New readers may not know this, but every January I do a little summary of my sales metrics from the previous year.
2016 showed an overall flattening of eBook sales across all channels for every author I know, including myself. A few retail partners closed their doors, which hurts all authors. Discoverability remains the key to sales, and if you don’t have your work in a number of outlets (or there are fewer outlets available), you are less readily discovered by potential readers.
The statistic that stood out the most for me was that, for the first time since 2009, my .mobi format (Kindle) sales were neck-and-neck with ePub format sales. Every year until 2016, ePub outsold .mobi by a factor of 5:1. I realize that everyone’s business is different, so their numbers may look different as well. Still, it was an interesting thing to see. I am curious as to how this will go in 2017. I remain committed to making sure that I am available to people with all different types of eReaders, not just one, so don’t worry that I’ll suddenly go “exclusive” with one retail partner. It’s not going to happen.
My best-selling title remains In The Eye of The Beholder, with the number two slot going to Clytie’s Caller last year. The most downloaded “freebie” remains Sui Generis, a sampler of short stories and essays, with Some Brief Advice for Indie Authors coming in second.
Paperback sales make up only a small part of my overall business, and are highest when I do in-person events or have a retail partner stocking them. My biggest seller in 2016, thanks to my retail partnership with Humane Society Silicon Valley, was Hugs and Hisses. All royalties benefit the animal shelter.