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An Indie Author Reports October Sales

6 November 2011

Frequent visitor David Gaughran launched his first self-published ebook six months ago and provides a detailed sales report:

After last month’s big drop, October provided some welcome relief in the shape of a slight uptick.Hey, at least it’s going the right direction. It was marginal, though. Essentially, I’m in a holding pattern until my next release in December.

That’s fine with me; my sales are paying my rent, and some other exciting stuff happened this month anyway. And because today is exactly six-months since the release of my first e-book If You Go Into The Woods, I’m going to take a little look back on how this whole self-publishing adventure has gone for me.

. . . .

For those of you who haven’t been distracted by those sexy links, here are the numbers:

May: 153

June: 78

July: 253

August: 392

September: 140

October: 154

A 10% rise on September, but still far from the heights of July and August. As I have a $2.99 release driving sales, revenue is much better than those first two months, and clocked in around $285.


I haven’t released anything new since the end of July, so this holding pattern is to be expected. Ultimately, I aim to build a business that isn’t so dependent on regular, fresh releases to sustain a decent level of sales, but I can’t expect to be at that point when all I have on the market are short stories and a standalone non-fiction title.

As in September, US sales were extremely erratic. Let’s Get Digital is my biggest seller, but it swings wildly between selling no copies and shifting seven or eight in a day. The rankings are all over the map too – it can drift out to 70,000 or climb up to 10,000. There is no pattern at all.

The UK is the opposite. Sales are stable, and growing, which is nice.

Let’s Get Digital is usually around the 5,000 mark there, but bounces between 2,000 and 10,000. I’m continually on the first page of the bestseller chart for books on Writing/Publishing and I think that must be responsible for a lot of sales/stability. I’m certainly doing nothing myself to promote the book there or elsewhere.

. . . .

As I said at the top, it’s six months since I launched my first e-book.

I made my decision to self-publish a month before that – in April – and started this blog to document my experiences. It grew fast, far beyond my wildest projections, and this week I crossed 100,000 page views. More importantly, the posts have generated over 4,600 comments, which is great.

I gave myself a month to get my first title up. As is my wont, I scraped in on deadline day by the skin of my teeth and released If You Go Into The Woods on May 4th. The launch went great and it was a real buzz seeing my first title climb the charts. I got a huge kick from outselling Shakespeare and Kafka, even if it was just for a day or two.

I promoted that release pretty hard before realizing that much of that effort was essentially wasted when I had just one title out that was only earning me 35c a pop. Later that month I released Transfection – a story which I had only written a couple of weeks beforehand, which really brought home the advantages of digital self-publishing.

Link to the rest at Let’s Get Digital

People like David who share the details of their self-publishing experiences benefit lots of other indie authors who are trying to figure out how this all works.

David Gaughran, Ebooks, Self-Publishing

2 Comments to “An Indie Author Reports October Sales”

  1. Thank you for the numbers, David! And thank you, PG, for the link!

  2. It’s good to see that David is doing so well!

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