Friday, April 1, 2011

First 6 months sales report

March was my sixth month selling ebooks. In this post I’ll share my sales and royalty information for those six months.
With no further ado, here is a chart (click to see larger):

I sold 1202 copies of my 3 titles in March. That’s 2.5 times more than February. I attribute this increase in copies sold to the decrease in price of my novel, Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance, from $2.99 to $.99 (the price change transpired on March 1). I will provide additional information about the results of the price decrease in the next few days.
My average sales per day for March were 41.4 (up from 16.9 in February).

My March royalties are 1.8 times those of February ($884 vs. $472).
The lesser improvement in royalties (as compared to units sold) is due to my price decrease. However, I also increased the price of my DIY book, Format Your Ebook in One Hour, from $.99 to $2.99. That’s the green bar. Royalties really skyrocketed for that book after I raised the price (perhaps proving that non-fiction guidebooks have great price inelasticity than novels).
What this means for me
I haven’t yet made a profit. I have earned about $1865 in royalties so far. I’m still about $700 shy of breaking even, but that should happen next month. Woot!
If sales remain stable at March levels, my gross royalties for 2011 will be about $10,000. Subtracting my expenses from that nets about $7500 in income. That is really good for the first year of an unknown author. I am quite pleased with these results. I think I will continue writing and publishing ebooks. J
I’ll be publishing my second full length novel, a young adult adventure titled The Elemental Odyssey, within the next few days (as soon as I get the cover art from Igor). Hopefully, this will sell at least as well as my cyberpunk novel, which means I might increase my gross revenue for 2011 by another couple thousand.
If my rate of sales increase continues as it has in the past several months,
What this means for you
You don’t need a vast marketing team to be successful at epublishing. I spent about $250 on paid advertising so far. I did little self-promotion other than this blog and Facebook and Twitter announcements.
If you have a few well-written books in a relatively popular genre, you could easily earn several thousand dollars in your first year.
My advice: Stop waiting for a corporate publishing deal. Self-publish now! The sooner you do, the sooner you can break even and even start making a nice fistful of money to augment your day job.


  1. 41 book sales/day? After 6 months? You have the golden touch. I hope your success continues to get better and better. Thanks for the info and graphs. I've very excited for you.

    Go Twelve Worlds!!!

  2. You have done well. It helps to have a disciplined approach. Even if you haven't mentioned that explicitly it's implicit in all of this.

    Manley raises a good point- with the anthology coming out very soon, that's bound to have an impact on your sales. Some fans of the other authors will be introduced to you through that, and at least a few will catch on, even ones who weren't very interested in cyberpunk previously.

    Those of us who are less established are more likely to see more benefit from Twelve Worlds, but it's still a rising tide.

  3. Congrats on the sales Derek! So are you keeping your fiction books at the $.99 price range then? It seems like you are now making more selling them for less than you were when the price was $2.99...?

    Also, how is the "B&N how to format book coming along?"

    You must be very excited to release your new YA book! Congrats on that and have you decided to use your name instead of a pen name then?

    Angeline Kace

  4. Derek,


    " I think I will continue writing and publishing ebooks."

    You've always had a good attitude. Take some of your own advice from "The Keys to epublishing Success" back in January. " It makes sense that the more titles you have for sale, the more sales you earn. Joe Konrath talks about this a lot over on his fine blog. And, from the numbers, you have to agree. It seems that a good strategy to join the 1,000+ Sales/Month Club is to emulate the existing club members by putting more ebooks up for sale."

    My agenda? I'm waiting for a sequel to DDDD. :)


  5. I'm looking forward to the Nook formatting book as well. Derek, congrats on your success. While I've not read your fiction yet, I know first hand what a solid job you did on the DIY Kindle book. The fact that you've earned as much as you have in such a short time speaks to your ability as a writer, which I think is more important than the pricing. I don't believe you would have sold as much as you have if your stories were not good.

  6. They're all true, Derek, the comments you have received. I purchased both the DIY book and DDDD (both prior to your price moves, so your net is the same) and reviewed DDDD as thoroughly enjoyable.

    As do the others, I find it especially gratifying that you are willing to share this data with us. I'll plan to do the same, though I tremble to think the results will be anything like this good.

    Thanks for your advice and lead. And good writing!

  7. Well done with that!

    Your final words are absolutely spot on. We gave up holding out for a dead-tree publisher at the end of last year.

    We've been extraordinarily lucky and sold 15000 last month and on current trends will clear 20000 in April. And that's just on Kindle.

    There are fine rewards out there for a good writer with confidence to go it alone.

    Mark Williams - co-suthor Sugar & Spice by Saffina Desforges


  8. All, thanks!

    Angeline, I’ll keeping my Dwarves ebooks at $.99 for at least another month. I am still not making as much in royalties at $.99. But, I might reach parity in another month if sales continue to increase at the current rate. I have not started on the Nook Formatting book. That will be a few weeks, probably. Yep, I’m very excited about the YA book. I will use my DJC pen name for it.

    Neil, I do have many, many more books planned. In addition to at least 3 more Dead Dwarves books, and several YA books, I’d like to do some space opera, epic fantasy, kid’s fantasy, western, and detective. Those are all years away, of course. I might get the Dwarves sequel out this year. Not sure.

    Tony, thanks for the great review! I really appreciate it. I’m glad you liked Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance.

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