Crunching the Numbers. or How Many Books Did I Sell?

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Patricia Fryby Patricia Fry

I get requests for interviews from newspaper reporters and radio show hosts to talk about my venture into fiction writing after writing nonfiction for so long. I know how important it is to give real sales figures, so I took time to go over all of my carefully compiled statements at Amazon. To date, I’ve sold over 40,000 Kindle copies of the Klepto Cat Mysteries and given away an additional 12,000 Kindle editions during the promotions Amazon offers authors.

I published the first Klepto Cat Mystery as a Kindle-only book in June of 2013. The sales figures above are through March of 2015.

What are my secrets to success? Well, there are actually no secrets. I (and other professionals) have been teaching and preaching three major concepts for years.

  • Write what is wanted/needed by a segment of readers—and then write for that reader—keep the reader in mind throughout the entire writing process.
  • Hire a good book editor before launching the book (Fry uses Bonnie Myhrum, SPAWN member)
  • Promote, promote, promote.

No one will buy a book they don’t know exists. Books need exposure. It is up to the author to know who his audience is, where they are, and how to approach them. You must do the legwork—go ahead, entice them, continually remind them about your book. Nudge them, give them incentives to read your book instead of (or along with) the others in this genre or topic.

If you write fiction, consider publishing your books for Kindle. I first publish each of the Klepto Cat Mysteries (revved-up cozy or light mysteries) for Kindle. I have ten books currently published for Kindle. I then follow up with print copies. Six of the books in this series are also in print. but they don’t sell as well as the Kindle books.

This is not true across the board. I sell more print copies of my books for authors—Publish Your Book, Promote Your Book, and Talk Up Your Book—than I do Kindle or audio books. I’ve learned that the majority of those who read fiction do so on their e-readers.

It never hurts to have help. Dennis Mullican formats the books for Create Space; Virginia Lawrence (former executive director of SPAWN) formats for Kindle, deals with Kindle Direct, and creates and maintains my websites. Bernadette Kazmarski (see article) designs the cover art.

I hope this bit of advice from someone who has experienced it will help you enjoy the success you desire. It’s not easy. It may be a stretch for you to write within a popular genre when you’d rather write your memoir, for example, but if you want publishing success, it’s important.


Patricia Fry, author, book editor, consultant: http://www.patriciafry.com
Books by Patricia Fry: http://www.matilijapress.com

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