This came as a surprise because in Corporate America, talking about your salary with other employees can be enough to get you fired. I started to think about it, and realized the only reason it's frowned upon and forbidden is to keep people ignorant.
You won't complain about getting screwed over if you don't know in the first place, right?
Well, in the book world, it was Indie Authors shirking the taboo to talk about their sales numbers that helped me decide this was the path for me. So, now that I have two months' worth of data, I'm going to pay it forward and share it with you guys :).
Here's how it's going so far:
April Total Sales: 19 (I had 2 short stories up for 2 weeks)
May Total Sales: 30 (I put out a short story and a novella under a pen name)
June Total Sales: 123
(Legacy went live as well as 1 short story under that name, and 2 more under my pen name)
This month I more than quadrupled last month's sales! My jaw almost hit the floor when I passed 60 for this month, much less 120... just... wow.
Amazingly enough, the more writing I did, the more sales I had :).
So far on this journey I've made $120.37 on my e-books, $45 on freelance editing, and have spent $133.18 on 250 business cards, 7 pieces of cover art and a domain purchase. That's $32.94 in profit.
When I make money, I've been investing it back into the business. I am treating this like it's my small business and I'm growing it for this first year. When I'm in the black again, I buy more cover art. Next, I'm thinking of paying $39 to produce a paperback version of LEGACY through Amazon's POD service, CreateSpace.
So, there you go :). If I manage to double my sales each month (versus quadrupling), I'll be at 1000 sales/month by the end of this year.
That's what I'm working toward, and I plan to put out two more short stories and AT LEAST one novella, if not a full novel by January 1st. I will also be releasing stories under my pen name.
I hope this was helpful to some of you who are deciding which road to take with your own career. Best of luck to you, and let me know if you have any questions I can help with, either in the comments or through email.
Here's to July!
Edit: Almost forgot to post this excellent blog post from super successful indie author Victorine Lieske comparing sales trends. It's very helpful for gaining some perspective on where people are in this industry.