Happy New Year!
I promised a while ago that I’d share with you how the numbers are adding up for me on the self-publishing journey. I think it’s WAY too early in the journey to draw any conclusions about potential success. As Dean Wesley Smith observed in this post, it takes time to build a self-publishing business. But I also know that before I started, I’d have loved to know what to expect at the beginning. So here’s how things are going for me. Remember, your mileage will vary.
On the small press front, VEILED MIRROR came out on August 25th in paper, and on September 21st in digital on the Wild Rose Press website and Nook. It didn’t become available for Kindle until mid October. I don’t know how many copies, in which formats, were sold from the Wild Rose Press site, but now that the holidays are past, I’ll be contacting them for that info. Royalties through the end of December: $26.37. Six additional copies were sold by hand, or on commission by Mysterious Galaxy Books at TusCon for additional income of $12.80
LIGHTBRINGER came out in digital format for Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords in mid October, and in paper early November. It was listed on All Romance Ebooks in late November. Digital sales from all sources are 19, for an income of $46.74. I sold 12 paper copies from various venues, including Mysterious Galaxy for an income of $53.32.
WITH HEART TO HEAR, an erotic fairytale short, was released on December 22nd in digital format only. I sold 16 copies on Kindle and Nook in the last ten days of the year. There was a glitch (now fixed) with the listing on All Romance Ebooks which resulted in no sales. I haven’t put it up on Smashwords yet. 2011 income from WHTH: $6.40.
Grand total from all sources for 2011: $145.58
It’s important to understand what effort has been made to encourage these sales, too. During this time I’ve given 16 books to reviewers, family, and friends. I see this as an investment in word of mouth. It’s already paying off in reviews. I have continued blogging twice a week (with my blog linked to facebook, linked in, and twitter) but very little other social media activity. I spoke at my local RWA chapter, TusCon, and at World Fantasy Convention.
These numbers will look pitiful to those accustomed to the traditional publishing pattern of sales in the thousands right after release, which then trail off over the next few months. As I understand it, the sales pattern is exactly opposite with self-publishing, with the number of units sold per month increasing over time, especially as new books are released. That being said, I’ll need to expand my exposure if I want that to be true.
Next time I’ll write about how I plan to grow my self-publishing empire.