So, the population of the UK is estimated at 62M (give or take a few illegal immigrants, an old bag lady called Daisy with two front teeth missing pushing an Asda shopping trolly around Hyde Park in London, and a family of half-humans living in the sewers beneath the British Library). So, that's a lot of people! Let's take 10% off that figure rounded up to the nearest million - Call it a cool 50Mil - there's lots of people in the UK who can't read (because they're too young, too old, crazy people, etc - you were thinking I was going to say because they were stupid weren't you? - Shame on you!)
Now, I've got 11 books for sale (yeah really - you obviously haven't looked at My Books! Do that now before we move on - Okay?) So, as of today (and I'll leave you to work out when today actually is) I've sold 52 books in the US and 199 in the UK (not a lot spread over 11 ebacks really! Clearly, I am not a self-publishing phenomenon yet like Amanda Hocking or JA Konrath!) Anyway, if every one of those 50M in the UK bought a copy of each of my books that would equate to £143M (Now we're talking figures I can curl my tongue round! And that's just for me - no agent's cut, no publisher's cut, no production manager's tea girl cut - all mine, mine, mine!) But... (there's always a but) that's not an end to it! If every one of those wonderful 250M people in the US bought a copy of each of my books that would be (lines dogs up and starts counting paws) - $960.25M! - Say what? I didn't know figures like that existed. Bill Gates better keep looking over his shoulder at the top of the Forbes super rich list, that's all I can say!
I'm not even going to convert the £'s into $'s (or vikki-verki). Lets face it, when you've got that much money you don't need to get your hands dirty working out how much you've got in the bank, what the exchange rate is, or if you can afford the latest Kindle, do you? So, now that we've worked out how much I should be earning as an author, let's look at the actual figures and try to determine where its all gone wrong, shall (I love that word) we?
Well, before we move on, lets examine the Marketing Mix (or the Four P's) for P's benefit (He knows who he is even if you don't!). Price - I spoke about this in my last blog, and at 99 cents it's competitively priced - some people might say a bargain! Product - superb stories, well-written, edited to a professional standard, eye-catching covers, attention-grabbing product descriptions, sample download problems sorted out, what more could I possibly do? Distribution - Amazon deal with this, but downloading an eback is a pretty simple activity for 99 cents! Which leaves Promotion! I spoke about this in my first post on social networking, but let's go there again and talk specifics. And to start with, here's Beth Barany from the Writer's Fun Zone.
What we're trying to do when we promote our book is influence, inform, or persuade a potential buyer to purchase it. If we were rolling in those greenbacks (are they still green?) we could promote our book(s) on the TV or the radio, take out full-page advertising in newspapers and magazines, create an all-singing all-dancing website (like this one), pay to send enticing messages to mobile phones, employ an advertising agency to create an ad campaign like the Guinness Evolution advert (see the video below - brilliant. You Americans don't know what you're missing. I love Guinness, and I love this advert).
So, let's get back to the 249.999M people in America and the 51.999M people in the UK who don't own a Kindle - because if they did have one of those nifty little ready things, they would have already bought and downloaded all eleven of my books, devoured them in a readathon, written their reviews as the reader agreement requires of them, and more importantly - I'd be eating a cheesburger and drinking a lime milkshake with Bill Gates in Planet Hollywood. The promotion - it can only be the promotion that's gone wrong! Note to self - must be more subtle on forums and discussion sites; must spread myself and my books about a bit more on other people's sites; must beg, steal and kill for more book reviews; must write more blogs and subtly direct people to My Books! Must...