The State of Alliteration Ink (2nd Quarter Report)

Hi, y’all.  I just got back from Asheville, NC, which was kind of awesome.  And by “kind of”, I mean “I now know where I’m going if I ever win the lottery”.

Sales this quarter were mixed at best - which also reflects my experiences at conventions.  I sold more books (in person) at a three-hundred person convention than at one with over ten thousand attendees - and after checking with the other vendors, it wasn’t just me.  So sales have been VERY uneven throughout the course of this quarter.

That said, I’ve found that the idea of “eBook on a card” is at least intriguing to that group of people who (like me) preferentially read eBooks, but would like to have authors be able to sign something (or simply have a tangible artifact).  I’m still playing with size and cost options - 4”x6” is a great size for display and to hold, but trading card sizes are much better for collecting.  I am also working on a solution that does NOT rely on me as a distributor of the physical copies.  (That is, I could send a PDF sheet with codes to authors.)

My original plan for these cards included the ability for independent bookstores to sell these directly as well.  Despite the ongoing difficulties between Indiebound and Google Play, I was informed by Malaprops (a bookstore in Asheville) that the service is still working, and that local residents enjoy being able to get their eBooks and still support local retailers.  Therefore, I’m going to look back into Google Play and its ability to deliver coupon codes as well, so that it could serve as a second backend to the same project.

There are several projects scheduled for Alliteration Ink this year in various stages of completion.  DANGERS UNTOLD, an anthology edited by Jennifer Brozek, will be coming out in October.  Alliteration Ink will be reissuing Matt Bett’s completely AWESOME book of speculative poetry, with a target release of September at CONTEXT.

GENERALITIES ABOUT NUMBERS

*  With one exception (noted below), Amazon outsells everything else by a 5:1 margin.

The Crimson Pact series is still showing decent sales.  Sales of Volume One have been remarkably consistent quarter-by-quarter over the last year.  It experienced a bit of a bump in Q4 of 2011. Volume Two started off very strong (sales began Q4 of 2011, and probably have something to do with the increase of sales in Volume One), but dropped about 40% in Q2 of 2012.  Volume Three also began selling in Q2 of 2012, and while stronger than the Q2 sales of either of the other volumes, the sales for its first quarter were 48% of the sales of Volume Two when it first went on sale.  The promotional “Tales of the Crimson Pact” had its first free run in the KDP program during this time period, and may account for the *level* sales of Volume One.  It’s also worth noting that so far, I’ve noted a bump in sales of later volumes with rises in the first, so I’m anticipating some degree of ripple effect to keep sales level or rising for the other volumes.  Volume Four will be announced as on sale in the next day or so (depending on when you’re reading this).

Net Impact's sales are lower, but are actually rising in Q2 of 2012.  It garnered several excellent reviews during this time period, which may be helping.  Publicity-wise, it has a few disadvantages over the other titles currently available (single author and not part of a series).

Eighth Day Genesis is going slow out of the gate, but due to its release date, only got about a month’s worth of sales in Q2.  It seems to be a matter of finding the right market;  since I have gotten it on DriveThruFiction/DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, it has earned more in three weeks THERE ALONE than during Q2.  I was also delayed in getting a print version ready;  I heard from many people that they would preferentially choose a print edition for this sort of book.

So now it’s time for me to start sending authors their money…

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