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Goblin Tales: Day One

Well that was an interesting 24 hours. In the first official day of being on sale, Goblin Tales sold a total of 66 copies.  The breakdown between Amazon and B&N was:

Amazon: 47 (+2 at Amazon.uk)
B&N: 17

That’s over $120 in royalties in one day. I don’t expect the book to maintain that level of course, but it’s not a bad first day at all, and far better than I’ve ever done with Goldfish Dreams. Goldfish Dreams has sold 52 copies on Amazon since it was first released in October of last year. I’m taking this as strong confirmation of the very reasonable assumption that authors will do better with self-publishing if they have a preexisting fan base. (Goblin fans I have; mainstream fans, not so much.)

I’m very curious to see the longer-term sales. And while I doubt there’s any way to figure it out for certain, I’d love to know whether Goblin Tales in turn leads to any extra sales of the other goblin books.

Lessons Learned Thus Far:

1. I checked the box for worldwide distribution at both Amazon and B&N. Despite this, I’ve gotten several reports that non-U.S. readers have to jump through hoops, or are flat-out unable to buy the books. Not cool. I’m looking into why this is happening and what I can do to make the book more accessible. (It sounds like getting the book posted on Kobo may solve some of this.)

2. I asked folks on Twitter how they felt about “Retweet this!” contests, as I was torn about trying it. Lots of strong, if mixed feelings out there. It might work with some people, but it will also piss off and get you blocked by others. (I decided against doing one.)

3. I have truly wonderful friends and readers. Thank you to everyone who blogged, Facebooked, and Tweeted about the book!

4. The immediate reinforcement that comes from being able to instantly track sales is dangerous, and I can understand why some self-published authors go overboard with promotional posts. “I posted a link on Twitter, and look, I sold three more books! I should do more of this!” Dangerous indeed.

5. The best Amazon rank that I saw was about 1700. I’ll have to sell a lot more copies if I ever want to crack the top 100 list for Kindle.

6. Anyone who says an e-book can be quickly and cleanly slapped together and posted for sale … let’s just say this does not match my experience. Quickly or cleanly, yes. (Lou Anders at Pyr blogged about this last week.)

Other Links:

Melanie Nilles interviewed me about the choice to e-publish.

Sherwood Smith posted a nice little review of the book.

And Sean Sweeney posted the first Amazon review. (He likes the libriomancer story :-) Yay!)

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 16th, 2011 01:37 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on a good first day, and good luck for future days. And thanks for doing this experiment so openly; that's some interesting data.

A detail: both those first two links go to the same place (the Melanie Nilles interview).
Mar. 16th, 2011 01:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks, and fixed!
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 16th, 2011 01:44 pm (UTC)
Having done both the .epub file and the PDF for the print edition of this book ... yeah. So many little details to track and fix, and it's so easy to miss something.

I ended up copying and pasting each story into Notepad just to strip out all of the random and invisible junk code Microsoft Word included.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - jimhines - Mar. 16th, 2011 05:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 16th, 2011 01:43 pm (UTC)
I'll be ordering ASAP, even though I've no e-reader beyond my computers (as I'm waiting for the format wars to settle down and create an adaptable multi-format device that's affordable and not beholden to one retailer or publisher).

As much as I want to help that initial surge of sales, Jim, I'll have to settle for being one of those keeping the numbers wave undulating a little bit later. :)

Mar. 16th, 2011 01:45 pm (UTC)
Both Kindle and Nook have software apps you can download to read on your PC. (Which you might already know, but just in case ;-)

And thanks!
(no subject) - deliiria - Mar. 16th, 2011 02:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - apis_mellifera - Mar. 16th, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 16th, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC)
Huh, Wizard's Tower is interesting - a publisher AND a bookstore/distributor for other small presses. I may have to get in touch with them.
(no subject) - ankewehner - Mar. 16th, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Mar. 16th, 2011 05:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mrs_norris_mous - Mar. 16th, 2011 06:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 16th, 2011 02:12 pm (UTC)
Have you considered uploading to Smashwords? Since you're already on Kindle and B&N, Smashwords can handle the others, including smartphones.

Congrats on a good first day! I'll be picking up GD sometime later today. :-)
Mar. 16th, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Smashwords?
I've already got something lined up and in process for iBooks and Kobo, but thanks!
Re: Smashwords? - nobu - Mar. 16th, 2011 07:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Smashwords? - rowyn - Mar. 16th, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 16th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
We talk about our big, wonderful brains, but give us something like this, and we're nothing but rats in a maze.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - jimhines - Mar. 16th, 2011 06:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 16th, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC)
Nice sales. Congrats!
Mar. 16th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you! So far, so good :-)
Mar. 16th, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
I didn't see the FB post until today. would you still like people to repost? I'd be happy to.
Mar. 16th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
I certainly wouldn't mind if people continued to repost. Advertising aside, I think they were fun updates :-)
Mar. 16th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)
Congrats on the good first day!
Mar. 16th, 2011 08:15 pm (UTC)
I saw the review sartorias put up this morning and I want to know if this will ever see print because I don't do e-books and this sounds like a wonderful read.
Mar. 16th, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC)
Yep. I mentioned in the post yesterday that I'm working on a Lulu PoD version for print. The first book I got wasn't quite right, and I'm waiting for my sample copy of Goblin Tales 2.0 to show up, and which point I'll (hopefully) put it up for sale.

And thanks!
(no subject) - controuble - Mar. 16th, 2011 08:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 16th, 2011 11:08 pm (UTC)
Twitter Contests
Y'know, I find repeated retweets kind of annoying, but hashtags don't bother me, so a contest that tracked use of hashtags would be much better, from my perspective. I don't know if other users object to retweets because they're all the same, or if it's the whole 'using the platform to sell stuff" that bugs them.
Mar. 17th, 2011 01:19 am (UTC)
I'll get it if you put it up on Kobo--neither Amazon nor BN work for me, given the whole Canada + Kobo thing!
Mar. 17th, 2011 02:09 am (UTC)
Working on it. I don't know exactly when it will happen, but it will happen, and I'll post an announcement here when it does. And thank you!
(no subject) - finnyb - Mar. 17th, 2011 03:06 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 17th, 2011 09:04 am (UTC)
Re: BN and available internationally: As far as I know BN is US only.
If Kobo doesn't workout, consider posting it at Omnilit.com. I have heard good things about them.
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )


Jim C. Hines


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