It has been exactly 7 days since I launched my book Zero to Sold. I launched it to my audience on Twitter last Monday, and I've been tracking and sharing sales metrics for every day in the main launch Tweet.
This is the full sales, engagement, and metrics report of week one of my self-published book.
These are my sales, by channel:
Amazon Affiliate: ~\$232,80
All combined = ~ \$8443,26
The best-performing platform, even with paperback sales still not being completely reported (as they only count when shipped). I will need to work on getting reviews. That's the best way for the book to be found. I also expect that continuous sales will improve the ranking over time. This is a long-term play for me, I am not stressed about any dips here.
The US Amazon platform far outperforms all others. Happy to see many people being able to buy a paperback version from "neighboring" Amazon stores. Still, Australia and many other countries were only able to buy the Kindle version, if at all.
@Gumroad performed excellently. You can see all the non-Amazon countries being well represented here. Purchases have calmed down a lot. I will need to work on discoverability, and then reviews and ratings. Gumroad is hard to advertise for, as it is a very specific platform, and unlike Amazon, is not the go-to source for books. But it worked super well as an alternative to Amazon, particularly for privacy-minded readers and those who needed a PDF or ePub version.
Sales almost negligible here, as I published the eBook there only the day before the launch. It made it into the Apple Books store hours into the launch, and that store has long cache timers. I don't expect to sell too much through this channel.
Draft2Digital distributes eBooks to all kinds of stores. I sold 3 books on the Kobo. I don't even know what the Kobo is. That's pretty awesome!
I have had affiliate links through Amazon OneLinkon my blog for a while. I completely forgot about that! Once the book page was public, the links there automatically counted against affiliate revenue. I got paid twice!
That's it for the sales figures. With the lagging sales for paperbacks, I assume that the first week of the book launch will have generated somewhere between \$9,000 and \$10,000 in pre-tax revenue. An absolute success for a book that I intend to sell for a long time.
I purposely did not do any paid advertisement so far, neither on Twitter, Reddit, or Product Hunt. I DID run an Amazon ad campaign, very low-key, to see how it would perform. Spent under \$8, got \$60 in sales. Looks good, but will need to observe.
There were a few other notable things. The launch week contained a number of very sweet and unexpected events. I noticed a few times how much I underestimated having built a following on Twitter.
Here is my follower count. You can see that the growth has been steady, but linear. The launch kicked that up a notch and catapulted me into 5000+-follower-territory. The tool used is @AudienseCo.
Clearly, having built an audience before the launch has been instrumental for giving my launch tweet the velocity to turn into something semi-viral. It has naturally occured through engaging with the community and sharing my content since November. That's the number one reason why my book has had the success it had: the people who made it all happen. And they made something happen that suprised me even more.
I never launched anything on @ProductHunt. But with the help of my followers here, Zero to Sold made it to the #1 Product of the Day on Tuesday and ended the day at #2. ZtS was then mentioned in the PH newsletter, driving more traffic. Biggest spike to my blog I have ever seen.
I had scheduled the launch a few days before, adding a nice description and an image of Danielle and I in China while we ran the business. I set the launch time to 00:05 PST, and it went live. I woke up 45 min later in Germany, at 09:50 local time. I shot off a tweet with the link and went into my first mentoring call of the day. 60 minutes later, the book was #1 on ProductHunt and stayed there for over 17 hours.
It was mind-blowing.
The tweet performiung well and the Producthunt traffic resulted in over 15,000 views to my blog this month, where the Zero to Sold page is ultimately hosted. Incredible. @WordPress handled it without a hiccup, of course.
That traffic lead to a lot of newsletter signups, something I hadn't even planned for. Subscriber counts jumped from 1500 to 2200 this week. That is so incredibly valuable!
It's valuable because many of the people who signed up may or may not have bought the book. Now, I can (unobtriusvely) remind them of either buying the book or giving it a review and rating on Amazon, which I really need to grow sales. That's an amazing opportunity.
In addition to the #1 spot on @ProductHunt, Zero to Sold also immediately jumped into #1 Bestseller and then #1 New Release in the 'Startups' and 'Small Business' section. I don't consider myself a best-selling author just yet, but this is such an amazing feeling.
At the time of me writing this, it's still a #1 New Release.
It all started with a single Tweet. The engagement on the launch tweet is off the charts for what I usually get. 162,000 impressions and 1(!) person following me directly from the Tweet !
##11. The Icing On the Cake
The deal was getting even sweeter when @SimpsonDaniK made this wonderful cake to commemorate the launch of Zero to Sold. She is the reason the book exists, and I could not have done it without her — both the writing as well as building the business that the book is based on!
It has been an incredible week for me, full of support, love, encouragement, and learnings. I am grateful beyond words, and I hope that sharing the details of the launch and how I set it up will help other authors and founders to make an even bigger splash! Being transparent with my sales figures has also given me the opportunity to keep records that I can revisit later. It's been quite a blur!
I want to thank every single person who reads this. No matter if you bought the book, checked it out, or are learning about it the first time, I am honored that you spend your valuable time on my work. I certainly know how busy we founders can get.
And that leads me to the things that have not yet happened. My next steps are to create an audiobook version of the book that will live on Audible and make the print version more accessible globally through IngramSpark, who have priting facilities world wide, most notably in Australia, where Amazon does not.
I will also start talking about the book a bit more on podcasts and share the lessons within. I've already scheduled quite a few, but I'm still open for more ;)
I'll also keep producing my regular content. A newsletter, article, and podcast episode every week. Just like before. If you have a topic you'd like me to talk and write about, don't hold back — let me know!
I will continue to post revenue and metrics reports about the book on a weekly basis from now on. Monday will be metrics day. Thank you, again, SO MUCH.
Since I started writing all this, sales have climbed over 1000. I've now sold ten times as many books as I expected in my first week.