My earnings from self-publishing Sept 2012 – Sept 2013

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.

Books published:

Shifting Reality
Trader’s Honour
Soldier’s Duty
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in September, Trader’s Honour was easy because I knew the story so well (it was essentially a retelling of an existing–unpublished–story with a different POV), Shattered World Within was already published elsewhere, so that leaves only Soldier’s Duty written from scratch.

Books sold:

2693 across all platforms.

Broken up:
1549 on Kobo
691 Amazon US
61 Amazon UK
3 Amazon DE
5 Amazon CA
243 B&N
67 Apple
15 Smashwords
10 Sony
4 Diesel
45 print

Bestselling titles:

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:

$5200 Kobo
$850 Smashwords
$2500 Amazon
$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.

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