Inspired by others on the web who have done so, I’m going to do a numbers post. Mainly for reference, but also to show people what the income of a no-name self-publishing writer with moderate success looks like. Just to give some datapoints other than the millions reportedly made by others.
Newsflash: I’m not making millions!
So here are my earnings from self-publishing Sept 2012 – Sept 2013.
The Shattered World Within
This seems like a lot, but Shifting Reality was almost finished in September, Trader’s Honour was easy because I knew the story so well (it was essentially a retelling of an existing–unpublished–story with a different POV), Shattered World Within was already published elsewhere, so that leaves only Soldier’s Duty written from scratch.
2693 across all platforms.
1549 on Kobo
691 Amazon US
61 Amazon UK
3 Amazon DE
5 Amazon CA
1. Fire & Ice
2. Dust & Rain
3. Blood & Tears
4. Watcher’s Web
5. Trader’s Honour
Important note: only one of these title was published in the past year. It often takes a long time for a book to gain traction, and series will often only start selling reasonably well after the publication of book 3.
Total income for this year: $7050
Which roughly breaks up into:
$750 direct sales (mostly hand-sold print)
Now this is not going to break anyone’s bank, but I’m quite happy.
A few notes:
I didn’t enter my freebie give-aways, of which there would have been several tens of thousands.
I now have two three-book series (although the Aghyrians series will probably have a fourth book). Series definitely rule.
My books are quite high-priced in comparison with some, who sell all their books for 99c. I believe that my books are worth more than that. Moreover, I consider genre books my main “competitors”, and am not interested in the latest top 100 flavour of the month.
I don’t do a lot of paid advertising. Sales are all driven through perma-free books, my blog and Twitter.
While it would be nice to improve on my income next year, I am not treating that possibility as a given. This is hard work and you need to work for your sales. Even then, books might never take off.