Saturday, 13 March 2010

Hold a Self-publisher to account: Month 6

Wow! How quickly 6 months go by! Later in the month I will complete a 6 month review, but for now, here are the stats from February. Apologies for the delay. I am now Officially Back :)

Downloads: 256 (forecast 400)

Lulu direct

Bookstore: 2

Direct from me

Total: 2 (forecast 12)


4th - Rough Trade gig

7th - write-up of Rough Trade in Young's Literary London blog

19th - publicity for teh gigs on Authonomy blog

23rd - To Hell With Books gig

25th - write-up of To Hell gig

This was a disappointing month in terms of figures, and it has taught some valuable lessons, that I hope to start learning straightaway. To wit,
  • book readings do not always produce sales. Rough Trade was significantly more productive for all of us in terms of sales than the To Hell With Books gig, but that is not necessarily indicative of value. There are so many intangibles with readings, such as teh people who say nothing but go away as fans, taht it is impossible to quantify their value, and possibly wrong to think of them in terms of sales potential. We now have our books for sale at both venues, and that may, in the long run, be the most valuable thing of all.
  • focusing on the readings alone took up so much time that I was unable to do any other real promotion for the book which was certainly detrimental. There is a balance to be struck between focus and having a broad portfolio


Well, I know now that I've already had some more sales that I hadn't been expecting, so this is slightly artificial, but I will forecast 8 sales, and will stick to 400 downloads in the hope that the spike at the end of February continues, and in anticipation of, I hope, some good results from Read an ebook week, from March 7-13th, which is being heavily promoted on Smashwords.


  1. I do think you're likely to see the fruits of your readings in the slightly longer term - and having your book for sale at those venues is great!

    February was a strange month for me on Smashwords. By 26th February my downloads were well down on January's, but then for some reason on both the 27th and 28th I had over 100 downloads each day, and ended up with 817 for the month. I don't know what caused that two-day spike, but I'm glad of it :-)

  2. Wow! That's huge - yes, things suddenly seem to have picked up on smashwords - I'm guessing it's to do with advance publicity for read an ebook week - I'll be interested to see how much things continue once that's finished. Your figures are just extraordinary!