People ask me how my sales are going, assuming the book is selling fine. Well, to be honest, I have no idea. It wasn’t selling well during the months I do have information for, but iUniverse has a totally f’d up sales reporting system and software. The recent activity sales report launches a PDF file that says basically no dice, we’re not working, call us. Of course, the very nice people on the phone have no clue either as they have access to the same non-information as I do.
I could click Historical Sales, but it’s stuck at July. Yup, very useful to be up to 3 months behind in my sales numbers when trying to decide if my current marketing methods are working or not. The only feedback I have is the Amazon sales rank. If the number grows smaller, then I made some sales, but whether 1 or 10 copies I have no idea. If the number grows larger, then I know the book is not selling. Meanwhile the copy at Book City continues to sit in the Biography section as people go in, can’t find it, and walk out again without asking the very nice sales people for help in finding it. The sales folks at book chains don’t bite you know, unlike small bookstore owners. But my book isn’t in small bookstores.
I could click Royalty statements but they’re only updated way back at Q2 (April, May, June). So how are my sales going? Don’t know, but I do know that if people pass on their copies instead of recommending to others to buy Lifeliner, then there are no sales. And I do know that without aggressive marketing on my part, which requires lots of energy and good health, then there are no sales. So I’m going to try and very slowly send out press releases to attract radio interviews. And I also have on my to-do list to do some sort of Christmas marketing effort. In the meantime, I’ll try not to get frustrated with the book business expecting me to be paid months and months later and to work in a vacuum of information.