An interesting inflection point in stats

Fair warning for those looking forward to some erotica related updates… this post is for the writers out there, and this post will be pretty dry and statistics-oriented.  I’ll forgive you for skipping this one over entirely.

I’ve done some studying of sales statistics lately.  Specifically, I was trying to figure out why today I’ve just had my first day of no-sales-on-Amazon-at-all.  I went through a litany of possible causes (yes, including that God was annoyed at me for “Cupid’s Armorer”) before I started looking at novelrank.com to see how other authors are doing.

It seems that the 17th has been a bad day across the board for erotica novels, for both the ones typically above me, and the ones typically below me.  Even “Breeding the Female”, by Bree Bellucci, fell quite a bit from its normal location.  It typically hovers around 2k in ranking, but dipped as low as 4k within the last few days.  If Bree’s best-selling stuff is faltering, then I don’t feel so concerned about mine.

So I think what’s going on, is that we’re one week from Christmas.

For one thing, new erotica novels are out almost every time you hit refresh over on allromanceebooks.com or other sites.  It’s almost like erotica books are relatively short and people can crank them out, or something.  I also have a hunch that the million or so “sexy Santa” novels get re-published every year around this time, and un-published in Feb or so.  I don’t know how well the seasonal stuff sells, but they could well be taking the wind out of the sails of more traditional erotica.

For another, I’ve watched when my sales happen, and they seem to peak around when people are either bored or anticipate sitting being bored, and when work weeks start to slow down (Thurs+Fri).  One of my biggest sales records was set the day or two before Thanksgiving, when I imagine people were anticipating forward to boring road trips, or perhaps even boring family get-togethers.  We’re now down to the last week before Christmas, when most of the “hustle and bustle” of last-minute Christmas activity happens.  People are busy, they don’t have much time, and they’re cutting out activities they indulge in when they want to relax and unwind.  I’m pretty sure that reading erotica falls right into the middle of the things which get cut out when schedules get tight.

So, to any other authors who might be sweating over their sales stats… don’t sweat too much, it’s not just you.  Sweat over it if your sales don’t pick back up after life is back to ‘normal’, which is actually around March or so.  Yes, I said March.

What I’ve gleaned from reading other authors’ sites in the past, is that eBooks have a huge buying frenzy around Christmas, and it “pulls demand forward” for the next couple of months.  People get new readers, books, and other content on Christmas morning or thereabouts.  So it’s all new and all getting downloaded at once.  But then their readers are loaded up, and they don’t manage to slog through what they’ve got for a few months, so sales go way down until people finish their backlog.  I know I try not to buy more paperbacks when I have a stack of them by the bed to finish, and eBooks are probably the same sort of thing.

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