As regular readers will know, I have been indulging in a few promotional activities recently – talks to groups (another one tomorrow, at a local library), appearing at the Alderney Literary Festival, and allowing Sam to be interviewed for Helen Hollick’s A-Z Blogging Challenge. And I thought you might like to know whether all of this activity has translated – so far, anyway – into sales. So I have examined the figures, and here’s the result.
After my talk at the Rotary Club, I sold two paperback copies of “Fatal Forgery” (i.e. “Plank 1”) to people in the lobby afterwards – it was not a promoted sale, exactly, but they asked if I had any with me, and (surprise, surprise) I did. At Rotary Club meetings, you are not allowed to engage in commercial activity, so I couldn’t set up my usual post-talk bookstall.
My leftovers have just been returned by the organisers of the Alderney Literary Festival, and over the three days of the event their bookshop sold all twenty paperback copies of “Fatal Forgery” that I had supplied (hurrah!), eleven copies of “The Man in the Canary Waistcoat” (i.e. “Plank 2”) and seven copies of “Worm in the Blossom” (“Plank 3”).
And after Sam’s interview went live on Helen’s blog on 4 April, I sold four “Fatal Forgery” e-books, four “Canary” e-books and one paperback “Canary”. The reason that “Canary” did so well is that this is the book that Helen’s blog mentioned – whereas other sales figures suggest that “Fatal Forgery” sells best (I suppose because it’s a series, and although each story does stand alone, I guess people like to start at the beginning).
So what to learn from all of this? I think that people are more likely to buy if they can see and hold the physical books, and they seem to like them to be signed as well. And promotion does increase sales – not hugely, to be sure, given the amount of time it takes to do the promotion in the first place, but who knows whether this drip-feed will lead to increased sales in the future? And I always hope that each sale will lead to more, as people read the books, enjoy them, and recommend them to friends.