Thursday, 27 March 2014

Who thought different countries would buy my e-books so differently!

Astronomicon Science Fiction books
I have been assessing my book sales over the last twelve months.Variations are to be expected, but the shape of my sales statistics have been changing over the last twelve months much faster than I would have expected. The truly difficult part is working out why.

*For my analysis I'm only going to use sales in primarily English-speaking countries. I do sell a few books in Germany and France etc., but not enough to be statistically viable for analysis.

Astronomicon 1: The Beginning:

Last year this book was my bestseller in the US, but not any more. Now it sells best in Canada, with the UK coming a close second. US sales have become very weak and I have no idea what has changed.

Astronomicon 2: Distant Relatives:

This book's sales were always split down the middle between the US and the UK. The pickup rate from the first book to the second was markedly higher in the UK, but I always assumed that as I'm British, American readers might find my writing, especially dialogue, a little alien. Now it sells well in Canada and the UK but US sales have dwindled badly.

Astronomicon 3: Those Left Behind:

Annoyingly, this one was never a popular seller. I have always been a little depressed by that as I firmly believe it is the best piece of science fiction I have ever written so far. However it's Canadian sales have increased markedly over the past twelve months and US sales have all but stopped. UK sales have remained pretty static.

Astronomicon: Icarus:

By far my best selling book currently, but last year it was selling two copies in the UK for every one sold in the US. Now the US outsells the UK about 6 to 1. Canada also beats the UK hands down on this one and I have no idea why. It seems that:

  • Canadian readers buy this book and then go on to buy all the other Astronomicon books.
  • American readers buy this book with greater enthusiasm but most stop there.
  • British readers shy away from this one, instead preferring to begin with Astronomicon: The Beginning.


Astronomicon: Icarus has benefited from an ongoing 99c offer which has clearly boosted its sales greatly. Maybe US readers are more easily swayed by a low price offer? 

If I could persuade US readers to buy my other books after purchasing Astronomicon: Icarus, that would fix my US sales issue. Equally if I could somehow make Icarus as popular in the UK as it is across the Atlantic that would also be a major boost.

Anyway, for now my focus is on writing Astronomicon: Deadline, another standalone novel within the Astronomicon universe. Once that is ready for publication I think I will have to sit back and reassess my marketing efforts. If with each book I write, I learn more, hone my skills and expand my reach into social networking then success can be eventually achieved without relying on luck. Marketing is important but it gets easier with more and better books to market.

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