Sales of Winds Continue to Rise

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I know I said I wasn't going to talk about this much, but I find this fascinating, so I'm going to share. Remember a few weeks back, when I talked about a spike in sales? It was a 50% jump in one week. Well, since then, sales have jumped another 50% from those already spiked figures. Here's what the graph looks like since the early part of this year where I started tracking sales via the Bookscan numbers reported by Amazon.

If you don't already know, Amazon's Author Central provides free, weekly Bookscan numbers to its authors. Bookscan claims to record roughly 2/3 of sales in the US, but that's an overall average. Actual sales for any given book will vary depending on a number of factors, including to which stores/outlets your book was actually sold by your publisher and which of those in turn report to Bookscan, which is a voluntary, opt-in type of reporting system. If a heavy percentage of sales go to WalMart of Costco, who don't report to Bookscan, the numbers will underrepresent actual sales. Sell to only places that report to Bookscan, and the numbers will be much closer to accurate. The other major factor here is that Bookscan doesn't report (nor do they receive) e-book sales. So take all this with a grain of salt.

With those caveats in mind, this is still somewhat interesting. Winds started selling in March, hence the near-zero amount early on. It bumped around a bit until the actual release date in April, where it spiked and then plateaued. The week of 7/17 was kind of a low point for me. I thought the market had started to give up on my book. I knew it was most likely an aberration, but still, it was a long week waiting for those next numbers.

And then there's this recent surge. People wisely pointed out a few weeks back that Borders is closing and that plenty of people are seeing the same thing as people rush to get those last-minute deals. Probably this is much of or nearly all of the surge Winds has been seeing. I hope not, though. I hope word of mouth is continuing to spread and that more people pick up the book and enjoy it enough to recommend it to their friends. (And they'll tell two friends, and so on, and so on.)

Only time will tell, and I'm sure there will be a downward "coming back to Earth" trend once Borders closes their stores for good (or runs out of my stock). Until then, I'll just dream my little dream.

5 Comments

  1. Paul Genesse

    September 1, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Awesome! This is great news.
    Paul Genesse

    • Brad

      September 2, 2011 at 8:14 am

      Thanks, Paul.

  2. Douglas Hulick

    September 1, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Good news is good news — don't look at it too hard. :) Winds deserves to be noticed and bought and read. I hope this is only a mild aberration, and that you continue to move words at an impressive scale.

    • Brad

      September 2, 2011 at 8:15 am

      Thanks, Doug. Yeah, I'm going to try to stay a bit removed from it. I just wanted to share since I know *I* like this kind of information, so I'm pretty sure others will too. Sometimes it feels like we're working in a complete vacuum, trusting to priests to scry out our future for us, but tools like Bookscan are changing the landscape. And thanks for the kind words!

  3. Greg

    September 12, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Agree with Doug. Even if it is partly the Borders effect, those people who bought Winds there will be exposed to your work and will tell others (not to mention they’ll want the sequels, too, and they’re going to have to get those somewhere other than Borders!) So onwards and upwards!