Monday, 20 August 2012


Back in June, I posted this blog about how 'The Second Realm' was doing. Two months on, it's worth taking another look at the figures, because with the benefit of a bit more data, a few things worth noting have started to emerge.

I should start by acknowledging that the predictions from the June blog all proved dramatically over-optimistic. They were based on very simple maths - take the current trend (itself derived from only two months of data) and project it forward indefinitely - and I was not in a position to account for the fact that I was apparently benefitting from the tail end of a bubble.

Here's a graph! (Graphs make everything scientific! ;D)

This is cribbed straight from my Excel spreadsheet of my figures, so please excuse the slightly lazy presentation. The horizontal axis should be the 'week to' dates for each Saturday since the end of May. The blue line shows how many Second Realm stories were downloaded each week; the red line is a rolling average (the sum of the most recent four weeks, divided by four), with approximate values given for the first three points.

As you can clearly see, the trend is downward. The three noticeable spikes in the weekly total are release weeks for new episodes (episodes 2-2, 2-3 and 3-1, to be precise), and despite the fact that there are steadily more episodes available as the graph marches on, overall numbers are down. The benefit of the four-week average is that it smooths out those spikes and shows the trend much more clearly.

There are a few things we could attribute the performance drop-off to, but the main factor is going to be that I've done nothing to support the series over the last couple of months. I've been too busy writing my thesis and dealing with computer problems (and writing a separate project, because I needed a break - but that's a secret for now). I mentioned in the June post that I'd cut my promotional activities back drastically; since then, I've cut them to nothing, and it's really only at that point that things dropped to zero.

So my dream of a zero-maintenance writing career, where I can just write and let platform-building take care of itself, is clearly not within reach at the moment. The upturn marked as week thirteen on the graph, by the way? That was the week I started throwing out the odd tweet again, although I'm not convinced that is the main cause of the upturn (the time-frame doesn't quite work out).

I'm going to (try, if thesis-work permits, to) ease back into the twittering and promotional game and see how much work it takes to produce a consistent step up in performance. Hopefully in a couple more months, I'll be able to give a more positive set of figures.

There is one other bit of data from this last couple of months, but I think it's worth making a separate post about, so I'll maybe do that later in the week (or maybe next Monday).

1 comment:

  1. I haven't done any graphs or tracking of my stories, but for me, I've noticed not tweeting about my books doesn't affect my sales at all. The sales have stayed pretty much the same. I got a little bump because of a 99cent promotion and I tweeted more then, but I can't say if the tweets helped any. I've done a little other promotion with trying to be featured on blogs, but it's too soon to tell if those have any effect. Tweeting definitely doesn't seem to work for me. Maybe you'll have better luck.