From author Lindsay Buroker:
About this time last year, I wrote up a blog post detailing how I was doing, financially speaking, on my new e-publishing endeavor (I got my start in December of 2010). When it came to ebook earnings, my grand total for March of 2011 was $724.
. . . .
A year later, though, things have continued to pick up steam. I have two more novels out, two more novellas, and a new stand-alone short story. In March of 2012, I sold more than 4,000 ebooks, not including downloads of the freebies, and will earn over $5,000 (my ebooks range from 99 cents to $4.95).
. . . .
I’m tickled with the growth in sales (and readers!) over the last year. I decided to officially make this “the day job” in December, though I’d been neglecting the old day job and writing and promoting nearly full-time long before.
I’m sure my earnings will continue to go up and down (as you’d expect, one tends to do best in the months that new releases come out), but I’m happy that, thanks to the current e-publishing paradigm, making a living as a self-published author (and not a best-selling one at that) is viable.
. . . .
As I mentioned, I’m not a huge seller compared to some (for most of March, my non-free novels weren’t even in the Top 100 of their sub-categories at Amazon), so I know there are a lot of indie authors making good money right now. Of course, we’ve all heard of JA Konrath and John Locke, but I promise you many others are earning $X,XXX to $XX,XXX a month.
If you browse the indie authors in your favorite Amazon Top 100 category and find some with multiple ebooks in there, especially multiple ebooks priced at $2.99 or above, you can bet they’re doing well.
What impresses me is just how many indie authors are in there, going neck-a-neck with well-established Big 6 authors. That we’re able to sell our books less expensively certainly doesn’t hurt, but the big boys don’t have as many advantages in online stores as they do in brick-and-mortar establishments. Publishers can’t buy table space or display stands at the front of the store, and Amazon’s algorithms will help anyone who’s selling well, regardless of publisher (the more books you sell, the more often Amazon automatically recommends those books to readers who enjoy your genre).