Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Adventures in Epublishing: March Sales Round Up

I have to say, despite not pulling huge numbers, March was a great month. I met 2 of my 3 goals. I made $200 in profit and I broke even on my investment on Into the Shadows. My third goal was to sell 100 ebooks, which I fell slightly short on.

Here's the breakdown for March:

Ebooks - 93
Amazon.com - 34
Amazon UK - 1
BarnesandNoble.com - 56
Smashwords.com -2
Total: $186.54

Paperbacks Online -5
Amazon.com - 1
CreateSpace.com - 0
Extended Distribution - 4 (earn only 22 cents a copy)
Total: $3.30

Paperbacks (self) - 2
Total: $10.44

Total earned for the month of March: $200.28
Total copies sold March: 100

Overall Books Sold to date: 467
Overall Earned to date: $1,301.33

March was also great because sales have been steady. We also had a third book release from DarkSide Publishing, leading to more than 300 sales overall for DarkSide. I was also featured on DailyCheapReads.com, which resulted in 10 sales on Amazon in one day.

I'm hoping to at least maintain this for April, although I'm starting out a bit slow. I do have a new book coming out in May (Bloody Little Secrets), so I expect May to bring some great things. I will be at an Authors' Fair mid-April, so I'm hoping some new publicity may lead to some new copies sold. I'll keep 2 of the same goals for April which include the following:

1. Sell 100 ebooks
2. Make $200 in profit.

In order to increase sales for the new book, I hope to locate some book bloggers to review both books and get the word out. I'll be curious to see how much a new book out, not related to the first, has on overall sales.

11 comments:

  1. Congrats. Your goals are realistic and I am happy seeing you are now making a profit.

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  2. Karly—Your book cover looks great and your sales are reasonable for a new author (and only one month).

    I know you say you’ve “drank the Kool-Aid” over on Konrath, but I sincerely hope that you will also try the heavy editing, polish bright as the sun route of traditional publishing. I have no vested interest as a publisher, I’m not in publishing at all. But the bias of Mr. Konrath is well-known, and as any successful traditional author (e.g Jodi Picoult, Emma Donoghue, Stephanie Meyer, Sara Gruen, etc.—so many in recent 2-3 years) will let you know, the riches are fantastic. The marketing is what you really pay for in overhead (USA Today ads don’t come cheaply); it’s not really just the book cover and formatting as Joe would like us all to believe.

    I urge you to at least see if an agent and a traditional house will take on one of your quality books (and they really do want them spit-shined). No reason to isolate yourself to only e-publishing, as you can write books for both. Your talent is such that both could be winners for you—play both sides of the fence.
    Good luck and best to you and your publishing house.

    Enjoy the Fox River springtime! Cheers from Geneva.

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  3. Thanks JL! I think realistic goals are important when everyone is going crazy about authors selling thousands and even a million copies. I have to keep it in perspective. Someday I hope to have larger sales goals, but I think these are great for right now.

    And Coolkayaker, you're in Geneva!? Awesome! That's one of my favorite places and just down the road from me! :D Thanks for your kind words. I've actually been selling since November, 2010 with this book. I realize that Konrath has a lot more factors in his corner, having been traditionally pubbed in the past, so I entered this idea with a lot of careful consideration. Into the Shadows was rejected 100 times by agents and editors, even though some liked the writing and story. It was a bad time to query (2008). I thought epubbing would be a great experiment and give me an opportunity to get in on something while it was still rising in popularity (epubbing). With this and with DarkSide, we try to create the best quality books we can and keep a sense of business about it as well (along with realistic expectations).

    I have lots of friends who are traditionally pubbed, which I still think is cool. Any way you can get pubbed is great! I met very nice agents while querying. But it just wasn't ever right and it's getting harder and harder to get a foot in the door. I'm happy doing what I'm doing and I can only hope that something cool comes my way, or the way of one of the other DarkSiders, a la Amanda Hocking, or many of the other epubs that have hooked an agent or deal. I might not be opposed to diversifying my portfolio if the conditions are right.

    I'm hoping we can make a big enough splash to get readers' and New York's attention, but those are a little more lofty goals at the moment! I'll keep you posted how it's going!

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  4. Karly -- thanks for your nice reply. I'm sorry I suggested submitting to publishers; I didn't know the extent that you had already traveled the traditional route. You certainly have made a go of it. Joe Konrath had similar trials and tribulations, as you and I know, before eventually lading the legacy contract. Only to run book tours and log miles and do everything "right", and eventually still make more on e-pubbing. It's a story you know well from reading his blog.

    What is most disturbing about his blog is not the incessant and daily diatribe about how he's making it in the self published world (and wants everyone with a blinking cursor and an Amazon account to follow his lead), but the lack of any discussion about quality. A Newbie's Guide should mention quality, editing.

    Professional authors spend years getting it "just right". Salinger took 8 years to write the 200 page Catcher In The Rye. James Michener (Alaska, Hawaii, etc.) spent 4 years researching and 3 years writing each one of his 1000 page tomes. Heck, even Stephen King--prolific as hell--spends two solid years, writing full time and daily, before putting out a novel.

    I wish Joe focused on quality, which goes a long way toward being the next Sara Gruen.

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  5. But, as you know, my Elgin, Illinois author, I have to say this: you have sold one hundred books. That is one hundred books! Your growing fans think your book is super, and you give peace and joy to readers, and ... you sold 100 books. Seriously, I think (as your bio states) everyone who enjoys storytelling would love to sell books. Most sell none. A larger number sell a short story or two, maybe even winning a short story contest of having something published on Glimmer Train. But, to actually sell a novel is a superb thing.

    Stephen King said a line in an interview that is relevant here. He was asked when he realized that he really was an author. Stephen said, "When I wrote a book, someone paid me for it with a check, I cashed the check, and it didn't bounce. Then, I knew I was an author.

    Karly, you are an author. Pure and simple. I am a writer (a sometimes writer with a day job and a list of excuses as long as a summer day), but unlike you and Mr. King, I am not yet an author.

    Keep the faith. Your newest book cover is sparkling (what my sixteen year old son wouldn't give to meet her!). I am sure your rocket will launch as it's already shooting embers.

    --Steve

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  6. P.S. Yes, about getting New York's attention. Your publishing company is, as you plan, a good solid foot--no, a boot, a full length leather hip boot--in the door. :-)

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  7. Addendum: Cather In The Rye, right here next to me (the voice of Holden Caulfield, who wouldn't want that) is 277 pages.

    Oh, and embers are a good thing. Readying to launch, like a spaceship. My metaphors need ''splainin' Ricky", part of my problem as a writer, I fear.

    You can have your blog back now, Karly. LOL

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  8. Hahaha, Steve, you crack me up! I agree, I think Joe just assumes that people will spend the time to put a quality product together, which isn't always the case. The good thing is I think us girls at DarkSide were sort of trad pub misfits, decent writers who just didn't have the right product for NY to sell, so we're hoping that will help us out.

    I totally love the boot comment by the way!

    Yeah, I'm now up to a total of 467 books sold...the average print run for a newbie author in the trad pubbed world can be between 1000 and 5000. I think I'll sell at least that 1000 this year, so I'm starting to feel like an author, that's for sure...just wait until after we do this book signing at the authors' fair this month...I'll be wearing tweed jackets with leather patches on the elbows and smoking a bubble pipe (cuz real pipes are stinky!).

    Cheers!

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  9. Congrats, Karly! To boost sales, have you thought about trading excerpts with other authors in your genre?

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