I just got my statement and check from Kensington for my 4th Quarter 2016 sales. As of the end of 2016, I had five titles available through Kensington's Lyrical Press. This was also the first quarter in a while I didn't have a BookBub ad, so all sales were pretty much organic without that giant boost. And, I had two new releases, one the very end of September (so it didn't get any representation in the 3rd Quarter) and one the end of October. After some intense scrutiny and number crunching, I thought I'd share my insights on sale books with all of you.
First of all, for those of you who are curious about the benefits of BookBub, here are some figures for a book that released over a year ago. Every Step She Takes released in July of 2015. in July of 2016, it was featured on BookBub for .99 cents. I actually made it into the top 100 overall on Amazon for one day during that period. Total sales of this book for the 3rd Quarter were 3,541 copies. By contrast, total sales for this book the 4th Quarter were 468. I think the value of BookBub speaks for itself. I don't know of any other site that can produce those types of numbers.
So, in the 4th Quarter, my pub put several of my books on sale, trying to stir up interest. The thing with sale books is you don't make a whole lot off of them because Amazon gives the publisher 35% of the total for a .99 cent book vs. 70% for a book priced at $2.99 or higher. The author share of a .99 cent book with a publisher taking their standard 60% is about .14 cents. My ex-agent gets her 15%, so I make .12 cents. Those who are self published would make .34 cents. On a $2.99 book, I make .71 cents, so 6 times as much on a non-sale book. You might ask yourself why anyone would ever sell their book for .99 cents at those prices. Good question. Answer to follow so keep reading!
Remember those two brand new releases in my Born to Be Wilde series? In 2016, neither of them were on sale, and both sold for 3.99. The results were pretty pathetic... 270 sales for Wilde One, and 222 sales for Wilde Side. During this same time, my oldest book with Kensington, Every Move She Makes was on sale for over a month. The result...it sold 662 copies. This book released in March of 2015 and has been on a ton of sales including BookBub, yet it still outsold the brand new releases by 300%! As for actual profits, royalties for every one of my five books were within a $30 differential despite a huge swing in total sales. But, those sale books have an intrinsic value as a promotional device. I estimate that at least 1 in every 3 people who buy the sale book will pay full price for the other books in the series. Those would have been lost sales without the .99 cent book.
You're probably sick of the math lesson by now, but my conclusion is sale price books do help boost your overall sales, both in numbers and $$. So, even if you think you're making pennies off each one (which you are), in the long run, it pays off.
I hope you found all this helpful if you're considering putting your own books on sale. As for my books, right now all three Wilde books are on sale. WILDE ONE and WILDE THING are 99 cents, and WILDE SIDE is $1.99. The sale on Wilde One is supposed to end today, so grab it while you can. I'll be very interested to see what these sales do for my 1st Quarter 2017 figures. I'll report back in a few months! Just click on the titles to go to the Amazon buy links. Happy reading!