Thursday, June 30, 2011

June Sales Numbers: Knowledge is Power!

I learned something recently that baffled me.  People in other countries, or even in unions in our own country talk about their salary all the damn time.

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 Sales123
(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.


Tere Kirkland said...

Wow, that is amazing! And so generous of you to share your stats.

Do you find you spend a lot of time promoting yourself? That's one of the things that kept me on the traditional path. Sometimes I barely feel like I have enough time to write, and social networking (both virtually and in person) exhausts me.

Going to go do something secretive to my blog now... *whistles nonchalantly*

Jim Franz said...

Congratulations, Rebecca! I'm glad to see your numbers are growing, and I hope they continue to rise!

Steph said...

As usual, you inspire me! Congrats on your success, much deserved! :)

Rebecca Knight said...

Tere: First off--YOU ARE AWESOME! Thank you so much for posting Legacy on your blog. You're the best!

Secondly, I spend about an hour a day goofing around on the internet after work, so I just turned that into Promo Time. I tweet a couple of times throughout the day, I haunt the kindle boards, and I scheme. Bwahaha. Seriously, though, the best promo seems to be just putting more stuff out there.

Jim: Thank you so much! I appreciate the well wishes :D.

Steph: You are so sweet :). Thank you. I'm loving your book right now, and am about 70% done, by the way! AWESOME voice in it.

Rachel Brooks said...

Congrats on quadrupling your sales. That's very impressive! You go girl! :)

bookreviewfamily said...

Thanks for publishing your numbers. Always super helpful to see what other authors are doing.
Also, you mentioned a pen name. I'm really interested to hear how you're handling marketing two names.