I can't monitor my second-by-second paperback sales, but because of Amazon's great Kindle Direct Publishing system, I can--if I'm crazy enough (I am)--monitor my second-by-second Kindle sales. They intrigue me.
It makes a ton sense that when I'm interviewed on the radio or TV, or appear on a podcast, or do a guest post for some popular blog, or even just get a mention on a website or a well-followed Twitter feed, that I'd sell a few books for the day.
It makes even more sense to me that I'd sell zero books for any given day.
But, what always leaves me curious is when I sell just one book for the day.
Who bought that one book? Why did they buy it? Why now?
Why would any one buy my book?
I think of all the times I've bought semi-obscure books. (Yes, sadly, HOW TO FAIL is still semi-obscure. So are most books. Then again, it's much less obscure than 99% of books so that's not bad.) Why did I buy them? Did the author know? Was the author curious? Do I have a fan somewhere who has been saving up to buy it? Was it just his or her payday (the Kindle edition IS only $2.99)? Or, perhaps I finally had a blog post that touched them so much they thought, "OK, time to finally pony up for this joker's costly content."
Or, maybe this mysterious buyer is like me and every time he or she hears about a book that might interest them, they throw it onto their Amazon wish list, thinking, "One day I'll read them all."
Yeah, one day.
I currently have 337 books on my wish list, some added as far back as 2004. When exactly am I gonna get to those?
It even gets crazier being that I can monitor Amazon UK and Amazon DE (Germany) sales. Who exactly is buying my book in England? I don't know any one there. And, Germany? How in the world did an English-language-speaking German hear about my book and then decide he had to have it?!
Whatever the case, I'd like to figure out how to make a few hundred thousand more Germans decide that.