I try to avoid talking about the business and craft of writing on this blog. My goal is not to reach out to other authors (though I do like other authors), but to reach out to the kind of people that like to read books like the ones I write. Besides, as my sales figures will shortly demonstrate, I have no claim to be an expert in making a living from writing.
However, before dipping into the murky world of self-published ebooks, I found myself fascinated by people that detailed their sales. It’s my hope that these figures will provide some guidance to people considering self-publishing. Remember: your mileage will vary.
A bit of context:
I have one novella out, with a home-made cover. I work full-time. I carried out some marketing, but nowhere near the level that I would have done had I had more time.
The theory goes that the more books you have published, the more you sell. Obviously, I have yet to test this.
My only hope from publishing Smokey Days: The Rising Wind was that somebody would buy it and like it.
So: the overall trend is down – not surprising.
The amount of free books given away had literally zero impact on sales (or reviews). I suspect people download free books and never read them. As a result, I pulled out of the KDP program. At some point I’ll add the book to smashwords, nook and so on, as well as to my website directly.
People who think that self-publishing is a road to becoming a millionaire will no doubt be depressed at these numbers (especially considering I paid $312 for editing!). Personally, I’m pretty impressed. Given the few million ebooks published daily, the lack of prior following, the lack of marketing, the fact I sold any books at all is quite amazing. (Side note: my friends bought a few copies – but not all 28)
So there we go. Not exactly ‘quit the day job’ money, but still more than I was getting as a fanfiction author! And as I will write anyway, always, regardless of what happens, any money made is really just gravy.