Tuesday, 20 January 2015

My First Year's Sales as a Debut Author

I'm no maths wiz, and I hate tallying figures and doing tables, but this is exactly what I found myself doing this past week. I was curious to see how I did in my first year as a debut author, and to give other indies an idea what to expect - unless of course you're Hugh Howey or Amanda Hocking, then disregard these figures entirely.

Because I have not as yet discovered how to use the pie charts and graphs on my laptop, (yes, call me a techno-neanderthal), I've resorted to using the good-old fashioned table. My maths teacher would be proud of me.

As you can see, my first book - Bloodgifted - was published October 2013. My second book - Bloodpledge - wasn't released until May 31st. 2014, and my short story - Laura's Locket - came out February 2014. Hence the N/A in some of the columns.
I tallied all sales info from October 2013 through to the end of December 2014. It made sense to include those last two months.
These figures also include sales from all online retailers where my books are listed - Amazon, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo and Barnes & Noble.
I didn't enrol Bloodgifted into Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program until October, so I could take advantage of the lead up to the Christmas period.
Well, here it is -

                  Number of Books Sold on Amazon & Smashwords 2014

Year
Month
eBooks
Kindle Units
Free
Total

2013

Bloodgifted
Bloodpledge
Laura’s
Locket
Bloodgifted
Laura’s
Locket


Oct.
39
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
39

Nov.
18
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
18

Dec.
16
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
16
2014
Jan.
13
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
13

Feb.
9
N/A
6
N/A
N/A
15

March
6
N/A
4
N/A
N/A
10

April
4
N/A
2
N/A
N/A
6

May
7
2
2
N/A
N/A
11

June
24
23
4
N/A
N/A
51

July
13
10
2
N/A
N/A
25

August
17
14
5
N/A
N/A
36

Sept.
19
9
6
N/A
N/A
34

Oct.
33
9
2
15
404
59

Nov.
66
7
N/A
20
121
93

Dec.
18
18
3
29
N/A
68
SW

51
21


1132
72
Total

353
  113
36
64
1657
 566








P/bk






83
Total

353
113
36
64

649

*SW - Smashwords
*P/bk - Paperback

Total paid ebooks sold       502
Total KU units                      64
Total paperbacks                 83
Total                                  649

Total Royalty payments - $1388.44


I didn't include free units in the overall count, and kept the paid sales separate from KU units. That way I can tell what readers are preferring, and how my sales might possibly perform when I eventually pull Bloodgifted out of KDPS. 
It's nice to see paid sales exceeded KU units. 
If I deduct the November and December sales I still managed to sell 488, which is good when some sources state most indies are lucky to sell 100 books in their entire career.

As a totally unknown author, with no backlist, no fan base or publisher (and with no help from BookBub) I'm thrilled with these results. Hey, I can pay my gas and electricity bills from my royalties alone. 
Bring on 2015. 

If anyone has any questions on anything in the above table, just drop it in the comments section.

8 comments:

jolliffe said...

Congratulations Tima you are an inspiration.
Its good to see the figures are rising as you become more established and have more books out there.
Here's to an even more successful 2015. :-)

jessigage said...

Tima Maria, these numbers are awesome! You're selling! People are reading your books!

Thank you for being brave and sharing what you made. Prospective indie's need this information since there's no "standard salary" to aim for.

Hugs to you!

Tima Maria said...

Aww... thanks Jane. It can take years to become established, but it's nice to know readers like my book and the sales are steadily climbing. It takes a lot of hard work, though, to get your name out there and I'm in it for the long haul.

Tima Maria said...

Thanks Jessi, I have no idea how my figures compare with other authors' experiences, but then everyone's different. And being a newbie makes it even more interesting, lol! If my results help new and struggling authors to hang in there, then I'm glad I posted it.

Diane said...

You are doing very well, Tima. Congratulations!

Tima Maria said...

Thanks Diane, I hope to double those results in 2015. Fingers crossed!

ZR Southcombe said...

Thanks for being so open with your numbers - and congratulations on an excellent first year!

I really appreciate being able to see hard numbers from 'emerging' authors, because it gives me a better idea of what I can reasonably expect (with a lot of hard work, of course!)

Tima Maria said...

Thank you, and you're most welcome, ZR. I had no idea what to expect either, but at least now I know what to build from. With my 3rd book coming out this year, I hope those figures double :-)