I didn’t hit the Stratosphere with book sales or receive any lucrative film options, but my first six weeks as a self-published author has been encouraging. I elected to publish through Amazon’s KDP program for the first three months and since I’m about halfway through the three-month period, I thought I would share my sales figures and thoughts with you about the process. Amazon puts out three reports, Month to Date Unit Sales, Prior Six Weeks’ Royalties & Prior Months’ Royalties. These are my numbers for the first six weeks:
The Bewitching Hour sold 82 copies
The Devil’s Own Luck sold 107 copies
The Bewitching Hour free promotional downloads through the Kindle Select Program came to 4446 copies. (my goal was 4000) The promotion did bump up sales of the sequel, The Devil’s Own Luck, but not as much as I had hoped. I have to remind myself that there are readers who download freebies and never even look at them (is that a productive way to spend your time?) and there are readers who will eventual get around to reading The Bewitching Hour, like it, and buy more of my books. And as much it pains me to say this, there will also be readers who don’t like TBH and may not buy anything else that I write.
I also had a decent number of borrows for both books through the Kindle Library Program, but they didn’t show up on The Royalties Page. I’m assuming that’s because they’re funded differently. I hadn’t totaled them up from September’s report and since the month is now over, they’re no longer listed.
I haven’t received my first deposit because Amazon delays payment for two months to avoid a charge-back on book returns. According to my royalty statement my first check will be $418.98 plus I will get paid on the library borrows. Not near enough to buy that villa in the south of France that I put at the top of the page, but it beats a poke in the eye.
There aren’t any big advances going this route. In most cases, it’s very much an accumulative process and that weighed heavily in my decision to self-publish. Books don’t get pulled off the shelves. As long as there’s an e-book vendor out there that I can use, the books I write will always be available to anyone who wants to read them. And hopefully, people will.
I’ll be blogging once a week about my experiences in self-publishing–the mistakes I make, what seems to work and what doesn’t, the negatives and positives. What I won’t be doing is urging others to self-publish or giving advice because I haven’t been at it long enough to know what I’m doing, much less give advice. I’m not really sure anyone has. It’s a learning process and as strange as this may sound, the playing field is pretty level.
Next week, you get to hear about how I screwed up!