (I still have no idea who) were particularly pleasing. I was right that family bought no copies for Christmas, though. I have a feeling, from the timing of these, they may be connected to Guy's review - which is a thumbs up for Google Reads if that's true.


I don't have an ISBN as I'd imagined I would - in the end I decided to hold out, and will do so again this month.

I will be fairly quiet promotionally this month because I'm busy arranging the Year Zero live gig on 4 Feb (when I hope to sell several copies) and preparing SKIN BOOK for physical release at the start of February. I will, however, begin teaching creative writing classes at the Albion Beatnik, which may lead to a sale or two, although I will not be actively selling, of course. IMAY also do a reading in Bristol on the 25th. We are also expecting Year zero reviews from Alternative Reads over the next 3 months, but it is impossible to say when this will happen.

On the download front, I am due for read and review at the efictionbookclub in the week of January 7th, which I hope will bring me some independent reviews I can start to use in promotional material. Advance, diligent downloading by the lub's readers MAY, of course, account for the late December spike - in which case do not expect a mini spike in a week's time.

All of which make predictions difficult for January - I am hoping February will be more predicatble with a series of readings and bookshop discussions. I will play safe an forecast 5 sales but push and predict 400 downloads, in the hope that I will receive positive recommendations from efictionblookclub.


  1. Thanks once again for these figures, Dan. They're endlessly fascinating :-)

    I had a couple of spikes in late December, too, which were certainly not relevant to anything I was doing (I was out of town). You're probably right about people trying out their new toys.

  2. Or maybe they're related to samshwords activity. I keep wondering about the premium catalogue, but Mark says they won't have download stats from Barnes & Noble until after the first quarter, so it's not that.

  3. Speaking of B&N: they've just started showing Sales Rankings for the Smashwords books. They include free e-books, so I presume it's total downloads rather than dollar value.