Sales Funnels

One of the biggest setbacks to my sales so far has been my incomplete sales funnel.

What does that mean, exactly? When readers pick up one book, it should be clearly stated that it’s Book 1 and at the end of that book, Book 2 should be indicated (and linked).

Until last week, that wasn’t the case for my books. The Blood Moon was published last year and I thought it would be cool to write two prequels before I wrote a sequel. Perhaps this method would’ve worked if I had other complete sales funnels out to pick up the slack for this backwards approach to releasing, but The Blood Moon was my first book.

What made things more confusing was that I listed The Blood Moon as Book 1. When I released The Full Moon in February, I listed it as Book 2, even though it’s actually Book 1 and The Blood Moon should be Book 3.

I knew once The Harvest Moon came out that I would list it as Book 2 and my sales funnel would finally be corrected. In the meantime, though, I decided not to confuse people with the chronology issue (as I’ve had several questions regarding it) and simply list The Blood Moon and The Full Moon as part of the “Under the Moon Series.” I didn’t indicate order.

That tactic didn’t help any. Maybe it was because The Full Moon was in Select and The Blood Moon wasn’t or maybe it was something else entirely, but sales for The Blood Moon basically died while sales for The Full Moon continued to trickle in with page reads.

I’ve since corrected the series order with the release of The Harvest Moon (Book 2), although not enough time has passed to see if it made a difference with my sales. I’ll report on that again in the future (maybe after a month).

My sales funnel still isn’t complete, though. All my books are still full-priced, so even though the series order is properly stated, readers don’t have a low-risk point of entry to my series.

In other words, the first in the series needs to drop from $3.99 to $0.99 or free. I’ll probably do that this weekend, but the effectiveness of the sales funnel won’t be fully realized until I take The Harvest Moon out of Select and release it wide. That’s when I should see sell-through for my series across all vendors.

It makes me wonder how long I should keep The Harvest Moon in Select for. What I did with The Full Moon was keep it in Select for two terms (six months) and then release it wide, which I just did last week. If I release The Harvest Moon wide and drop the price of The Full Moon, that means I’ll have a complete sales funnel not only on Amazon, but across all vendors and my sales will hopefully start at the other retailers.

I’ll have to think about that further. The Harvest Moon‘s Select period will be up at the beginning of November. That means I couldn’t run a free sale or a Countdown Deal during the holiday season, but it also means that I’ll have three books wide by the holiday season and could hopefully capitalize on the post-Christmas gift card spending season.

I’ll have to consider further. The good thing is, with a complete sales funnel (once I drop the price of The Full Moon), combined with my rapid releases planned for the end of this year and beginning of next year, will hopefully kickstart sales for the whole series.

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