A year of self-publishing

September 12, 2015 Publishing/marketing 0

Today it’s exactly one year since I published my very first book. There was cake, there was champagne, there were little sausages on sticks, there was jubilation throughout the land— erm, Ross household. And I was terrified. I’d like to laugh at myself, and say that those days are behind me now, I’m an accomplished self-pubber who can publish without fear, but nope. Still terrified with every book. That one went OK – phew! – but maybe this one will flop? It never gets less than nerve-shredding.

What’s helped more than anything else is the willingness of other self-pubbers to help out with advice and support. When I say I couldn’t have done this without that support, I mean that literally. I’ve made friends on Scribophile, Mythic Scribes and the Kboards Writers’ Cafe who have been consistently generous with their time and advice, and there are innumerable others, authors and bloggers, whose words have informed, encouraged and inspired me. Thank you to all of you.

And now, the obligatory list of Stuff I Learned:

  • – Books don’t sell without promotion (dur, right?).
  • – Promos are fun! And addictive! And sometimes I even make money from them!
  • – Two books sell more than one, and three sell more than two.
  • – Two books make more work than one, and three makes more than two.
  • – Not to panic. This is a long game.

I’ve seen others post numbers from their first year’s sales, and I’d like to do something similar. First the lifetime stuff:

  • Sales: 2,630
  • Borrows: 2,022 (up to June 30th)
  • Pages read: 359K (from July 1st; equivalent to around 400 complete reads)

Monthly sales and revenues are very up and down, but here’s my way of looking at how things are improving. These are my average daily sales/borrows/royalties, split by number of books out:

  • 1 book out: 1 sale/day, <1 borrow/day, $2/day
  • 2 books out: 9 sales/day, 6 borrows/day, $20/day
  • 3 books out: 11 sales/day, 25 borrows/day, 5K pages/day, $46/day

I discovered the virtues of promotion shortly before the release of book 2, as you can probably tell. If anyone still needs convincing that writing more books (and promo!) is the best way to go, here it is. It would be lovely to think that this progression will continue indefinitely, but probably not. (10 books out: $10,000/day! Yay! Er, no…)

And now, on to the next year. And the year after that…

PS To celebrate my first anniversary, all my books are priced at just $0.99 (or equivalent) for the weekend (up to and including September 13th). That’s a worldwide offer from all Amazons. You can also pre-order the next book at the same price. Click the Buy! button up above to link to your local Amazon.

 

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