On January 15, 2013 I launched my first ebook, a tutorial on setting up Google Authorship for WordPress. The book didn’t do too bad – nothing like the gurus of today tell you an ebook can do, but it didn’t bomb either. Below is my 12 month income report from the ebook.
Launch – January 15, 2013
January sales: $21.11
For some crazy reason, the first two weeks of the ebook I selected the 30% payout option, versus the 70% option. I really don’t know why I did that, but around the beginning of February I changed it to the 70% payout option.
As part of the KDP Select Program from Amazon, you can offer your ebook free for up to 5 days during the enrollment period (90 days). During that promotional period, 912 ebooks were downloaded, hurtling the book to #1 in several categories (as a free ebook). I did the promotion on a Thursday to Monday. Since the ebook was in a category that wasn’t totally saturated, getting it to the top of the best seller list wasn’t real difficult. However, everyone thinks that an over-the-weekend promotion is best, I actually think if I had done my promotion on a Monday-Friday, it would have received more downloads. Something I’ll test in the upcoming year.
February sales: $17.93
March sales: $13.67
April sales: $12.34
May sales: $17.11 (including one sale in Germany – interesting)
June sales: $3.09
July sales: $0
August sales: $9.72
In August, I edited the book, adding new screenshots and updated the information related to the plugin. I also took time to read through the feedback (reviews, emails, and comments from people I know) and incorporated those comments into the new version.
September sales: $6.82
October sales: $0
November sales: $0
December sales: $0
Total 2013 Amazon income for Google Authorship for WordPress: $80.68
Total ebooks in circulation: 1,117
Obviously, launching a small, how-to, niched ebook is no path to millions. Even though the book reached #1 on several best-seller categories (during the promotional period), it still didn’t really do much for my business’s bottom line.
Looking back, I do think that my next book will have a little more info about me, and a specific call to action – probably a newsletter signup or something. The free promo option is a great tool for building a list that you can follow up with, and I missed that opportunity.
I also read about (after my promotions) about a few websites that list your upcoming free ebook promotion. At first I thought this was a great tool, but now I’m not so sure. Sure, it might help your ebook on its way to the number one slot, but the people that are downloading it aren’t really your target audience. They just want a free ebook.
It’s like running a Facebook contest for more fans and giving away an iPad – you’re not really gaining true brand fans, you’re just gaining people that like free iPads. So I’m happy that I didn’t use those services.
Lastly, I think my next ebook will contain a few links to various blogs I’ve written, thus securing my branding a little more wth my readers.
As 2014 approaches, I still have ebook writing on my radar, but not at the top. I think its a good brand promotion tool, especially when combined with the Kindle KDP Promotion program.