When I first started self-publishing, I had no idea what to expect in the way of sales and royalties. I couldn’t find any solid information about the subject, other than JA Konrath’s blog, where he gave actual sales and royalties numbers. But, he was an experienced author with a backlist he could publish, and I was a newbie with one ebook. I didn’t have any other nobodies out there to help me guess what I could make.
So, I’m going to give you my sales numbers so you can see what a no-name newbie author can expect. I’m also writing science fiction, which is not the most popular genre out there right now. I expect that a newbie author writing in a popular genre, such as thriller or paranormal romance, could expect to earn more than I have.
The end of January marks the first four full months of my epublishing career. Since late September, I’ve published three books and I’ve seen sales slowly grow. The following chart shows my monthly sales. (Click a chart to enlarge it.)
As you can see, sales are growing. From 13 in October, to 21 in November, to 130 in December, to 295 in January! All told, in four months I’ve sold 459 books! This includes 19 sold in Amazon UK, 5 on Nook, and 4 on Smashwords. This is really exciting for me, but it certainly isn’t blockbuster numbers like Amanda Hocking is getting. But, there you have the range of possibilities. From my few hundred books sold to Hocking’s hundreds of thousands.
But what does this mean in terms of dollars, you ask? Well, here’s another chart for the financial fanatics out there. This chart shows my royalties for the last four months.
I made $4.20 in October, $27.63 in November, $180 in December, and $304.16 in January. So, in four months, I’ve earned $515.99 in royalties. That’s a nice bit of change. If my sales don’t increase from January’s numbers, I can expect to earn $3600 this year! Woot! That’s a darn good success, if you ask me. It means I’ll be able to earn back my $2400 investment with some profit left over.
Time for another chart. This one is for the really nitpicky because it shows daily sales since October.
As you can see, I had a very slow start, but things started picking up in late November after I published my second book. Sales bumped up again after I published my third book in January. Once again, the number of titles you have available directly impacts your sales numbers. If someone likes one of your books, they’ll probably buy another. So, my advice is to write more and publish more. But, of course, don't skimp on quality!
And, there you have it. My first four months are going quite well. I’m very optimistic about future sales. I hope to get two or three more novels published this year, which should give me good boosts in sales. I’m also collaborating on a science fiction anthology with a dozen other new authors, and I hope this will get me (and the other authors) a bunch of new fans.
It looks like 2011 is going to be a really good start to my self-publishing career. And I’m hoping it only gets better in 2012 and later.