How to get 1,000 Ebook sales

How to get 1,000 Ebook sales? That’s a question I often ask myself. Look around the various blogs about self publication, and it seems to suggest that once you’ve hit around 1,000 sales on Amazon, the website’s algorithms will take over and help to make your work more visible. Note that this isn’t total sales, but sales for each title. While, of course, selling more of one title is likely to help sell other works too, pushing up your overall sales figures, it is 1,000 per book that you’re aiming for.

This can be an astronomical figure to reach, especially if you’re only selling tens of books per month. Inside Evil was published in March and I’ve not yet cleared the 100 sales barrier. Interestingly, in my latest giveaway on Elle Casey’s blog, Inside Evil was one of the most sought after titles, so the book itself seems to be in demand and attracting attention. It just doesn’t get noticed by people browsing on Amazon. And, without a lot of luck, I’m warning you, growing to 1,000 sales will be hard work.

But, how can you achieve this feat? How can you reach that target? I’m not entirely sure myself, having not gained those dizzying sales heights yet. There are variety of methods that I’ve come across, and some may work for you, others may not. Here’s some of my findings.

Forums

Some people advocate joining lots of forums, putting your book in your signature and then talking, continuously, about yourself and your work. This doesn’t work and WILL NOT SELL ebooks. You’ll quickly get a spam notification and be ejected from the boards.

However, there are some forums that you might be persuaded to join, such as Kindleboards, the official Kindle forums at Amazon and the Kindle Users Forum. Whilst you’ll get all manner of help and tips at these places, I wouldn’t look for a lot of sales here. Generally, these boards are occupied by people like you; authors wanting to find how to sell ebooks and unlikely buyers.

LibraryThing & Goodreads

My use of LibraryThing and Goodreads has been haphazard at best, largely due to the fact that I hate both website’s interfaces and I find joining in conversations extremely confusing. LibraryThing is great for doing giveaway’s, but though I’ve noted a few reviews trickling through, these haven’t turned into sales. Meanwhile, though I’ve had a very few ‘adds’ on Goodreads which may have possibly led to a miniscule number of sales, my Goodreads ad campaign was a complete failure and I didn’t make one sale from the investment.

Word of Mouth

This is a very obvious way of selling, but if you don’t tell anyone about your book, then how can you expect sales. Word of mouth is vital for sales. Tell friends and family about your book. When you go to parties and meet new people who ask what you do for a career, tell them about your writing and mention your novel’s name..who knows they might just go home and download it. Put a link to Amazon in the signature of your email so when you’re emailing people, you have an unobtrusive marketing ploy ready to go. This has been my best sales tactic to date, helping to push Inside Evil higher in the Amazon charts and therefore being more noticeable.

Twitter

Some people swear by it, others don’t, but I have found that Twitter has got me sales. I have recently opened a new Twitter account devoted to only my writing. Whilst I have a personal account with over 1,000 followers, I tend to have verbal diarrhoea on that feed, and whilst those 1,000 followers don’t care about me talking non-stop about the Olympics or saying slightly rude things when I’ve had a glass of wine too many, I really don’t want my main group of readers and authors bombarded with this. Of course, many may want to, so it’s worth tweeting that you have another account, but to keep all my professional and book related stuff in one place, I now use GWakelingWriter.

One of the good things about Twitter is that you can easily interact with readers. If someone tells you they’ve bought your book, thank them, ask them for feedback. RT their comments if they’re positive reviews. Use Sample Sunday (a writer’s RT group which helps spread book samples on, you’ve guessed it, Sunday’s) to reach a larger audience. Use Writer Wednesday to follow and RT other writers. Most of all, ensure that the majority of your tweets are personal, RTs or links to informative articles rather than constantly links to your own work. This will turn people off immediately, and your Twitter account will never get off the ground.

1,000 ebooks is a hard task…

Selling ebooks is no easy task, and shifting these first 1,000 ebooks is monumentally difficult. I read blogs all the time offering advice on how to get sales, with each and every post saying, ‘once you’ve reached 1,000 sales you can use X, X and X to get increased earnings,’ but what about the climb to 1,000? What about the depressing screen of Amazon’s Beige Bar of Shame when it’s staring at you mid month because you’re yet to have  a sale? What about selling five or 10 copies a month and realising that it’ll take you years to reach that elusive 1,000?

I’ve used the above processes to get a few sales here and there, but nothing that has finally swept me along at pace. I’ll soon be releasing a new book, The Tower of Souls, and I’m hoping that it’ll attract more people to the series. However, for the meantime, it’s the slow plod along. What do you use to try and increase sales? Found any tactics that worked? I’d love to discover new areas that I haven’t tried…and we can all look forward to pushing our sales and cracking that 1,000.

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2 thoughts on “How to get 1,000 Ebook sales

  1. Huw Thomas

    Useful thoughts. Relatively new to this myself (written a few books but only recently turned to epublishing after limited success in traditional publishing). I didn’t know about the 1,000 sales thing so good to have a target now – even if I’m still only part way there!
    Did you know you’ve tagged your post with ‘000 ebooks’ not ‘1000 ebooks’?!

    • geoffwakeling

      Thanks for pointing that out, Huw, I’ll remedy it immediately.

      Amazon is always changing its algorithm’s, so who truly knows what is going on. But, it does seem to be that 1,000 sales gets you more notice on both Amazon.com and UK, so it’s worth trying to attain.

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