When it comes to projecting sales, it can be easy to dream big. After all, who doesn’t want to earn five-digit or even six-digit monthly sales? However, reality might be a bit different. So, let’s take a look at how you can realistically calculate your book sales as you move forward.
Control your expectations
Perhaps the biggest enemy for novice publishers is high expectations. Sure, it’s great to have lofty ambitions. Nevertheless, high expectations can quickly discourage you. It’s quite common to feel disappointed when days go by without any sales. This is why you must be prepared to see some lean days, especially in the early going.
Do your homework
Research is critical. By doing your homework, you can determine how much you can reasonably expect to sell. Mainly, this depends on how long you’ve been in the game, and the type of books you’re selling. Naturally, newcomers have a harder time gaining traction. Also, your book niche may not be one of the best-selling ones. As such, your sales might be a bit sluggish early on.
Find a profitable niche
As part of your homework, you must seek out the most profitable niches. These niches include fiction titles in romance, mystery, suspense, and teen fiction. If you’re in the non-fiction arena, self-help, personal finance, and how-to guides are all very popular. You can use apps such as KDPspy to help you find the most popular topics trending at the moment (we have a great guide on that you can check out!)
How to calculate your sales
Calculating an exact number can be quite tough. Still, you can determine a fairly accurate ballpark figure. When you’re publishing for the very first time, use KDPspy to find sales data on the most popular titles in your niche. This app provides you the raw number of books sold over a 30-day period. From there, you can estimate 10% of that. So, if the best-selling title in your niche sold 100 copies over the last 30 days, you can reasonably expect to sell 10 over the same timeframe. While this method may seem underwhelming, it’s highly useful in determining your breakeven point. Your breakeven point is where your sales cover your production costs. Moving forward, sales will tend to pick up as you increase your marketing efforts.
Now, here is a trade secret. Your first titles will sell rather poorly in the early going. However, you will find that they will pick up weeks, or even months, down the road as your marketing efforts bear fruit. So, don’t get discouraged if your first few weeks aren’t very profitable.
In the end, managing reasonable expectations is always the best way to avoid disappointment. It’s great to aim high, but if you happen to miss the mark, you may feel unwilling to continue. This is the main reason by most aspiring authors and publishers throw in the towel very quickly. By managing your expectations, you can keep your eyes on the prize!