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No-Name Newbie Indie Author Sales Report

10 February 2011

For every Amanda Hocking, there are thousands of Derek Canyons.  Derek is telling the story of his experiences in indie publishing on his blog.

Here’s an excerpt from his first post:

“I’m an aspiring writer with a couple obscure short stories and articles on my meager resume. I’m trying to find an agent for a novel I’ve been working on for the past few years. However, the print publishing process can take a very long time.

Therefore, I’m also going to dust off an unpublished novel I wrote 15 years ago and see how it does on the Amazon Kindle ebook reader.

This blog will chronicle my efforts, including costs, time spent, artist search, Kindle data, sales numbers, and so on.”

Derek started epublishing his own books in October, 2010, with a cyberpunk short story collection,Dead Dwarves, Dirty Deeds, priced at 99 cents,  followed shortly thereafter by a novel, Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance (a cyberpunk novel), priced at $2.99.  In January, he added Format Your eBook for Kindle in One Hour – A Step-by-Step Guide, priced at 99 cents, based upon what he learned in formatting his ebooks for Kindle.

Derek is a technical writer and he packs his blog with graphs, numbers, etc., that document his experiences with paid and free advertising, cover artists, editors and all the other production and marketing steps involved in his indie publishing experience.  The right column of his blog includes an itemization of his out-of-pocket expenses for self-publishing.

Excerpts from his January, 2011 Sales Report:

As you can see, sales are growing. From 13 in October, to 21 in November, to 130 in December, to 295 in January! All told, in four months I’ve sold 459 books! This includes 19 sold in Amazon UK, 5 on Nook, and 4 on Smashwords. This is really exciting for me, but it certainly isn’t blockbuster numbers like Amanda Hocking is getting. But, there you have the range of possibilities. From my few hundred books sold to Hocking’s hundreds of thousands.

. . . .

I made $4.20 in October, $27.63 in November, $180 in December, and $304.16 in January. So, in four months, I’ve earned $515.99 in royalties. That’s a nice bit of change. If my sales don’t increase from January’s numbers, I can expect to earn $3600 this year! Woot! That’s a darn good success, if you ask me. It means I’ll be able to earn back my $2400 investment with some profit left over.

Link to the rest at Adventures in ePublishing