That’s right, as of…well, sometime last week, probably, I haven’t been checking that closely…we cracked 2000 copies of Nine Goblins sold! How cool izzat?
Thank you, everybody who ordered a copy! You’re awesome, and I hope you enjoyed it!
The following bits are probably only of interest to self publishers, but I wanna contribute what smidgeon I can to an often opaque set of numbers, so read on if you like that sort of thing!
In terms of numeric breakdowns, after expenses (mostly editing services and coffee) we’re looking at around $5.5K. For self-pub, that’s not the extreme end of the bell curve, but definitely a very respectable success. If you figure it took about 100 hours to write, that’s a very good wage (although if you figure that it took since 2006 to write, the numbers look…um…less good. And it’s not like you can just sit down and put in a 100 hour work week and have another book. Well, I can’t, anyhow. You know, trying to work this out like this is probably a fruitless exercise…)
Anyhow, as far as I can tell–and I am extrapolating from VERY little data here, so I could be very wrong, anyone with more experience, feel free to chip it!–the initial sales burst comes in the first month or two, then it begins to taper off. I’d guess there’s a spike in sales when you put out a new book (or at least, so I am told!) but as the next Goblins book may take another couple years at this rate, we’ll find out if it applies to other releases by the same author.
Around 90% of sales were via Amazon Kindle. Smashwords is definitely worth it, though, as there’s a lot of readers who, for whatever reasons, will not use Amazon and it sucks to leave them in the lurch. I’ve heard from friends that direct sales from their website do very well, and that’s something to consider, although I dread the tech support aspect there. Suspect that may be the wave of the future, though, as Amazon eventually will start to squeeze.
The nice thing about slow taper, though, is that while it’s not paying my rent as it did for the first two months, it’s still solidly buying groceries, and even as we slither downward, I can probably expect it to keep me in hard cider money for awhile.
That is due entirely to the readers, let me hasten to add–I’m not promoting it beyond posts like this one and links on the website, and it’s the plethora of good reviews and (gasp! the legendary!) word-of-mouth that’s moving copies. I am super grateful for that–I even had a fan tell me the other day that they bought a copy and loved it and didn’t know it was by me. Which, I mean, pen-name and all, but that means the book has a life of its own beyond just yours truly, and that bodes very well for it.
So all in all, my first self-pub adventure has been a rousing success, despite all the weeping and bloodshed that it took to bring it into the world. Thank you, everybody!
And yes! Promotion! I can do this! If you want to buy a copy: