Welcome Curious Readers, I am posting here about a whole year of selling self-published ebooks. Many wonders will be revealed to you. Many non-wonders, too. There may even be inadvertent rhymes (at no extra charge).
To recap. Exactly a year ago I began putting my out of print backlist up for sale on various ebook vendors (Smashwords, Kindle, iBooks, B&N, Kobo...). I've been religiously (or obnoxiously) blogging about it ever since. Here are the books I have available.
Yes, Dear Readers. You are correct. Those links are clickable (though depending on what country you're in, you may not be able to buy the books). Each one of my ebooks that you purchase saves the life of a butterfly in Guatemala. Oh, and the money helps me to buy porridge for Oliver Twist. He's looking skinny! Now that my clumsy and somewhat cheesy sales pitch is done let's continue examining the glorious year of ebooking.
Last month, January, was my best ebook sales month yet with 1785 copies of my ebooks sold. Most of the sales were generated by DUST which was selling for the modest sum of $1.49 and twice was in the top 25 for horror on Kindle. The jump in the charts was the result of making the book free then switching it back to paid a few days later (I posted about that process here). I also added another book Northern Frights Omnibus. This book collects all three Northern Frights novels into one volume (which only took a few minutes to do, one of the nice things about ebooks).
That's a quick look at last month. Now here are the overall numbers month by month for this stupendous adventure:
From this chart you can see that sales go up and down and up and down but seem to be trending upwards right now (more on that later). DUST sells by far the most copies because it crosses over from middle grade to YA to Adult (somehow) and has twenty 5 star reviews on Amazon, which helps prospective buyers decide to click that little button (I love that button). But every other book counts and is a sale I wouldn't have made before. You may also notice that The Hunchback Assignments series is only available in the UK (Random House sells it in the US and I'm only tracking my self-pubbed books here). It is selling as much as the Northern Frights series even though the Fright books are available worldwide. Again this book crosses over from YA into adult (a little). The majority of the books sold above have been at either .99 cents or $1.49. The remainder at 2.99 or up (so I can get that 70% royalty). The total books sold in twelve months is...drum roll... 6353.
What you want to see a graph? I am graphically at your service.
Aren't graphs amazingly exciting? The blue colour on the graph is DUST, the other colours belong to the remaining books. Ah if only they all could sell as much as greedy guts DUST. What's that? You want to know how much income I made? Well the questions you ask make me blush, I tell you. Blush! But here it is. For the 6353 copies sold I have earned $4907.02. That's right I'm a thousandaire! That breaks down to about .77 per book (considering my royalty on a paperback is about .70 cents, that's not too bad). And way back when I first blogged about this little experiment (see here) I said I'd be happy with $1000.00. Obviously, I'm nearly five times as happy (plus so far my costs have been $500.00 for the covers and $200 for advertising--the covers will total about $1500 over time because I am good friends with the artists and they agreed to be paid in installments). The artists, by the way, are Derek Mah and Christopher Steininger. Go check out their sites. It will do your eyes good.
This month will not see as many sales as last month. February is usually slow and there was a big bump in January because of all those new Kindles being sold. Also, I have been switching my books from free to paid and that only works so many times before you stop rising up the charts...so that "engine" won't be on my side. I've also raised my prices because I wanted to have lower prices for the first year as an introduction and price the books higher now that my "name" is out there. But the highest is $3.49, which really isn't much for a high quality book--or even one of my books. Plus, I only have to sell about 4oo copies of DUST at 2.99 (2.05 royalty for me) to make the same amount of money for as I received for the 1638 I sold last month at $1.29 (50 cents royalty to me). There must be 400 readers out there who like to be scared!
I won't be posting monthly anymore. In fact I'm going to be doing my best not to even watch my sales until the end of each month. This is my best time to write and that's what I want to concentrate on. But if anything of interest pops up, I'll be sure to blog about it. Thanks for lending me your eyes (and your brains). I do appreciate it.
P.S. if this blog has been helpful to you, please tweet about it or mention it on any of the other various social media out there. And remember, if you buy a book you will save a butterfly (of course some clod will just travel back in time and step on it thus altering the universe and the timeline forever, but we can't control that).