Um… What? That Can’t Be Right!

This morning, as I did my daily stat count and paperwork on book sales (because I’m very particular about this and have the giant spreadsheet to prove it), I noticed something very odd.  Something that has been going on for a while, but was somehow missed.  Something weird to say the least.

I have two free books on Amazon; Dark Cotillion and Tortured Dreams.  From time to time, I’ll drop the prices on a book to $0.99, usually when I’m about to release a book or just because I’ve gotten a wild hair.  This skews the numbers slightly, but only for a short period of time.  For example, I dropped the price of Mercurial Dreams for two days in May from $3.99 to $0.99.  And sold a ton of copies, enough copies to make it look like I had a 102.54% reader return rate.  As the month ended and we moved into June, the numbers balanced out and I went back to having a 84.67% reader return rate for Mercurial Dreams.

However, the odd thing is not with the Dreams series, it’s with the Strachan series.  If a reader manages to struggle through book one, I have excellent reader retention for the series (from book 1 to 2 is about 4.43% from book 2 to 3 is 98.11%).  This morning though, I realized that I had a 156% oversell on book 4.  What that means is that for every 100 copies of Dark Resurrections that I sell, I sell 156 copies of Dark Legacies.  That can’t be right… My formula must have gotten a glitch.  I checked it, same number came up.  So I moved to the master sheet.  This tells me exactly how many of each book has been sold over the course of its life.

And I was shocked.  I had indeed sold more copies of Dark Legacies than I had of Dark Resurrections.  Not just ten or fifteen more books, but hundreds.  I did another formula to check.  I’ve sold more copies of Dark Legacies than I have of Dark Illumination too.  The rate isn’t quite as high, but it is higher.  The conclusion I’ve drawn from this is that some people read Dark Cotillion and then skip to the end and read Dark Legacies.  What a peculiar thing…

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