I am brand new to all of this. I published my first novel 15 days ago. I did it kind of as an experiment but didn't think I'd make any money.
Fortunately, it's had some activity. As of right now, in the first 15 days I've sold 151 ebooks and had 152,508 pages read in KU. I'm curious to know
if this is the norm? Am I around average in sales/borrows or on the low end? Can I expect the book to sustain these numbers or is it likely to drop
off a ton when the book isn't new anymore? It's a Young Adult Contemporary Romance and priced at $2.99 with just under 80,000 words. Am I selling myself
short on the price? I have one more book that's finished and another in progress. At least 2 more planned. I really love writing and have enjoyed it as a hobby,
but wonder with multiple books out, if I could potentially turn it into a career. I'm trying to decide based on my current performance if it's worth my time and
monetary investment (for editing fees and such) to publish the others. And how many people who self-publish, exclusively on Amazon, are able to make
enough money to live on. Any insights would be helpful. Thank you!
LOL. It wasn't intended to be a brag, I honestly had zero expectations. I saw some really old posts where people said they were having like 1500 pages read in a month and some like 500,000. I figured 500K was a lot, but wasn't sure if what I'm hitting was the average. If my numbers are better than average, then I'll take it with gratitude. Honestly, I think I'm just getting lucky. Thanks for your response.
You're doing stunningly well, Robin. Look at your book's sales rank. You must be no worse than 60,000 (probably a lot better). Given that there are something like 6 million ebooks on Amazon, including those published by the big NY houses, a rank like that would mean you were selling better than 99% of them.
YA Contemporary Romance is a hot field, but you have to hit it just right. Apparently you have. If you have another book ready to go, get it out there within the next month, and keep writing. Try $3.99 for the next book. It shouldn't hurt sales and will get you an extra 70c per book.
Whether you can make it a career is a separate question. In the short run, keep your day job. Success can come and go. See where you are in a year.
The only overall rank I see on the book is the Amazon Best Sellers Rank # on the book's page which currently says #2271 Paid in Kindle Store.
But I wasn't sure what that means? That can't possibly mean 2271 out of 6 million books available... Right now it's ranked at #19 in the
Teen & Young Adult Contemporary Romance category, which I realize is a pretty specific subgroup, so I don't know if that's good or not. I'm definitely
not selling like the really famous authors.
I was wondering if I'd be pushing it to put the book at $3.99 so I'm glad to hear that you think that'd be reasonable.
But it seems I'm doing much better in KU anyway, even though I don't think I'll be making as much money per book, I'm essentially selling a lot more.
My second book needs to go to my editor still and I was kind of waiting to see how my first month's sales did before I committed to the editing fee.
But I could probably have it out in a couple of months, if that would help boost the sales of the first book or keep them going?
I guess what I really want to know is, do sales generally keep steady because the more the book is purchased, the higher it ranks on lists which leads to more sales, etc...
Or do they usually taper off a bunch after the initial push from the release. Should I anticipate a good month or two and then nothing really after that?
I'm a stay at home mom right now of five small kids. It's good and bad financially because it's ton of work and chaos for NO money but saves loads of money on daycare.
Any money I do bring in from books is in addition to what we've budgeted to live on. I've been wanting to try and supplement the income, so I guess as long
as I'm not paying more in editing fees and design/layout fees than I'm bringing in in sales, its a win, right?
Thanks so much for you comments. They were very helpful.
Yes, Robin, your ebook is selling 2271st best out of 6 million titles. It's selling better than 99.9% of the ebooks on Amazon (certainly better than mine!).
Now the algorithms that generate ranking numbers are mysterious, and a lot of it is "how much have you sold recently," not just "how much have you sold ever." The first month is generally the fastest selling period, and then it will slowly subside over the next few months. But having another book out will not just generate interest in the new book but in the previous one. Certainly take the time to get your next book properly edited and formatted, but get it out there before all the readers who love you so far forget about you!
It sounds as though you were wise to be in Select and get the borrows. Some books do great with borrows, especially in the romance genres. Others are hardly ever borrowed. But those who buy and those who borrow are different populations, so you want if possible to get access to both, which you have.
Once you have about 4 books out there, it would be worth doing a Bookbub promotion. That will cost a fair chunk of change but will be worth it, assuming you do indeed have multiple books available. The long tail from BB will goose your overall sales for almost 6 months. But don't worry about that yet. Just get your books in the best shape you can, and get them out there.
There are maybe 1000 people making $50k a year or more (sometimes quite a bit more) on Amazon. Now there are at least a million KDP authors, so the odds aren't great, but it is possible.
My Mom too raised 5 kids at home. In those days "child care" wasn't really an option, and she liked being home with us--or so she claimed! But in retrospect I really admire how she kept it all together and even got an MA degree in the process. Good luck with your own family and endeavors!
You could have probably charged me for all that advice. I don't always love being a home maker, but I do feel like it's the right
thing for my family. I have most of a Master's degree, but had to stop because it was just too much. I'll finish eventually. Thanks again.
You've given me some good things to think about and definitely cleared some questions up! Best of luck to you as well.