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How much do you make self-publishing?

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Muqtada, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. MichaelSullivan

    MichaelSullivan Maester

    The one thing I can't give you yet is traditional numbers as I don't have any royalty statements. Using bookscan data, and some approximations for ebooks I anticipate that I've sold approximately: 33,000 books (16 weeks book 1, 14 weeks book 2, 6 weeks, book 3)
  2. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    Hey, yeah, maybe he has a point here: I totally forgot about all those movie auditions I went to where they charged me $500 to try out.…

    [Sorry: just had to say it. I'm assuming his posts haven't been deleted as a cautionary tale, BD? –Anyway: back to the topic.]
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  3. gerald.parson

    gerald.parson Troubadour

    Michael, those numbers 33,000 units sold, I am correct in understanding those where just eBook sales?
    I believe you mentioned before you self-published and then got a deal for a re-print on those books, is that correct? If so, during the time period you self-published, what do you do, from a sales and marketing standpoint, to generate sales and interest? I hope you don't mind me asking, but I am curious, and I think it would be sage advise for any aspiring self-published or soon to be self-published authors on the forum.
  4. MichaelSullivan

    MichaelSullivan Maester

    No those are both print and ebook. I seem to be running about 50% each with the traditionally published works (which is higher than most of their authors which I think run 15%- 30% of ebooks. The 70,000 books that I sold as self-publishing were almost all ebooks and most of those sales came in from Oct 2010 - February 2011.

    Yes I was self-published - and yes the books were re-published through a big-six. The promotions for my books are legion -way to much to get into on a forum here. The best advice I have is to comb my wife's website (Blogsot.com) where she discussess most of what she did there. It ranges across a whole slew of activities - everything from branding, to price promotions, to review copies, and blog tours. I'm really not trying to be evasive here it's just that Robin wrote hundreds of pages of detailed plans that she executed against and it's not easy to sum up. To attempt to sum up a bit it would be.

    1 - Work on getting your presentation as professional as possible: Good author bio, good book ad copy, nice covers,
    2 - Determine your main keywords and what markets you think will provide the highest return based on your books
    3 - Work on getting credibility first - and eyeballs after that. That means working on getting reviews, awards, best-of-lists, recommendations from notable players in the industry.
    4 - Generate traffic to the books once they "look worthy" - don't try to put the cart before the horse - driving thousands of looks to a book that has 1 or 2 reviews is useless - make sure you have at least 12 and preferably 25 then start driving people to them.
    5 - Drive people with free content: podcasts, sample chapters, free shorts
    6 - Collect emails and foster a direct releationship for people to buy from you direct - they are your core fans and winning them over will make a army of salespeople who are brining in new people through word-of-mouth sales.

    Hope some of this helps.
  5. boboratory

    boboratory Minstrel

    whew, this thread moved fast...

    My (as Brick Cave Media) serious effort starts last August when I took it on full time, but with one major book, we passed $200 for the year last year, and so far are averaging over $100/month for the first three months of 2012 (with only the same titles). Lots of new books coming out this year (at least 4 novels, 8-10 short stories, and 3-4 books of poetry), so I think I'll see a nice bump into April-June and beyond. We are super small, with absolute start from zero authors, but growing.

    Michael's advice is right on, the closer you get to your readers, the better positioned you are. Don't just use facebook to tell people to buy your book, talk to people and engage them so they know who you are- they are more likely to then purchase a copy from someone they "know".

    I am not yet convinced about the freebie piece, though. Since January, people have downloaded 400 copies of 4 different free stories we have available by a certain author- I am not convinced that these have contributed to sales of his "For Sale" Novel, but I need to dig a little more on that (just got that data today). I could be wrong, but my gut says some other stuff is feeding into the increase.

    ** Addon***

    But, as you can see by the time stamp on this post, I am having to LIVE in this mode almost 24 hours a day to get there, and you need to be ready to do that, even if you have a publisher. If you prep yourself for that, and expect it- you can do powerful things.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012

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