Here it is, the news everyone is waiting for: a sales update! It’s been nearly two weeks. How many books have I sold (and have I made my first million yet)?
I’ve “sold” 8 on Smashwords (all of those are from where I accidentally had the setting on “reader sets their own price,” which, incidentally, was free in every case), and I actually got paid for 3 e-books and 1 print copy on Amazon.
That comes to a whopping 12 copies and $11.57. But that means, after publishing my first novella, The Last Golden Dragon, in February, I will finally have enough money in my Amazon account to qualify for a payout (there’s a $10 minimum). Woot! If sales continue like this, I can expect about $20 by the end of the month, or enough to pay for dinner at the local Mexican restaurant (and if we opt for the cheap chicken enchiladas, we can even afford to share a fried ice cream for that $20! Double woot!).
Acceptance is not in B&N online and other stores yet because Smashwords requires some formatting changes (note: Smashwords always requires formatting changes; getting your book vetted the first time is like getting a score of 10 at the Olympics–theoretically possible, but almost never seen). I had a sale of The Widow from B&N and have had a lot of downloads of The Bloodsuckers from there, too, so I really need to buckle down and do my corrections this weekend so I can get Acceptance selling there.
If I disregard the 8 free copies, and figure I can actually sell 4 copies of my book every two weeks, that’s 8 per month or 48 in a six month period.
Which sounds horribly depressing, but actually seems quite in line with a debut, self-published novel. Indie author Rachel Higginson said in an interview that she only sold 50 copies of her first book in 6 months. A year later, she is now selling thousands of copies every month. (One of the keys to her success has been releasing her second book and then offering the first one for free to get people hooked.)
I also need to get off my ass this weekend (well, um, actually, I need to sit on it) and write some newspaper releases. There is a small monthly paper in my town and a semi-weekly paper in the little city where I work. I should be able to get a release in both of them.
Fried ice cream, here I come!
Edited to Add: I found this statistic on Catherine Caffeinated’s blog: “80% of books published (not just self-published, but published period) in the U.S. sell less than 100 copies.”
So there’s a goal to reach for: sell more than 100 copies. Being in the top 20% of authors sounds successful to me (even if 100 copies won’t exactly pay for my vacation home on the west coast of Ireland).