Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sales Update: Five Months Later...

March 2, 2011 - August 24, 2011 SALES

 Return of the Rose - Released March 2, 2011    $2.99
Medieval Time Travel Romance

March:     253
April:       879
May:     1,595
June:    1,460 
July:     1,277
August:  1,692*
TOTAL:  7,156

A Knight in Central Park - Released March 18, 2011   $.99
Medieval Time Travel Romance

March:    265
April:    6,017
May:     4,282
June:    2,383
July:     1,317
August:   8,018*
TOTAL:  22,282

Taming Mad Max - Released April 25, 2011  $2.99
Romantic Comedy

April:      30
May:     182
June:     264
July:      307
August:   537*
TOTAL:  1,320 

Finding Kate Huntley - Released May 5, 2011   $2.99
Romantic Suspense

May:      184
June:      256
July:       331
August:     645*
TOTAL:  1,416


Abducted - Released May 29, 2011   $2.99
Romantic Suspense/Thriller

May:          24
June:        696
July:       1,688
August:    5,637*
TOTAL: 8,045

Total Books sold 03/11 through 08/24/11 = 40,219*

*The August sales are as of August 24th since today is August 25th. These sales do not include 25,000 free downloads. I am selling over 1,000 books a day. 

What a whirlwind the last five months have been. I went from 19 years of trying to get through the traditional publishing doors, to selling thousands of books practically overnight. At least that's how it feels at the moment. Luck and timing have been huge factors. I discovered that I really do enjoy doing promo and marketing. Who knew? I love meeting new readers and writers. If I had more hours in the day, I would do more interviews and visit more blogs. So many great blogs, so little time. But we all know what goes up must come down and if I want to keep the momentum going and make the most of my fifteen minutes of success, I need to keep writing.

I give much credit for my success so far to the reviewers who were nice enough to read and review my books. Paid advertising on sites like Pixel of Ink, The Romance Reviews and Eye on Romance gave me a big boost in sales...but, I am not telling other authors to spend a ton of money on advertising. At least not in the beginning...unless they can afford it.

In the beginning (the first two months), I got my name out there by sending out daily requests for reviews. My first mention on Pixel of Ink was free. My books would not have been seen or read if I hadn't visited blogs and put myself out there on sites like Shelfari, Goodreads, TRR, and ARE. For the first two months, I worked 24/7 on promotion, most of it was free.

I hope the above sales numbers inspire and/or help other writers make important decisions when it comes to their writing career. As we all know, a mention on one site works for one author and not for another. In my opinion, it's all about trying different things and seeing what works for you. I wish every writer much success in his/her career.

If you have questions, tips for writers or readers, a book to promote, then go for it and leave a comment.

Other authors sharing their numbers: CAREY CORP, DEBRA HOLLAND, NORAH WILSOND.D. SCOTT.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Book of My Heart

Return of the Rose is the book of my heart. It took me five years to write and if I had sold it to a NY publisher fifteen years ago, I'm pretty sure I would still be writing medieval time travels. But everything happens for a reason.

Return of the Rose
I am so grateful for everything I have learned over the years...especially patience and perseverance. Return of the Rose garnered three finals in RWA's Golden Heart Contest.

As of today, I have two books in the top 100 Kindle store at Amazon. A Knight in Central Park is #50 and Abducted is #70. At the moment, Return of the Rose, is ranked #368 and #3 in Time Travels. Finding Kate Huntley and Taming Mad Max are climbing, slowly but surely.

I've had some big dreams over the past two decades and not one of them ever came close to what I am experiencing right now.

Return of the Rose is sponsoring Pixel of Ink HERE. Feel free to hit LIKE over at the Pixel of Ink site. You might have to click on the title or the book cover to get the LIKE button to appear.

Thanks to all who have left encouraging comments over the months and/or reviews and emails.

I will be posting a sales update on September 1st. As always, if you have any questions, leave a comment or email me at theresaragan@gmail.com.

DREAM BIG and ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

THANK YOU READERS!

A Knight in Central Park is at #30 in Bestsellers in Kindle ebooks. Click HERE.

A Knight in Central Park is at #35 in Kindle Store. Click HERE.

Writing is a solitary business. Writers sit in front of their computers/laptops day after day. Alone. Many writers like it that way...but those few and far between times when we want to celebrate a sale or a contest win, we look around and there's nobody to celebrate with.

My kids are happy for me but mostly they roll their eyes because they see me get way too excited over a ranking. :)

Whether you leave a comment or not, I know you're out there celebrating with me.

If you have bought my book and it's sitting in your to-be-read pile, THANK YOU.

If you downloaded my book for FREE and read it and enjoyed it, THANK YOU!

If you even thought about reading one of my books because it sounded interesting, THANK YOU! :)

READERS ROCK! That's all there is to it.

In celebration of all this fun, I am giving away a PRINT copy of Return of the Rose. It's the only book I have in print so far because I've been writing instead of formatting. To win, all you have to do is leave your email in the comment section so I can email the winner tomorrow morning (8/19) and get your address so I can send you my book!  For example of how to leave your email: "theresa ragan at gmail dot com"  That's it! I will pick ONE random name and contact the winner in the morning.

 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SALES Update and Random Tuesday Thoughts


Return of the Rose, Medieval Time Travel; 3/2/11 Release; 94,000 words $2.99

Amazon and B&N: 6,100 books sold

A Knight in Central Park, Medieval Time Travel; 3/18/11 Release; 86,000 words $.99

25,000 FREE books 8/11 to 8/15

Amazon and B&N: 14,800 books sold

Taming Mad Max, Romantic Comedy; 4/25/11 Release; 82,500 words $2.99

Amazon and B&N: 1,010 books sold

Finding Kate Huntley, Romantic Suspense; 5/5/11 Release; 82,000 words  $2.99

Amazon and B&N: 1,040 books sold

ABDUCTED by T.R. Ragan - Romantic Thriller; 5/29/11 Release; 93,000 words  $2.99

Amazon and B&N: 4,580 books sold

27, 530* books and 25,000* FREE books = 52,530* potential readers!
Thank you READERS!!! (*Rounded down. Not exact #'s)

Random thoughts on a random Tuesday morning.

Is this really happening to me?

Five months ago, I wasn't sure if I would ever sell a book.

I have genuine readers who are enjoying my stories.

I have never felt luckier.

There are sooo many authors out there willing to help me and others and I think that is the coolest thing. Nice, genuinely helpful, inclusive, welcoming people.

If you, whoever you are, ever have any question at all, please feel free to email me.

Advice: listen to your instincts. I know I am repeating myself, but it's what I have done every step of the way. If something doesn't feel "right" for me, I don't do it, no matter how popular it might be. It has to feel right, whether it's doing an interview, paying $ for advertising, promoting on twitter or blogging about sales. The reason I blog about my sales is because I like reading about other writers' sales. That's how I make my decisions. If I like listening to someone on blogtalk radio, then I will probably talk on blogtalk radio.

I try to stay away from ANYTHING negative. If a post on a blog or kindleboards has any possibility of going in a negative direction, I don't go there. Not because I am afraid of conflict either. Ask any of my sisters...I am NOT afraid of conflict. But I never usually don't go out of my way to find conflict either. (I probably did this in the past, so I should stick with NEVER say NEVER) I believe in good healthy debates, but for the most part I prefer to live in Happy La La land. It's much more fun. It's seriously easier to be negative than positive. It's easier to be in a bad mood than a good mood. "Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times." Great quote by someone out there.

I choose to be happy.

Even before I ever sold one book...I made this choice.

That's why I write romance novels. I love happy endings. I must have a happy ending. Some people call that predictable. I call it predictably wonderful. :)

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Book Discussions and Silver Spiderman Ring

I am working on the sequel to ABDUCTED and thinking about what readers might talk about after they read my next thriller. The sequel might be controversial which would be a first for me. You'll have to eagerly await the release of my next thriller before I can give you more details.

In ABDUCTED one of the main themes is how you can't or shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Most people have an image of a "bad guy" in their mind. In real life though, bad guys look "normal."

Have you ever wondered who your neighbors really are? Cathy and Jim Hanson next door might not be who you think they are. Yeah, they might look nice and innocent, mowing their lawn on a regular basis, taking out the garbage, and/or holding hands on their way to get the mail, but who are they when the doors are locked and the blinds are closed tight?

The discussion I would love book clubs across America to have (Yes, I have a big imagination) about ABDUCTED is "Who's to blame for my serial killer's behavior...if anyone?"

The killer's sister did some horrific things to her brother when he was little. Is she to blame? Or does it go back further than that? Should blame be placed on his parents for being negligent and leaving their children unattended for two weeks? Teachers and counselors at the killer's school spoke out years later, saying he was always a strange child with behavioral problems. Were the counselors to blame for not speaking up earlier? What about the parents of a young girl who were certain the killer had something to do with their daughter's death but never spoke up because of his age and the peculiar circumstances?

The killer in my book thought people were complacent. He said as much to Lizzy Gardner (my protagonist) when he held her captive. He said there were no Neighborhood Watch signs. He also said that people no longer held regular meetings to keep apprised of what was going on in their neighborhoods. No communication. "Didn't people know that the best protection against crime was an informed public? Be vigilant about what's going on in your community people. Be observant. Be alert for strangers or unfamiliar vehicles."

In some respect, Lizzy Gardner thought the killer had been dead right.

If you don't like scary books, don't read ABDUCTED. One of my biggest fans, a terrific writer and good friend, Caroline Fyffe, couldn't finish the book because she was having nightmares. I don't want anyone to blame me for their nightmares. None of my other books will scare you, I promise.

If you're a writer, have you ever thought about what people might discuss after reading your book?

If you're a reader, are you in a book club? If so, do you analyze the characters or do you just state why you liked or did not like a particular book?

The killer in ABDUCTED is referred to as "Spiderman."  In October I will be asking a question about ABDUCTED and if you answer correctly you will be eligible to win a STERLING SILVER Spider Ring made by one of my very talented sisters. See picture and mark your calendars for the giveaway. Isn't the spider cute with those big eyes?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Genre? Pricing? Luck?

Nobody really knows why one book sells better than others. Publishers and analysts have been studying the market and gathering data for years, but they don't know what the next big thing will be until the next big thing strikes like lightning, taking most by surprise. Time Travels, Vampires, Cozy Mysteries...what's the next big thing in books?

I don't know the answer, but for the first time in many years, I don't really care. I can write a story that appeals to me, knowing MY audience is just like me. They want something fresh and new, without formulas. They want to escape. They want to be entertained.

Want to be inspired? Read about Kathryn Stockett's refusal to give up on her book, THE HELP. Read the story HERE.

Below are my sales as of 8/7/2011. I rounded down, so numbers are not exact.

My romantic thriller, ABDUCTED, is my best-seller. Return of the Rose and A Knight in Central Park, both medieval time travels are second and third as far as number of books sold per day right now. My romantic comedy and romantic suspense are tied for fourth place and I have high hopes for both.

What does all of this tell me?  KEEP WRITING! :)

Return of the Rose, Medieval Time Travel; 94,000 words $2.99

March 2, 2011 thru August 7, 2011 - 5,700 books sold


A Knight in Central Park, Medieval Time Travel; 86,000 words $.99

March 18, 2011 thru August 7, 2011 - 14,550 books sold


Taming Mad Max, Romantic Comedy; 82,500 words $2.99

April 25, 2011 thru August 7, 2011 -  860 books sold


Finding Kate Huntley, Romantic Suspense; 82,000 words  $2.99

May 5, 2011 thru August 7, 2011 - 860 books sold


ABDUCTED by T.R. Ragan - Romantic Thriller; 93,000 words  $2.99

May 29, 2011 thru August 7, 2011 - 2,950 books sold


TOTAL books sold (Amazon and B&N) as of 8/7/11 - 24, 920 books in 23 weeks

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dragons or Unicorns?

I was interviewed today at Anne-Mhairi Simpson's blog! What do you prefer...dragons or unicorns? First ten commenters win a digital copy of Return of the Rose. Click HERE to see interview and comment!


And...Finding Kate Huntley Video Book Trailer:


video