March was a strange month. Coronavirus kept all of us close to home and had an effect on Merch By Amazon and Kindle Direct Publishing.
Merch has been shut down temporarily here in the US. KDP is still open but shipment of most no and low content books is taking much longer than normal. Also, design reviews are running slow.
I did keep working on designs for both of those markets as well as Redbubble but my results for the month were lower than I had hoped.
I only had one sale on Merch By Amazon and that was in the UK. As I said, the US market is closed for now. I didn't have any Redbubble sales.
Here are my KDP results and plans for April.
My goal for the month was to sell 30 books to average 1 per day. I fact, I only sold half that many coming in at 15 total sales for the month.
My second goal was to have 500 books online. I missed that goal by just a little. By the end of the month I had 483 uploaded. Of those, 47 are still in review and not available for purchase.
I did do better on my other goals. I learned to make my own custom interiors as well as modifying interiors that I download from BookBolt and Tangent Templates. To do that I am using Affinity Publisher. While not a free program, Publisher is very reasonably priced and does a great job creating good looking interiors.
I liked the publisher software so much that I also bought Affinity Photo And Designer. To justify the cost, I closed my Adobe Photoshop CC account. The savings in that subscription will pay for all three Affinity products over the next year.
Besides making custom no content interiors, I am also starting to do more low content books like coloring and puzzle books. I have just scratched the surface of these but they have a lot of potential going forward. Besides being one of a kind books, they also get approved faster than no content books like journals and notebooks on KDP.
There is a place for both but I will be putting more effort into low content in the months ahead. They take longer to make but the increase in sales should be worth it. I am just getting going with these so it will take a little time to know for sure. I do have hight hopes though.
I have also learned a lot about better keywording and am applying what I learn to many of my current listings. Publisher Rocket has been a big help with that and I am pleased that I made that purchase. I found a great article about KDP keywords that has helped me a lot. You can read it here: https://kindlepreneur.com/7-kindle-keywords/?affiliate=selfpubwithdale.
What will April bring for the print on demand industry? Here in Illinois, the stay at home order from the govenor has been extended to at least April 30th. The same goes for other parts of the country too. I can't predict what Covid19 will mean for business though. Will Amazon open up Merch again? Will KDP be shut down or new limits placed on uploads? Will approvals be faster or even slower? I have no way to know. It should be an interesting month though.
I am no longer going to set goals for the number of sales each month. That number is not directly in my control. I will set goals for the factors I can control and that I hope will influence my sales in a positive way.
I wish all of you a safe and profitable April. Please stay healthy!