Friday, March 18, 2011

Sales Growth Over Time

I love crunching numbers.  So I decided to take some sales numbers of indie authors over time to see the growth.  I hope you find it as interesting as I did.  I won't comment too much more, I'll let the data speak for itself.  Just pay attention to the growth, and how most authors total sales are largely from the last few months they've been selling, especially as you get into the authors that have really started to sell well.  I'm especially encouraged by the authors who had months of small numbers and then suddenly took off.  This tells me that no book is without hope of selling.  If it's not moving, change the cover, play with the price, try different marketing ideas, join a critique group and make sure it's well written.  If your book isn't selling, there is something you can do about it, don't give up hope.

I'm going to list people in order of total sales, starting with the lowest first.  I hadn't asked anyone about marketing or anything else, but some people did give me comments, which I found interesting so I'll include that here.

*****












Annie Bellet
Jul - 3
Aug - 4
Sept - 3
Oct - 4
Nov - 2
Dec - 12
Jan - 17 (released another book in Jan)
Feb - 18 (released another book in Feb)

Total Sold: 60
Number of Books: 5
Genre: Literary (all short stories), Sci/fi (1 novelette, 1 short story collection), Fantasy (novel)
I don't really promote and I've just started getting actual novels up under the name that has some traditional publishing sales, so I figure it can only go up from here.

*****












K.A. Jordan
Aug  - 16
Sept - 5
Oct  - 4
Nov  - 1
Dec  - 4
Jan  - 16
Feb  - 15

Total Sold:  61
Number of Books: 1
Genre: Contemporary romance

*****












Tiffany Turner
Jan - 3
Feb - 2
Mar - 0
Apr - 3
May - 4  (2nd bk release on Kindle)
Jun - 8
Jul - 11
Aug - 7
Sep - 0
Oct - 0
Nov - 4
Dec - 9
Jan - 18
Feb - 6

Total Sold: 75
Number of Books: 2
Genre: Middle Grade

*****












Talia Jager
Jul - 4
Aug - 6
Sept - 6
Oct - 8
Nov - 3
Dec - 15
Jan - 17
Feb - 20  (released 2nd book)

Total Sold: 89
Number of Books: 2
Genre: YA - drama

*****













Matthew & Stefanie Verish
Jul - 23
Aug - 10
Sept - 2  (raised price)
Oct - 6  (lowered price)
Nov - 14
Dec - 9
Jan - 23  (Added novelette)
Feb - 34

Total Sold: 121
Number of Books: 2
Genre: Fantasy

*****












John Hamilton
Jun - 3
July - 7
Aug - 1
Sep - 2
Oct - 44
Nov - 8
Dec - 19
Jan - 57
Feb - 55

Total Sold: 141
Number of Books: 2
Genre: Horror, Historical Thriller

*****












Steve Silkin
Jun - 1
Jul - 1
Aug - 0
Sept - 3
Oct - 4
Nov - 41*
Dec - 12
Jan - 15
Feb - 103*

Total Sold: 180
Number of Books: 4
Genre: Political Thriller, Short Story Collections
*Kindle Nation Daily sponsorships

*****












Chris J. Randolph
Jun - 15
Jul - 20
Aug - 10
Sep - 41
Oct - 42
Nov - 49
Dec - 20
Jan - 27
Feb - 23

Total Sold: 247
Number of Books: 2
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy

*****












Consuelo Saah Baehr
Aug - 0
Sept - 10
Oct - 20
Nov - 25
Dec - 33
Jan - 60
Feb - 112

Total Sold: 260
Number of Books: 6
Genre: Historical; Women's Fiction/Suspense; Memoir (non-fiction); Short Stories

*****












Scott Cleveland
Jan - 0
Feb - 1
Mar - 0
Apr - 0
May - 1
Jun - 13
Jul - 10
Aug - 26
Sept -17
Oct - 34
Nov - 31
Dec - 42
Jan - 43
Feb - 46

Total Sold: 264
Number of Books: 1
Genre: Sci-Fi

*****












V.J. Chambers
May - 3
Jun - 19
Jul - 21
Aug - 5
Sept - 4
Oct - 2
Nov - 6
Dec - 3
Jan - 6
Feb - 3
Mar - 1
Apr - 0
May - 9
Jun - 7
Jul - 6
Aug - 9
Sept - 3
Oct - 31
Nov - 27
Dec - 70
Jan - 71
Feb - 106

Total Sold: 341
Number of Books: 8 (but were obviously not all out the entire time. Last two released in February)
Genre: YA Supernatural Romance, YA Horror, Urban Fantasy, Horror (adult)

*****













Judi Coltman
Aug - 8
Sept - 4
Oct - 30
Nov - 16
Dec - 17
Jan - 163
Feb - 179

Total sold: 497
Number of books: 1
Genre: Humor

*****












Michael Crane
Jul - 5
Aug - 12
Sept - 12
Oct - 40
Nov - 38
Dec - 107
Jan - 188
Feb - 222

Total Sold: 627
Number of Books: 4
Genre: Horror/Dark Humor, Short Stories

*****













J.M. Pierce
Apr - 5
May - 11
Jun - 11
Jul - 16
Aug -18
Sept - 19
Oct - 127
Nov - 75
Dec - 152
Jan - 123
Feb - 81

Total Sold: 638
Number of Books: 2
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy

*****












J.M. Zambrano
Jul - 9
Aug - 3
Sep - 1
Oct - 32
Nov - 373
Dec - 40
Jan - 40
Feb - 81

Total Sold: 659
Number of Books: 2
Genre: Suspense/Thriller, Mystery/Suspense

*****












Joel Arnold
May - 44
Jun - 62
Jul - 100
Aug - 104
Sept - 99
Oct - 71
Nov - 79
Dec - 73
Jan - 107
Feb - 98

Total Sold:  837
Number of Books: 8
Genre: Horror, Short Story Collections, YA, Mystery

*****












Jamie DeBree
Aug - 7
Sept - 9
Oct - 7
Nov - 28  (Lowered to .99 cents)
Dec - 42  (Joined Independent Author Network for marketing)
Jan - 255  (Released 2nd book)
Feb - 391

Total Sold: 847
Number of Books: 3 (one Mar. release)
Genre: 2 Romantic Suspense, 1 Erotic Romance

*****












Daniel Pyle
Aug - 37
Sept - 28
Oct - 59
Nov - 109
Dec - 176
Jan - 260
Feb - 283

Total sold: 1,042
Number of books: 2
Genre: Horror

*****












Suzanne Tyrpak
Aug - 27  (Dating My Vibrator at $2.99)
Sept - 27
Oct - 27
Nov - 158  (lowered price of Dating My Vibrator to .99cents)
Dec - 352  (added Vestal Virgin at .99 cents mid-month)
Jan - 415  (raised price of Vestal Virgin to $2.99 Jan 2, Kept Dating My Vibrator at .99cents)
Feb - 456

Total Sold:  1,462
Number of Books: 2
Genre: Humor, Historical Romance

*****












Anne Marie Novark
Aug - 9
Sept - 4
Oct - 24
Nov - 9
Dec - 131
Jan - 643
Feb - 826

Total sold: 1,646
Number of books: 7
Genre: Regency Romance, Contemporary Western, Contemporary

*****












Katie Salidas
Mar - 37  (Original Price 4.99)
Apr - 378
May - 401
Jun - 175
Jul - 119 - (Price Drop 3.99)
Aug - 109
Sept - 49 - (Price Drop 2.99)
Oct - 51
Nov - 38
Dec - 81 - (Price Drop to 0.99, Released sequel to the series)
Jan - 195
Feb - 124

Total Sold:  1,757
Number of Books: Author has 5, these numbers are for 1 book.
Genre: Urban Fantasy

*****












Sandy Night
Aug - 2
Sept - 8
Oct - 16
Nov - 44
Dec - 97
Jan - 348
Feb - 1,483

Total Sold:  1,998
Number of Books: 1
Genre: Romantic Suspense

*****












William Esmont
May - 1
Jun - 11
Jul - 6
Aug - 11
Sep - 10
Oct - 29  (Released 2nd book at end of the month)
Nov - 40
Dec  - 99
Jan - 538
Feb - 768

Total Sold: 2,025
Number of Books: 2
Genre: 1 Espionage Thriller, 1 General Thriller

*****












Diana Estill
Aug - 8
Sept - 22
Oct - 105
Nov - 94
Dec - 469  (released third book)
Jan - 942
Feb - 612  (price increase on one book)

Total Sold:  2,252
Number of Books: 3
Genre: Humor

*****












Joseph Mitchell
Jun - 5
Jul - 63
Aug - 70
Sept - 113
Oct - 148
Nov - 210
Dec - 722
Jan - 877
Feb - 445

Total Sold:  2,653
Number of Books: 1
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy

*****












Martin Sharlow
Dec - 6
Jan - 8
Feb - 16
Mar - 5
Apr - 7
May - 35
Jun - 56
Jul - 31
Aug - 52
Sep - 68
Oct - 61
Nov - 91
Dec - 151
Jan - 389
Feb - 2,317

Total Sold: 3,293
Number of Books: 5
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Y.A. Fantasy

*****












John Pearson
Jan - 74
Feb - 48
Mar - 110
Apr - 276
May - 136
Jun - 285
Jul - 345
Aug - 287
Sept - 166
Oct - 248
Nov - 72
Dec - 372
Jan - 1,144
Feb - 579

Total Sold: 4,928  (that's since Jul 09)
Number of Books: 1
Genre: Humor

*****












William Meikle
Apr - 100
May - 300
Jun - 500
Jul - 450
Aug - 1,547 
Sept - 2,255

Total Sold: 5,152
Number of Books 8
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror
About 1/2 of the sales were from the Sci-Fi title THE INVASION

*****












Jan Hurst-Nicholson
Jun - 1
Jul - 0
Aug - 0
Sept - 11 (this is when Amazon UK came on line - I think)
Oct - 18
Nov - 34
Dec - 181
Jan - 2,355
Feb - 2,876

Total Sold: 5,476
Number of Books: 5
Genre: Humor

*****












Joseph Nassise
Jan - 7
Feb - 5
Mar - 100
Apr - 106
May - 164
Jun - 161
Jul - 274
Aug - 410
Sept - 431
Oct - 404
Nov - 444
Dec - 844
Jan - 1,633
Feb - 2,121

Total Sold: 7,104
Number of Books: 4 
Genre: Urban fantasy, horror
Each significant jump in sales for me was a result of either a change to the cover or to the description.  I've done very little promotion, aside from an occasional mention on my blog.

*****












L.C. Evans
Feb - 77  (2 Books priced at $1.99)
Mar - 265
Apr - 415
May - 294
Jun - 169  (Raised price to $2.99)
Jul - 143
Aug - 51
Sept - 108  (Released a third book, Jobless Recovery)
Oct - 90
Nov - 82
Dec - 252
Jan - 1,852  (Released fourth book, The Witness Wore Blood Bay and lowered prices to $.99. Got new cover for WITD.)
Feb - 3,702

Total Sold: 7,500
Number of Books: 4
Genre: Mystery, Chick Lit, Non-Fiction

*****












Valmore Daniels
Jul - 13
Aug - 93
Sep - 194
Oct - 1,583
Nov - 1,642
Dec - 1,118
Jan - 1,768  (Released 2nd Book)
Feb - 1,330

Total: 7,641
Number of Books: 2
Genre: Science Fiction / Fantasy

*****












Sibel Hodge
Mar - 44
Apr - 60
May - 158
Jun - 197
Jul - 273
Aug - 312
Sept - 359
Oct - 444
Nov - 472
Dec - 1,152
Jan - 2,073  (released My Perfect Wedding)
Feb - 4,012

Total Sold: 9,556
Number of Books: Mostly 2 books (3rd one released last month)
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Chicklit Mystery

*****












Abigail Lawrence
Apr - 13
May - 46
Jun - 50
Jul - 69
Aug - 104
Sept - 96
Oct - 157
Nov - 281
Dec - 1,802
Jan - 3,500
Feb  3,226

Total Sold: 9,772
Number of Books: 1
Genre: YA Coming of Age

*****












Ellen O-Connell
Feb - 182
Mar - 309
Apr - 300
May - 492
Jun - 864
Jul - 678
Aug - 600
Sept - 673
Oct - 571
Nov - 708
Jan - 2,580
Feb - 1,930

Total Sold: 9,887
Number of Books: 3 
Genre: Romance, Mystery
*****













David McAfee
Mar - 11
Apr - 97
May - 146
Jun - 256
Jul - 350
Aug - 957
Sept - 1,075
Oct - 1,246
Nov - 1,225
Dec - 1,668
Jan - 2,857
Feb - 2,098

Total Sold: 11,986
Number of Books: 5
Genre: Horror

*****












Monique Martin
Feb - 20
Mar - 18
Apr - 25
May - 16
Jun - 12
Jul - 26
Aug - 80
Sept - 411
Oct - 306
Nov - 321
Dec - 1,167
Jan - 4,461
Feb - 5,899

Total sold: 12,780
Number of books: 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance

*****












Rachel Yu
Sept - 134
Oct - 1,081
Nov - 1,690
Dec - 2,507
Jan - 7,146
Feb - 3,626

Total Sold: 16,184
Number of Books: 5
Genre: Picture Books for Children

*****












Lexi Revellian
Aug - 9
Sept - 81
Oct - 664
Nov - 1,559
Dec - 4,281
Jan - 5,940
Feb - 3,692
Mar - 735

Total Sold: 16,952
Number of Books: 1
Genre: Romantic Suspense

In February, Remix was no longer featured on Amazon UK's ebooks under £2 page, which was brilliant exposure - I think this is why sales dropped.

*****












Karen Cantwell
Jun - 45
Jul - 151
Aug - 1,083
Sept - 1,909
Oct - 1,628 (released Marr-nia short story collection)
Nov - 1,505
Dec - 3,685
Jan - 7,213
Feb - 8,429

Total Sold: 25,648
Number of Books: 2
Genre: Mystery, Short Stories

*****












David Dalglish
Feb - 76
Mar - 103
Apr - 341
May - 332
Jun - 475
Jul - 727
Aug - 840
Sept - 843
Oct - 2,146
Nov - 2,366
Dec - 4,635
Jan - 7,514
Feb - 7,682

Total sold: 28,000
Number of books: now up to 8 (plus an Omni).
Genre: all fantasy but for one short-story anthology.

*****












Beth Orsoff
Jun - 4 (1 book, 1 week)
Jul - 118 (released 2nd book in week 3)
Aug - 571
Sept - 767
Oct - 644
Nov - 1,157 (released 3rd book in week 1, put all three books up on B&N Thanksgiving weekend)
Dec - 3,836
Jan - 13,194
Feb - 12,169

Total Sold: 32,460
Number of Books: 3
Genre: Chick Lit, Romantic Comedy

*****












Michael J. Sullivan
(These numbers are approx.)
Apr - 1,000
May - 1,000
Jun - 1,000
Jul - 1,000
Aug - 1,000
Sept - 1,000
Oct - 2,600 (5th book released)
Nov - 7,600
Dec - 10,500
Jan - 11,500
Feb - 10,500

Total Sold: 48,700
Number of Books: 5
Genre: Fantasy

*****












Victorine Lieske
Apr - 7
May - 151
Jun - 456
Jul - 176
Aug - 106
Sept - 389
Oct - 1,401
Nov - 2,670
Dec - 11,162
Jan - 21,484
Feb - 28, 745

Total Sold: 66,766
Number of Books: 1
Genre: Romantic Suspense


*****












Tina Folsom
Jun - 410
Jul - 1,223 (released my 2nd Vampire novel on July 2 & redesigned covers of older books)
Aug - 3,215 (signed up with Smashwords)
Sep - 1,901
Oct - 14,779 (signed up with Pubit!, also: Amazon had my short story Steal Me as a 4-day freebie - sold 9,500 copies, these are included in this figure, because Amazon paid me royalties on this)
Nov - 3,663
Dec - 23,597 (released my 3rd Vampire novel on Dec 2)
Jan - 26,852
Feb - 22,406

Total: 88,046
Genre; Romance/Paranormal/Erotic
Titles: 12 (incl. short stories)

*****

48 comments:

  1. Vicki, I wanted to see your numbers! What gives? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. LOL! I thought everyone was sick of hearing them! :) I can add them in when I get back from picking up the kids from school. :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is all awesome to see; thanks for compiling it. I saw your thread on KB and thought about responding, but I've added books steadily as I've gone along, so I don't think it's easy to separate audience growth from new book releases in my case.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for putting all of this information together! This just reiterates that Indie authors can be successful and the most successful have many books out there. Makes me excited for my upcoming publications :D

    ReplyDelete
  5. That is amazing. Thank you for putting this up. I just started out on kindle. Hope that one day I'll be on the bottom of your page :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good luck with your books, Shay and Stella!

    I put my numbers up with the rest, Sariah. :)

    Vicki

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is great, Vicki. Thanks for posting this. Definitely information to ponder on.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks! :)

    And look at those numbers - amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  9. wow, some of these numbers made my eyes pop. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  10. Fantastic numbers to look at, thanks so much for putting all of this together. There's a lot of potential for indies! And thanks to those who took the time to list comments about events during certain months that affected sales numbers.

    Looks like one of the big keys is to have multiple products in the pipeline; I think that lends a lot of credence to an independent author.

    Thanks again!

    ~Steve
    steveumstead.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow, interesting numbers here--thank you for putting them all together. It'll be interesting to see how the next six months compare, for both newcomers (like me!) and the 'veterans'.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am comforted by the progression of sales over time. I have surpassed last months total already this month and am excited about the prospect for coming months. Slow and steady is fine with me! Thanks for posting this info.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks! I love seeing sales climb. A year ago I never would have thought so many of us would see these kinds of numbers.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for posting this on Twitter, Victorine.
    I'm over a week into this thing and only sold 2 books. Very discouraging, but this post at least shows I need to hang in there.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm right out of the gate - a week and a half. 36 sales across the board. I like to hear numbers. Thanks for this!

    ReplyDelete
  16. You're welcome, everyone! I love seeing the numbers too. It really does give everyone hope. Even if it takes months to take off, once it does it usually means word of mouth carries it along. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. This post gives me so much hope. I sold 152 my first month. If I could achieve the success some of these authors have, I would just die. Thank you so much to each of you for sharing!!!!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for doing such posts! Very interesting numbers!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great post for nervous writers like me!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for the numbers, Vicki! I've been gearing up to go indie myself, and this is exactly the kind of thing I've been looking for. :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Very interesting stuff. Very optimistic.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you for putting all these numbers together! Inspiring!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks for putting these numbers together! I found you through JA Marlow. I'm just starting to investigate indie, and it's hard not to be dazzled by the JA Konraths and Amanda Hockings and (holycrap!) Barry Eisler. It's nice to see real numbers.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks for posting this! It's so great to see some real stats for ebooks, just to see a book get one sale is so heartening, let alone thousands!

    ReplyDelete
  25. That was sure a lot of crunching! Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  26. Great post! This is so encouraging to indie authors to know that these kind of sales are possible! A year ago, I never dreamt I'd have the sales I have.

    Happy Indie Books! :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Just discovered this post - thanks, Victorine! Those growth rates are amazing...

    ReplyDelete
  28. It's good to see the numbers rising over time. I had a thought too that the increase in sales could be not only from people finding the book through word of it, but also because there are more readers (IE: as more and more people buy Kindles or other eBook readers, it stands to reason that greater numbers of eBooks will be sold each month).
    Of course that may also mean fewer paperbacks and hardcover books will be sold as a result too as people convert from actual books to virtual books. At any rate I hope my book sales go up over time as well. :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. I was trying to remember which was the exact post that made my mind up about self-publishing, as I had been reading a lot of Konrath and Dean Wesley Smith and so on.

    It was this.

    Thank you Vicki, and thank you to all the writers who shared.

    I published a short story two weeks ago. Sold 83 copies so far, and I'm having a blast!

    Dave

    ReplyDelete
  30. Great post, Victorine. Where did you get these numbers from? (I'm curious because the method of data collection often affects the results.)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Excellent post - I do like figures. They say a lot. These bear out things I've heard elsewhere - that self-published ebooks, if they're any good, start slow and build up in sales, unlike traditionally published books where you sell the most in the first 3-4 months, before the bookseller takes you off the shelf and sends you back for a credit!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Livia - I started a thread over on Kindleboards and asked authors to share their sales numbers if they wanted. I used the honor system. :)

    And Sherryl, I agree, that's what my experience has told me too.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Interesting stats, Victorine - this is what I've been hearing everywhere. And there's no point in lying about huge sales figures, the Amazon ranking will give you away!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Very encouraging. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Late to the party here, but thanks very much for compiling this data and sharing it. My suspicion has always been that this would be long-tail-marketing, and it looks like that's true.

    Do you know whether all of these works are previously unpublished? Or are some of them re-released backlist titles? (Because yes, mine are all backlist getting a new lease on life.)

    c

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hey Victorine! Long time no see since Joe's blog. Thanks for compiling this. And thanks to the authors who've opened up their numbers for us. VERY interesting!

    V - if you want my specific numbers for Dream War--I'd be midway down your list in the 2k range of sales. Lemme know and I'll email you my sales sheets...

    ReplyDelete
  37. Victorine - this is very useful information, thanks for taking the time to put the numbers together!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks for the info. Would be really helpful to know why/how some authors' sales jumped from 350 to 1500 in one month. I appreciate the authors sharing their data.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Victorine - great information, thanks a lot. Any clues on what marketing people did that really worked? Also, does anyone know who will review ebooks? I write scifi, so there's a genre angle...

    ReplyDelete
  40. This is a great post, Victorine! Thanks so much! Can you tell me what the dates you list represent -- is it just the range of time that the book was available for sale, or is there some other info that's important about the dates? TIA, Rebecca (children's illustrator/wannabe author)

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi Rebecca, These are the dates and sales numbers authors gave me. Most of them started with the first month their book was available. :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Victorine,Hi!

    What are these "authors" charging for their wares? If it's 99 cents then it doesn't matter how many copies they sell because of the 35 cent royalty.

    Thank you for posting all of this and inspiring new authors but the truth is that there is no money to be made via ebooks. None. There is no money to be made in writing period, and everybody knows that. I know you mean well but to post these numbers that make self published commentors think they'll make anything but peanuts on this stuff is disingenuous at best.
    Tham you for letting me comment.

    ReplyDelete
  43. @Booger - The prices vary, some are 99 cents while others are higher. But to say you can't make any money on a 99 cent ebook is ridiculous. I sold over 100,000 ebooks at 99 cents, earning over $35,000. For a first time author it would have been highly unlikely that I would have gotten a larger advance. In fact, I probably would have gotten $5,000 and ended up spending it on traveling to bookstores to do book signings.

    However, that's not the real lure of the 99 cent price. Look at Amanda Hocking and David Dalglish who use the 99 cent price to sell the first book in a series, and then price the others higher. Amanda earned over a million dollars, and David is earning six figures a year.

    That's not to say that everyone earns a TON of money. Not so. But there are some people earning a decent amount of money.

    In fact, sales have slowed for me but I'm still earning around $1,000 a month. Try asking traditionally published authors how much they earn a year after their book has come out. I'm guessing I'm earning more than the average traditionally published author on one book.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Victorine,

    Thank you so much for responding. And thank you for letting me comment.

    Okay I've read your last comment and I still don't think this is relevant to the majority of SP'd authors out there. In my mind, sustaining the HUGE sales volume to actually earn anything on 99 cents is just unrealistic, Victorine.

    How many authors can pull in 100,000 sales a month (hypothetically)? That's a mean feat for trade authors, let alone SP'd on Amazon! The majority of authors who are self pubbed on Amazon won't make much at all. Seriously. And no, I'm not trying to speak DOOM, just a reality. Most of them don't have any kind of plan other than selling for 99 cents and that's not a plan. It was in 2010 when KDP was pretty new. I mean, it was a relatively new strategy. But not now. The market (if I can use that word here) is saturated with 99 cents to the point where it does't even stand out anymore. And I hear (read) SO many writers justify 99 by saying they just care about getting readers. In the back of my mind it makes me wonder how soon it will be before they start charging 75 cents for their writing, or say 'what the heck' and knock it down to 50 cent, and call these 'loss leaders'(a favorite term in indie publishing). I mean, what's stopping them? They'll take 20 cent royalties on their work if they imagine people are 'reading' their stuff. Truth is, most people who buy the 99 are hoarders who have stacks of such cheap ebooks on their $300 Kindes that they never get around to looking at after the initial thrill of hoarding is finished.

    My point is, you're an outlier, Victorine. You're special. Each writer has to (in my opinion) find what works best for them & I don't think 99 cents is the best 'strategy' for everyone across the board (not that you said that, but the post suggests that).

    Victorine, you said, "Look at Amanda Hocking and David Dalglish who use the 99 cent price to sell the first book in a series, and then price the others higher. Amanda earned over a million dollars, and David is earning six figures a year."

    I say: No, I'm not going to look at Amanda Hocking. What worked for her 1 year ago isn't really going to cut it nowadays because the market is glutted. She was 1 of the pioneers of the 99 cent ebook, was she not? Not many people did that 'back then' so it was a viable strategy.

    There weren't that many self published authors operating on Kindle back then, so competition was less. Not only that but the book bloggers she used to review her works 1 year ago are now swamped with self-published 'masterpieces' from every Tom, Dick, and Harry to review. And a lot (not all but a good number) of ebook buyers who once saw 99 cents as a 'helluva' deal, now seem to 'expect' self published authors to sell at that price point.


    The atmoshpere has changed. Time for new strategies to go with that, you know? That's just my personal opinion, not gospel truth-just an Epinion on Ebooks.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I totally understand what you're saying, and I do agree, the atmosphere is changing at a rapid rate. What worked last year might not work today. But I shy away from absolutes. I'm not going to agree that 99 cents no longer works. And I say that because I see authors like Darcie Chan, Chris Culver and P.J. Alderman who are all in the top 10 on Amazon with their 99 cent books. They are all selling thousands of books, and earning thousands of dollars.

    Is it enough just to price at 99 cents? No. Was it ever enough? I don't think so. The authors I know who made it to the top worked hard to get there. There is no instant, easy answer.

    Is everyone earning thousands of dollars? No. But I'm not claiming that. Look at this post. I didn't cut anyone from the list. Authors selling a few books a month all the way up to Tina Folsom, kicking it. (Who, by the way, prices from 99 to 4.99 and still kicks it.)

    I post these things not to give delusions to writers, but to show reality. There are a lot of authors selling less than 1,000 books a month. But there are *some* who sell a lot of books and thus earn a nice income. (Steady income? Probably not. But writing has never been steady income.)

    But I do believe self-publishing has changed and many more authors are earning real money now than they were 10 years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  46. These are my stats since I started.

    Aug (1 week): 14

    Sept: 39 (added 2 new books at the end of the month).

    There are days I don't get a single sale, and then I think, this is it. I'll never get a single sale again. I'm not cut out for this.

    Then there are days I get a flurry of sales, and get all excited again.

    I wish I didn't 'care' quite so much. Maybe it's because I put so much heart and soul into my writing, something I never did for my day job which pays the bills.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Would love to see an updated post of these and/or other authors' sales numbers.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Popular Posts