the puzzles of self-publishing

I’m beginning to learn that the chief rule of self-publishing is this: results take time.

Here’s the situation I’m seeing: At one of the online shops that sells the book and eBook, each page offers a list of books that other customers have purchased along with my title.

That’s fine, on the outset. Here’s where the confusion comes in. Each version (physical and eBook) has its own unique ISBN number. Now, I know I’ve sold digital versions on this retailer because I can track that myself via the retailer’s in house website.

But as far as I know, via my self-publishing distributor, I haven’t sold any copies of the physical book. As a matter of fact I know I have only sold one copy of the physical book thus far. Yet, across all the major bookshops, there are used copies purportedly being sold. Only one, it should be noted, is actually -under- my list price of $17.50.

My digital aggregator shows that a lot of people are snagging the free sample of the book, but none are buying. I know this to be false because my boss at work bought the book on iBooks and showed it to me on her iPad. And yet, the aggregator shows no sales.

How far delayed is the reporting on these things? If Site A says I just sold a copy, doesn’t that really mean I sold a copy or it was sold two months ago and I’m just getting the details on it?

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