One of the difficulties in figuring out just how things are going with One Night in Bridgeport is how Amazon reports sales. First, there’s the fact that paperbacks are published and accounted for on one website, while Kindle downloads are handled and accounted for on another website. That’s not so bad. The paperback website keeps things easy — everything is reported by the calendar month and provides relatively up-to-date, real time data on sales and royalties.
The Kindle website is another story. There are three different sales/royalty reports provided. There is:
1. Month to Date Unit Sales, which provides the author with nothing more than the number of downloads, both paid and free, for each of the author’s books that are available on the Kindle. There is no royalty information. Nothing other than raw numbers of sales/downloads — free and paid for.
2. Prior six weeks’ royalties, which provides information each Sunday for the prior week’s sales. This report does not indicate the Lending Library downloads that are free to the “borrower” but still pays the author something. That something isn’t identified until the middle of the following month, with the fee paid to the author for each borrower set based on monthly figures, not weekly figures. So, when you have a week that crosses months, downloads at the beginning of the week within one month, say January, may pay different than the downloads at the end of the week, within another month, say February.
3. Prior Months’ Royalties, which finally, around the middle of the month provides you with actual cold hard data for everything for the prior month.
I finally got that report today for January, when all sorts of positive things started happening, particularly with One Night in Bridgeport.
Let’s recap. Couple of promotions in January, culminating in the free Kindle download offer on January 27 and 28, which resulted in, according to the Monthly Royalty report, 5,936 people downloading the book for free. One of those people apparently returned the book and got a refund. I’m still trying to figure out how you get a refund for something that was free. Those free downloads, surprisingly, netted me no royalties.
However, beginning on January 29, things started happening. Over the final three days of January, 103 people downloaded Bridgeport for their Kindle and paid the $2.99. In addition, 22 people borrowed it via the Kindle Lending Library, and 2 people purchased the paperback. So, in those three days, a grand total of 127 people acquired the book in a manner that I get a royalty.
Plus, because of the Month-to-Date Unit Sales report which provides real-time information about the current month, even if it doesn’t include the royalty paid, I can now add that number to February transactions. Since February 1, which was my peak day for sales, things have been dwindling. Yesterday, February 14, was the first day in which I had no sales or borrows. I guess I can chalk it up to Valentine’s Day. I mean, who wants to buy a book about a one night stand and an allegation of rape on such a day. Today, things perked up a bit. For the first time in a couple of days, I had more than one sale/borrow. As of the writing of this post, a grand total of four today. But, in the bigger picture, during the month of February, I have had 113 people download the book for $2.99 a pop, and another 89 borrow it via the Lending Library. Which means, the grand total since January 29 is … 329. (Feel free to double check my math.) In addition, about twelve copies of my short story collections have sold since this all began.
There you have it.
There have also been more positive reviews on Amazon. Like this one:
Lately Ive read so many mediocre kendle books that Ive begun to not expect much. What a nice surprise One Night In Bridgeport turned out to be from the very first page I had a hard time putting it down. Thank You Mark Paxson. I look forward to more!
I think I can live with that.
Meanwhile, my entry in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest failed to make it to the second round. What do those judges know anyway?!?! And, I continue to wait to hear from the agent who asked for the first ten pages.