Sunday, May 1, 2011

April 2011 Sales report

April was my seventh month selling ebooks.


I sold 2998 copies of my 4 titles in April. That’s 2.5 times more than March. I sold more than 3 times as many units of Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance in April (2166) than in March (704).

My average sales per day for April were 99.9 (up from 38.8 in March).

My April royalties are 1.6 times those of March ($1450 vs. $884).

My Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance broke even in April! So far, I’ve spent about $1740 for cover art, editing, and advertising. I’ve now earned $1800 in royalties on it. It took six months, but I’m finally making a profit on the book.

Dead Dwarves, DirtyDeeds has earned $368, but has total expenses of $672, so it still has a way to go to break even.

Format Your eBook forKindle in One Hour had $0 expenses, and has earned $1123. It’s my most profitable book so far.

I just released my YA adventure ebook, The Elemental Odyssey, this month and I’ve done very little promotion for it. It’s only sold a handful of copies. I’m working on using CreateSpace to get a print version available. As soon as it is, I’ll work harder at promoting it.

All told, I’ve spent about $3950 on all my books, and I’ve earned $3292. This business is still in the red by about $700. I should get in the black in May.

What this means for me

If sales continue at April’s levels, I should be able to gross about $14,000 in 2011 (that’s up from my expectation of $10k last month). Subtract about $4000 for expenses, and I’ll have net income of around $10,000 in my first full year of epublishing. When I started this in October, I was hoping to net about $3000 in 2011.

What this means for you

As an epublisher, you have to invest in your product. It looks like it’s going to take me 8 months to turn a profit. I’d advise anyone trying to emulate my efforts to prepare for at least a year of losses. If you can afford $4000 to invest, I’d say do it! A year later you could start earning profit.

Also, it seems that divergent genres do not help each other in sales. My cyberpunk books have sold over 4400 copies, but my new Young Adult adventure book, The Elemental Odyssey, has sold only 12 copies. Obviously, my cyberpunk fans are not buying the YA novel. So, if you plan on doing disparate genres don’t expect to see a lot of crossover buying.


  1. I just don't jump on YA books, so that kind of cross genre I wouldn't expect to see. I was thinking more parallel movement between adult sci/fi/fantasy/paranormal/etc. That's just how I roll, but your experience seems to suggest it. :)

    and WOW! Derek, that is awesome progress! So happy for you and showing it can be done. Plus, you're the brain child of 12 Worlds! :)

    OK, so the burning question is: what advertising worked best? Was word-of-mouth the biggest?

  2. That is super impressive, Derek. Great charts and a great beginning to what looks like an awesome year for you.

  3. Great news Derek! I am one of the 12 that bought the YA novel, though I confess I've only read the first 2 chapters; enough to see that I'll like it, but not enough to bump it up my list of back-logged reading. Maybe after I finish The Amoral Bridge (which I like rather well so far).

  4. Congratulations !! Great numbers !

  5. That's really amazing! I'm so excited you're finally hitting the break even/profit part of the game :)

    I'm looking forward to this month, 3rd episode on my YA series coming out. Seems to be garnering a little interest. I've watched your numbers grow as you have more titles release. The waiting game is the hardest! :)

    YA: Cheat, Liar
    Adult: Shackled

  6. Nice numbers, good for you. I've found the same thing about genre-skipping, but since I write fantasy and crime/thrillers I didn't expect many of those readers to cross over. Writing in multiple genres seems to require building two (or more) separate careers at once. It's a lot of work, but hopefully it will pay off in the future when we've got a good collection of titles under each genre.

  7. I guess another way of looking at writing in multiple genres is that you have more diversity, more eggs in more baskets. In the event that a certain genre takes off, maybe it's one that you've already got a head start on. That might be a good way of looking at it.

    I released Belvoir in February. It's a historical suspense novel. I've written a novella and a short story (I'm referring to it as an episode because they will all tie together) and plan to release them both this month. They will be entirely different from the novel, and I'm wondering what the reaction will be. I think you're right. I don't think I will see a lot of cross appeal, then again I'm just getting started. I suppose we shall see.

    Anyway, thanks for continuing to post and letting us know about your hard work and how it's paying off. Congratulations on your continued success. I can't wait to see what you post for May.

  8. Way to go! I think what you have done so far is very impressive. I have a feeling The Elemental Odyssey will take off soon. As your charts show, it takes a while to build those sales. Keep it up :)

  9. Good stuff, Derek! Which paid advertising is most effective for you?
    By the way, I just finished reformatting my crime novel PERIL with the support of your 'Format Your eBook forKindle in One Hour' and very happy with the result.

  10. But what about Twelve Worlds? :)

  11. Good morning, Derek,

    Congratulations on your sales. Though I'm not experienced enough with ebooks yet -- just 2 ebooks out this last month -- it seems to me as if you're on the right track.

    My first ebook has done exceptionally well in 1 month, and my second -- just 2 weeks old -- is starting to sell well too. I think, in part, because they were formatted so well! Love that little book of yours. I should probably get a commission since I've "hand sold" it so successfully. *g*

    Hope May will surpass your predictions.

  12. Derek,

    Thanks for the numbers. Great to hear about the uptick in sales. A hundred a day is respectable.

    Keep up the good work!

  13. All, thanks!

    Coral, none of the paid advertising I used resulted in any noticeable sales increase. So, word of mouth must be it!

    Ruby, I didn’t find any success with paid advertising such as Bing, Google, or Kindleboards. So, now I don’t spend money on advertising. Check my back posts and you’ll see my results with paid ads.

    Brian, I’m keeping Twelve Worlds off my books since the royalties are going to charity. It’s sold 48 copies so far.

  14. Word of mouth is said to be seven times more effective than anything you can pay for. :-)
    So if you write a good tale people will tell their friends whom they think might like it.

    "A Tale of Rum Town" - low-magic crime adventure.

  15. Derek, I've been following you since you first mentioned your story on Konrath's blog, and I'm so thrilled to see you manage to get in the black (well, almost, but I'm sure it will happen this month). Honestly, it's more of a selfish reason - I want your success to push me into trying it myself :)

    Congrats again.

  16. Congrats, Derek! Looks like you raised the price of Dead Dwarves back to 2.99. Are sales remaining high now that you're up in the "top 100" lists?