Writer In Residence: March Update! How To Make $

I have far too much fun sending out a newsy piece for the librarians at Saskatoon Public Library each month. This is what I wrote for March.

Art

Writer in Residence

 

I can teach you how to make $50,000 dollars over the weekend. Actually, I can't teach you that (unless you're a romance author). I just put that sentence up there to get your attention. I've been talking with writers all month about how stories are everywhere and we're all storytellers.

Let's say you were late for work this week. I bet you didn't just say, "Yo! Bossy Wossy, I'm late. But I'm here now." Instead you likely added details like, "Well, when I turned the corner I saw the bus was already speeding towards the bus stop. I ran like the dickens to get there, valiantly risking a fall--you remember I have a glass hip, right?--but I had to stop to let a group of goslings cross my path. Otherwise, I would have been on time." See, that's a story. And in it you were the valiant protagonist.

So I encourage you to add those details to the stories you naturally tell. For example if a patron returns a book with dog-eared pages you could say, "Oh, that's perfectly okay. Only one in three people who dog-ear pages gets a visit from the Terminator. So the odds are on your side."  See how that perks up the interaction? Take a look at that $50,000 in a weekend offer again. Your mind can't help but write a story about it. Maybe you make that sum by stuffing envelopes or selling skin products. But it could also be that you could make that money by putting on a dusty hat, grabbing a bull whip and smuggling a rare book from an ancient Mayan temple to Saskatoon. See, the story just writes itself.

Amber Fang: Self Publishing A Book Part 2 (The amazing results!)

Here they are. The latest results from the launch of Amber Fang. If you want to read why I self published this novel, including a look at which editors I employed, who did the cover, and other self publishing methods used, then please click here. If you want to read a really short version about why I self published the book then here it is:

I wanted to make a million dollars.

Or at least break even. 

When was the book released?

The official launch for Amber Fang was Tuesday, October 25th, 2016. There was a pre-sale on several channels for two weeks before that. The numbers I'll discuss will be from pre-sale on Oct. 4th to Nov. 16th, 2016. The ebook was available on all channels. The paperback was available only through Createspace (Amazon's Print on Demand service).

C'mon, show us a chart!

Okay! Okay! Here's the most important chart. These are the launch week sales on Amazon.

 A really exciting Kindle chart

A really exciting Kindle chart

So that's it. Report over. Oh, wait, I'll dig a bit deeper. So worldwide amazon sales on launch day (the spike in that chart) were 126 books (priced at 99c). The highest rank Amber Fang hit was #2005 overall in the Kindle store. That meant it made several bestseller lists: 

This is helpful because it gets more eyeballs. Err, on it. I don't mean you literally get eyeballs. And hitting #1 in a category also means you get the cute "bestseller" tag:

So obviously that's helpful. The book reached similar positions in Amazon Canada (but not so high in the UK store). The US centric results are mostly due to the advertising I'd purchased in newsletters being mostly targeted at US book readers. After the initial launch it settled in to sell about 10-20 copies a day.

But how many copies did you actually sell? Fess up!

This calls for another chart: 

Screen Shot 2016-11-18 at 10.15.26 AM.png

So there were go. A month of sales has tallied up to 839 copies. 

Are you happy with that?

No comment! By that I mean I'll answer your question later. Here's another chart to distract you.

So as you can see Amazon was where the majority of my sales were. Kobo was #2 and Apple #3. The Createspace paperbacks are also included in the chart. I had decided to go "wide" (that is, not exclusive with Amazon) because I didn't want to disappoint any of my fans (and I  like the idea of a wide open market). Those 40 copies on Kobo propelled the book to #1 or #2 on several of their charts. The curious thing is that all of those copies were purchased in Canada. I didn't sell a single Kobo copy to other countries. But Canada is Kobo's largest market, so I guess that explains the result.

C'mon. Where's the money? Tell us about that.

This may surprise you, but I have another chart:

And there it is. The breakdown of income and expenses. As you can see Amazon (and Createspace and affiliate money) amounted to most of my income. I put the expenses chart there, too. So there is money left to earn before this vampire book breaks even. On a cheeky note, I was going to title this blog post: HOW I MADE 78,000 CENTS IN ONE MONTH!

So are you happy with the results?

Mostly. Like any project you want it to be an outstanding, mind-blowing success so you can pay off your mortgage and buy a moonbase. But--it turns out selfpublishing is work. These numbers are something I can build on. Right now the book is selling about 10-20 copies a day on Kindle (which nets me about $20 to $40). My understanding of the Amazon algorithm is you have about 90 days before the book drops off. So if it continues at this pace, then I'll earn my money back in about 60 days. Sales have trickled to very little on the other vendors. Each day my newsletter is growing (3200 right now) so by the time I launch my next Amber Fang book (in about 4 months), I'll have a larger launch platform. Generally the reviews for the book have been quite positive, so that is also encouraging (especially the good reviews from readers who don't normally read vampire novels). 

Plus, I've committed to at least do three books in the series. I don't like to leave things undone.

Any last words?

Yes. If this info has been helpful to you, I dare you to click the pic below (or this link) and give Amber Fang a try. 839 readers can't be wrong! Oh, and comments are welcome. I obviously still have so much to learn.