Sunday, July 17, 2011

Self-Publishing, Showing the Money

I've been grateful for the self-published authors, especially my friend Theresa Ragan, who've been willing to talk about the money they've made from their experience. Before, I start, I want to say that everyone's journey is going to be different. I know people who are doing far better in sales than I am, and others who aren't. But every day, sales figures change. You may not be selling many books now, but in a year could make a nice living. Or you might just make enough every month to go out to dinner. But that's one night out that you wouldn't have had before. :) It's important to be patient. It's important to be grateful for every book sale.

I'm going to just discuss my Kindle sales because my Nook and Smashwords sales have been minimal--about 100 books on Nook and 10 on Smashwords. (In three months total.)

On April 28, I published Wild Montana Sky (.99) and Starry Montana Sky (2.99).

So I only had about two and a half days of sales in April and I'm sure most of those came from friends. :)

WMS 11
SMS 5 (1 outside the US/UK/Germany so it only makes 35%)
Total $13.06


For the US
WMS 465
SMS 105 (2 outside)

For the UK
WMS 12

For Germany

Total: $377.12


WMS 2441
SMS 633 (17 outside)




Total for the three months and two days: $2522.98

So far in July (as of the 17th) I've sold 2732 copies of WMS and 913 of SMS.

All this is passive income--I wrote the books (and had them professionally edited) 10 years ago.

I'm so very grateful for this experience and I thank every single person who has bought one of my books!


  1. Thanks for sharing, Debra. We both love transparency. For me, seeing an author's sales, inspires me. I love that writers AND readers now have more choices.

  2. Theresa,

    You've been an inspiration to me.

    Readers, check out Theresa's blog. She's also posted her numbers. Plus she has a great story!

  3. That is wonderful, Debra! Congratulations! I love your entrepreneurial spirit.

  4. Debra,

    It is refreshing to see more transparency in this area. Most newly pubbed authors I know do not have a good handle on what to expect when it comes to money. I'll direct them all to your blog. :-)

  5. You were one busy lady at National! Great job here.

  6. Wow! That is fantastic! Congrats. You definitely deserve it.

  7. Those are fantastic numbers, Deb. Congratulations.

  8. Great post, Debra, thanks! I'll check out Theresa's blog now, too. I'd love to hear how much time you've spent doing any kind of promotion for these two books.

    Also, do you know why at National there were some editors/agents/published authors forcefully telling us in some workshops to keep our numbers to ourselves? Obviously, they're talking about contracted books not self-published books, but I'm still not sure why it's so important to them. I wondered if you knew.

    Congrats again on your success!! Woo-hooo!!!! :)

  9. That's awesome, Debra! Did you do anything to promote the books?

  10. Thanks for the congrats, everyone.

    Kitty, I don't know the real reason people are saying to keep numbers to themselves. There's probably various reasons, both good and bad.

    A good reason would be that if you have good numbers, other authors might become jealous. There's nothing wrong with some envy, it's those people who need to act it out in some way that's the problem.

    It might be in a publisher's best interests to keep their authors from comparing sales. That doesn't mean it's the author's best interest.

    An agent might want to protect his or her client, especially if their sales are bad.

    Hopefully some people reading this will have definite reasons they can share.

    As for promotion... I haven't done that much. I've written some personal blogs. Some guest blogs. I've had a nice review, and an interview in some newsletters. I've tweeted a few times and a posted on Facebook. Some friends have also done so for me.