Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Indie Life: Sales numbers for ordinary folks

Welcome to Indie Life -- the second Wednesday of the month! Time to talk about the realities of self-publishing in the middle of the ongoing sea change that ebooks have wrought.

Real-world sales numbers
We've all read self-publishing success stories. I just published my book and sold a thousand the first week! I'm #1 in my category at Amazon! 

These stories happen. They get talked about a lot because they're unusual. Predatory companies selling overpriced packages of services to "help" self-publishers like to trot out stories like these.

Meanwhile, we mere mortals are looking at very different sales numbers. We say generic things like: I'm thrilled with my sales! They're getting better all the time! Much more realistic. But what are these thrilling numbers?

Behold, the sales numbers for Disciple, Part I, II and III from October 2012 through October 2013.* Am I thrilled? I'm incredibly awful at hyperbole, so let's be realistic. Thrilled, no. Grateful, yes, very much so. Encouraged to continue, yes.

There are some interesting things in it, I think. You can see the impact of new releases on sales of all the Parts. You can see that it took five months for sales to reach zero the first time, and six months the second time. In general, my sales are increasing. It's a gradual trend but it's there.

Did these numbers surprise you? These are the sales of someone who doesn't have much presence in social media. Someone with very little advertising money to burn, but who keeps plugging away at self-publishing. Disciple is a gritty fantasy with blood and guts... and romance, too. There's a niche out there for Disciple, it's just a matter of finding it. I have plans for the remaining three parts of Disciple and I have more irons in the fire as well.

So I'm going to keep going. Tune in next year for an update. :) Well, maybe six months.

*Does not include Storybundle sales of Part I in December of 2012. That was about 1,800 copies but apparently not many of those folks have come back for more.

Cover & blurb for Disciple, Part IPart IIPart III

1 comment:

Amelia said...

This makes me feel better about my sales numbers -- I'm at about 21 sales per book -- one published a year ago, the other about a month ago.

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