rowyn: (studious)
[personal profile] rowyn
It's the second full month since official launch of my polyamorous fantasy romance novel, A Rational Arrangement. (Buy it here! Amazon ~ Kobo ~ Nook ~ iBooks ~ Print).

That means it's time for DATA!

Amazon KDP Sales Graph:
RA Sales Graph 2015-08-29

Total Sales:

Pre-launch: 36
1st Month: 507*
2nd Month: 291
Total to date: 834

Average unit sales:
1st Month: 16.9
2nd Month: 9.4

Since I did a monthiversary post at the end of July, I figured I'd do another at the end of the second month, because I am still all excited about this whole "people are buying my book WHAT" thing. I will probably stop doing these at some point.

August sales were uniformly down from July: I went from having frequent days of 20+ sales and most days having over 10, to no days that were over 20, and most days being 10 or less. For the first few weeks it was an up-and-down seesaw from day to day: 17! 6! 19! 7! The last ten days flattened out to around 6-7 a day.

I have no good explanation for the flattening of sales at the end of August. My bad explanation is "the WorldCon effect": sf&f readers were attending WorldCon and have been buying/reading books they bought in person, and/or reading the Hugo winners, rather than buying new books online. This lines up with anecdotal reports from a few other authors who saw their sales drop in the same period, but I'm not sure WorldCon is the right explanation for the downturn. Sasquan's webpage shows 4,151 attending members, which is a pretty small slice of overall fandom. A huge media con like DragonCon (next weekend!) is more where I'd expect that kind of impact.

I have not systemically tracked RA's sales rank on Amazon. However my rough sense is that it correlates to sales as follows:

18-22 books-per-day: Sales rank around 10,000
10-12: Sales rank around 20,000
5-7: Sales rank around 30,000

This is highly unscientific. Also, while Amazon sales rank is heavily weighted by the most recent sales, it does take into account past sales in some fashion or other.

A Rational Arrangement picked up 8 more reviews this month (yay!) including the best 2-star review ever. Seriously, it starts out with "The author is talented and inventive". The complaint amounts to 'book was not clearly labeled as CONTAINS GAY SEX'. I am totally down with people who look at the reviews seeing one that warns them BOOK CONTAINS GAY SEX.**

In conclusion: I'm still delighted with RA's overall sales. In the next month or two, it's quite likely to hit four-digit sales, which is like WHOA. I would love to see it return to last month's highs, but it's vastly exceeding my expectations as it is. \o/ In September, I plan to buy a modest amount of Amazon advertising. I am curious to see if that will have a perceptible impact! (EDIT: Whoops, looks like a book needs to be Kindle Select in order to run an Amazon ad campaign. Never mind!)

* For anyone wondering why my previous post showed total sales of 550 while pre-launch and first-month sales on this one total 543: my last post included 7 sales from the second month, because I was giving totals to-date on July 30.

** In perfect seriousness, I do feel that the RA blurb should do a better job of establishing that the book is a polyamorous romance and two of the characters are bisexual. But I haven't thought of a way to do so that I like and find consistent with the rest of the book's style. The cover tagline, "It's not easy for individuals of a Certain Disposition to wed in Newlant. But surely three reasonable adults can come to a Rational Arrangement" was intended to suggest this in a way consistent with the book's themes. But it's still pretty subtle. Anyway, I don't actually want to trick people into buying a book they won't like, so I am totally good with a review that warns about it, especially one that does so in such a kindly fashion.

Want to be the 835th buyer of A Rational Arrangement? Find it here! Amazon ~ Kobo ~ Nook ~ iBooks ~ Print

Date: 2015-08-29 04:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Confession: I still haven't bought it yet. I should fix that.

Date: 2015-08-29 06:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carina (from

It's a good book, so I am not surprised at the numbers. :)

Date: 2015-08-30 07:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carina (from
The "abandoned and destroyed old world" concept was a staple in the soviet/russian planetary romance (as in the type of story, not the love-kind romance) I had as kid. I mean, you even have a thriving feudal colony as a result! I wouldn't be very surprised if that was common theme in the western science fictions, too. (Dragon Riders of Pern! One western example! Smells like fantasy at first, has science fiction in its bones!) It hits both the "hubris of man" and the "back before the enlightenment everything was better" buttons.

At least that's what made me mentally shove your work more into the science fiction corner than the fantasy one.

Mind you, I personally like the area where fantasy and science fiction overlap. The speculative fiction universe is wast and wide and far too big to fit neatly into categories.

(From your reactions I take it the science fiction implications of the origin aren't intended?)
Edited Date: 2015-08-30 08:01 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-08-31 10:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carina (from
They could always have read the first few chapters on your page and bought the book on a whim. :)

Pretty sure you have more readers than just us few commentors.

Date: 2015-08-29 06:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I did buy it! Working my way through the rereading of Mating Flight before I read it in 'continuous form'. :)

Date: 2015-08-29 07:03 pm (UTC)
archangelbeth: An anthropomorphic feline face, with feathered wing ears, and glasses, in shades of gray. (Default)
From: [personal profile] archangelbeth
*cheers ya!*

Date: 2015-08-29 10:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Congrats! I have no idea about book sales, but those numbers sound pretty good to me, haha! Also, I am amused at the "book contains gay sex" review... Honestly? In certain circles, (the ones I usually move in...) that's an advertisement- so it might work for you that way, too!

Date: 2015-08-29 11:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I...still need to review it! Can I review it on Amazon and B&N (I bought it on B&N since I have a nook)?

Date: 2015-08-30 12:13 am (UTC)
archangelbeth: An anthropomorphic feline face, with feathered wing ears, and glasses, in shades of gray. (Default)
From: [personal profile] archangelbeth
I think that unless Amazon has changed their settings, you can indeed review books-bought-elsewhere. (They want to be the one-stop-shopping for reviews, because then that means you will be on that page anyway, and are more likely to click "buy" there.) I review a fair number of things I bought on iTunes or Smashwords.

Failing that, B&N and Goodreads (if you have an account there) are also a decent pair of places.

Date: 2015-08-30 07:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yep, Amazon will let you review it. The only difference is you get a little 'verified purchase' badge next to the reviews from people who bought the book from Amazon. (I guess to make it easier to identify the reviews that might be from people that are just jumping on a bandwagon.)

Date: 2015-08-30 10:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
With DragonCon coming right up, maybe people are saving money to spend there?

Date: 2015-09-02 10:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Having just bought, read, and freaking adored Rational Arrangement, I do have some suggestions for boosting sales, actually. Um. I hope this isn't crazy presumptuous, but the first thing I did when I finished the book was go looking for an author blog/website so I could follow you in the hopes of book updates/new books some day. But it was actually really hard? I found the website you have for RA really easily, but there was no author information here or a link to this livejournal, and your Goodreads author page is really empty too - I know it's possible to link a livejournal blog to your Goodreads author account, and I think it'd be a really great thing to do.

I don't know why this is the case, but speaking as someone who reads 300+ books a year, I am way more likely to pick up an interesting-looking book if, when I check out the author's page, there's more then just a name and the title of their book looking back at me.

Also, re worries that potential readers will not realise it includes/features a bisexual poly romance (which is obviously a huge selling point!); have you thought of adding tags to the Amazon blurb? I've seen a lot of LGBT+ books add a list of 'tags' or to the end of their blurbs - just like tags on a livejournal post. Sometimes these tags are even deliberately funny. Or the author might write it in the form of a playful 'warning'. Let me find an example... Like this, at the end of the blurb for KJ Charles' A Charm of Magpies;

'Warning: Contains hot m/m sex between a deeply inappropriate earl and a very confused magician, dark plots in a magical version of Victorian England, family values (not the good kind), and a lot of swearing.'

Or for a (more explicit) example of the tagging thing I mean, from WolfPack by Anya Adonis;

contains hot M/M action, rough sex, oral sex, anal sex, and more.

Etc. Obviously being super explicit might conflict with the tone of RA, but it's a maybe starting point?

Anyway, I loved the book, plan to review, and good luck with the sales!

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