Saturday, August 4, 2012

July Sales Update or SHOW ME THE MONEY!

            It’s that time of month again where I tell you just how glorious my sales were during the month of July. Or rather should I say...NOT! No, I’m really not mad but it is making my dream of being a full time writer seem way off in a distance.
            When things like these do happen, I tend to block the Muse because I’m mad at her or maybe it’s a him...LOL! Still, writing has been bad and my next book has been pushed to the end of the month because I just can’t seem to get it out of my head and onto the page.
            Because this was such a slim month, I’m just putting the current month up and nothing else. I’ll do it by book and then you all can tell me what you think.
The Harvester
Amazon – 3 sales
Smashwords – 21 downloads of the preview
ARe – 2 sales
BookBaby – not yet reported as it hasn’t been 60 days. Reporting is only every 60 days for this aggregator but they do pay weekly once the reporting starts.
PubIt(B&N) – 1 sale

A Lover for Rachel
Smashwords – 18 given away free, 59 downloads of the preview
ARe – 2 sales, unknown number given away for free
BookBaby – Apparently this is zero here as well since it hasn’t been updated since April. Guess it’s not selling on Amazon or anywhere I have it.

            Well, there you have it...a total of 6 sales of The Harvester and 2 sales of A Lover for Rachel. Total sales so far are The Havester has 16 total sales, approximately $33, A Lover for Rachel has a total of 66 sales, approximately $22. This is not going to make me rich or even pay a bill or for a nice dinner anytime soon.
            Yes, yes, I know that I need to get more books out there but obviously something is missing. I’m hitting the promo trail as hard as I can without being offensive. Or at least I think I am. I’m sharing news and tidbits and other things but my books...well...they just don’t seem to be catching on. Yes, this is frustrating and yes, this is not going to get me my new house with a pool. Hey, everyone has to have goals. LOL!
            Still, I can’t not write and I’ve just got to do it better with a topic that everyone loves. I have it in me, I know I do but getting from here to there sometimes seems to be a long tunnel with no lights. The next few books I’ll be working on with be a variety of genres with a variety of subjects. There’s another sci-fi story, two new series introductions and more.
            I hope that all of you are still taking this journey with painful step at a time...LOL!
            More next month and maybe the numbers will be even better.
            Catch you on the flip side!



  1. Thanks for sharing. After hearing from the authors who are in the 10K and 100K ranks, it's nice to know that there are other authors like me out there struggling to make a 100 sales. But hang in there - we'll get there too. :-)

  2. Hang in there, Lynn. Publishing is SO difficult and never more than right now. Lots of changes--but lots of opportunities, too. You'll get there!

  3. Hang in there, Lynn. Publishing is a difficult animal. I often say it's like trying to ride a bucking bronco. But I have a quote somewhere that I really like. It says something about success is merely holding on after others have given up.

  4. Lynn, you are not alone, my friend.
    Thank you for posting this. It helps me feel like I'm not alone.

    I'm also having a tough time losing myself in my writing. I know I need to get more books out there, blah, blah, but it's hard when my mind is on other things.

  5. Who the heck knows, Lynn. I think you're right that you need more work out there. The great thing about eBooks is that they never get pulled from shelves, so if someone reads a book of yours and wants more, they can easily find them.

  6. Lynn, I feel your pain! Mine took a dive in July to a total of 100 across four titles (and one title, which had been doing nicely at about 60 per month, sold 0, that's ZERO!). They've been in Select so all sales are Amazon. I got really excited in May with 250 sold and another 30 borrowed. June, I also sold 250, but most of the month they were priced at $.99, so no big payday! So far in August, 1! Arraugh. I'd be estatic with 1,000 a month across all 4 (soon to be 5). How do the others do it?
    On well, back to the next book! I guess we just have to keep on keeping on!

  7. Lynn, I feel your pain! 250 sales in May plus some borrows (across 4 titles), 240 sales in June (but most were at $.99 markdowns, 100 in June (and ZERO of the title that had been quietly loping along at 60 per month, so far in August, 1...that's ONE total. They're in Select so all sales are Amazon. How do the others do it? Oh well, back to the next book. I guess we just have to keep on keeping on!bo,

  8. Ouch! I know how frustrating no sales can be when you are working so hard. If you want a real measure, try calculating your hourly wage! Eek! For me, I try to look at where I am from where I was a year ago...unpublished and working for free. Now I'm a published author with three books on my cybershelf and another coming out in September followed by a short story in an anthology. Bottom line, is take stock of your accomplishments and focus on the next step in the process. The numbers will come over time if you are moving forward and you just keep plugging along.

    Here's an affirmation for you: "I am a multi-published author selling books on multiple distribution channels."

    Here's my favorite that I say every day as I sit down to write: "I am an outstanding writer; I am a bestselling author." Believe it and speak it into existence, I say.

    So far I'm batting 50/50. Not bad in any game.

  9. Elysa,

    Thanks for reading the blog. I so hear you and want to bang my head when people start talking about being ranked under 10K or better. Frankly, I don't care what my rank is as long as I sell books.

    Sure ranking is great BUT the idea is to sell the work.

    I appreciate you stopping by and you can email me any time to talk sales, marketing or whatever in regards to self-publishing.


  10. Hang in there, Lynn. This has been a tough summer for many of us. My sales have been off, too. It's discouraging but the nature of the beast. Keep writing because the holidays are coming and hopefully we'll all make up for the summer slump.

  11. Brenda,

    I'm sure that three of these comments are from you and thanks. It is good when an author has moments like these to know you aren't alone.

    Publishing is difficult and I've been doing it for over 30 years, more if you consider I started writing at 12. I always wanted to be a writer and let life lead me in different directions.

    While getting more books out there is imperative, writing is has to happen first. Mainly I can't let my logical mind take over and tell me why this may not work. Sigh.

    And no, you aren't alone...don't hesitate to drop me a line if you need to talk about self-publishing sometime.


  12. Gerri,

    I have to agree...who knows why one person's book succeeds over another? It may not even be written all that well but obviously there is something in it that appeals to the general masses.

    For me, I'll write the stories I love and pray that some others will as well.

    And I do have to agree...ebooks are so much better...they never grow old or stale.

    Thanks for stopping by!


  13. Michele,

    Yeah, those zero ones get me a lot. I wonder just what is up with that! LOL!

    I love your numbers! Wish I had some of those but totally understand that they do need to be better as well.

    I haven't done Select for a variety of reasons and one was that I didn't want to limit myself to just one venue. There are so many good and bad things to say about the practice. I might do it if it were less than 90 days but that is such a long time to limit yourself.

    Still, if sales aren't there anyway, what does one have to lose?

    And I agree, getting back to the next book and keeping up what we're dong seems to be the way to get there. I plan to continue down this path for at least 2 years or a minimum of 12 books (1 every 1 months)then I'll evaluate where I'm at.

    Thanks for stopping by!


  14. PJ,

    I so agree about focusing on your accomplishments, on what you have done. That's why my covers all have 'Award Winning' on them and I remind myself that I didn't get here on my good looks. LOL!

    I've won awards in major ebook and RWA contests. I know that I can do this. I guess my question is: Why doesn't the world know this? LOL!

    And I think that's part of what marketing is about. Learning just how to appeal to those people you know would love you if they just took a chance.

    Thanks for stopping by...I appreciate it!


  15. I don't feel so alone anymore. I am new to this and as great as it would be to become an overnight success it just isn't happening. I'm sure we will get there one day though!

  16. OMGS! You totally hacked my account and put your book titles in place of mine! *heh* Sad to say, I have not yet found that publishing more books helps...or having a bunch of small press books out already in the same general price range and genre. Maybe the next one will be the magic number *sigh*.

  17. Lynn, thanks for sharing. Your post prompted me to look at the sales for the one book my partner and I put up starting in December at Amazon & Nook. What is most striking is how up-and-down our sales are, from a high of 40 copies in Jan. to a low of 9 in Feb. May was a fairly good month for us, but sales have fallen since. Book sales appear to be seasonal, or at least unpredictable, so we have to be in this for the long haul. We're not earning much money, but more than any one of my small press books has done this year. Our sales have been best at nook, so if yours aren't there, you might want to try it.

    Hang in there and keep writing!


  18. Arlene,

    You aren't alone at all. I do believe that authors achieve things at different speeds or maybe hit some speed bumps. But that doesn't mean we're alone or that we should give up.

    As for me, I'm digging my heels in...I'm in this for the long haul...and while I might complain, I know venting is good for the soul as long as it's productive!

    Thanks for stopping by!


  19. Deb,

    What you say is so very, very true. I've heard this pretty much across the board from authors everywhere.

    Sales are down and there can be many reasons for it. I know that I'll just keep my nose to the grindstone as it will eventually turn around.

    Thanks for stopping by...I appreciate it!


  20. Jody W. & Mean Kitty,

    You had me going there for a minute...LOL!

    I understand what you're saying. The one I hear the most about is KDP Select...some people just swear by it...and while I can see some benefit, I also see it as a closed market. I love Amazon but do NOT believe they should have a monopoly on the book market like they do.

    Yeah, it might make some of us richer but in the long run it makes me wonder.

    I've been told by a few authors that it was somewhere in the 10-15 book range before they started seeing significant return on their investment.

    Sooo...2 books down...8 to 13 to go. LOL!

    Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it!


  21. Lyndi,

    Thanks for dropping by!

    Good to hear that it sales appear to be cyclic as that is something I can understand. My book Rachel did the best in December when it was published and January. It actually did well until April then sales fell off totally.

    The Harvester has only been out since June 14, so I really should give it a break. My Nook numbers won't come in until the end of August because that and Apple are two I have done by the book aggregator. It's just easier for me that way. I only do Amazon, B&N and ARe myself. The rest, I'll trust someone who has the software, computers and the knowledge to do it better. Unfortunately, that means I have to wait 60 days before I get any numbers for some places.

    Still, I have to agree with you...these two books are doing better than some of my traditionally published ebooks have done with the publishers. It is what it is.

    Again, thanks for stopping by!


  22. Lynn, thanks so much for posting this! I worry that authors new to self-publishing will see the authors who sell thousands a month and think that this is commonplace. It's not. And while I'm truly happy for these successful authors, it's discouraging for those of us whose sales are closer to what you're doing - and we have no idea why. A lot of authors say LUCK is a big factor in the equation - and the longer I'm in this, the more I believe that.It's good to know I'm not alone in the "slow sales" boat. :) I guess we just have to keep learning what we can and keep at it!

  23. Lynn, thanks for sharing with us. My sales were rip roaring and came to a screeching halt until a few days ago. Nevertheless, I'm grateful for the sales and the good reviews.

    As we wait for the kids to go back to school and things to get back to normal, knowing I have peers who are in the same boat as me helps.

    I'm told the more books we get out there, the more sales we'll see. I'm currently working on my last in a series that's trad pubbed, and can't wait to get back to my self pubs.

    Again, thanks for sharing.

  24. Jeanette,

    You are so welcome. Like I said, I had promised people that I would be honest in what I made or didn't make. If I should ever make a lot of money or have high sales numbers at this and I feel people are uncomfortable with the knowing, I'll stop talking about it.

    But part of the reason I'm doing this is what you are saying. New authors coming into this need to not have blinders on and be focused on the task at hand. People who go in all starry eyes are going to be very disappointed.

    Writing is hard work and requires time as well as effort to build a following. Self-publishing is no different than any other publishing except you personally do all the work. New authors need to know and fully embrace this BEFORE starting the journey. These numbers will help them gain that knowledge.

    I also agree that luck plays a big part of this whole equation. Many times it's about being in the right place at the right time with the right product. I do believe that eventually, I will get there.

    Thanks for stopping by...I appreciate it!


  25. You are very welcome, Carolyn.

    Fantastic that your sales were good. That's awesome...but...still, it's amazing that something so great can end so abruptly. That what makes publishing such a finicky lady. It is so hard the ascertain a reason why, otherwise we would all just fix it.

    I do believe that part of it is that summer is ending and kids are going back to school. Mothers don't have time to read right now as they prepare their children for the coming year. It should get back to a more even keel.

    Reviews are something I'm still working on. It's hard to get them sometimes but of the ones I have, they are good.

    And yes, they do say that getting that next book out there is a very, very good thing.

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing, I really do appreciate it!


  26. Thanks for being so honest Lynn and I hear you but hang in there - good news is coming - I feel it going your way!

  27. Really appreciated your sharing your info on book sales. Not enjoying your frustration, but please know you are not the only one. Now if we only knew the hours of promoting we put in would pay off and figure out what we are doing actually does reap some reward in sales, then you could sell millions of books letting other authors in on the secret! So far, the books I've read on marketing/promotion say about the same thing...just try everything. That is not much help. Just keep plugging away. I know you can't NOT write, so go for it!

  28. Renee,

    Thanks for dropping by...I too feel good things are going to happen...but there are days where I have no patience. Today was one of them and I've always been of the feeling it's better to get things off your chest than hold them in and be stressed.

    I still with you...great things are coming!


  29. J.Q.,

    Isn't that the truth? Writing is just so much more than getting those words down on paper. It's the love of that word AND the promotion machine you become once it's in the world. Kids are like that too! LOL!

    Frustration is one of those emotions that's hard to shake but having people like you behind me helps a lot.

    Thanks for stopping by! I really appreciate it!


  30. Lynn,
    I so appreciate your generosity in posting your sales numbers! My numbers aren't much different, except I have 3 books out.
    Like you and many of us, I'm working hard to write get more books out there.
    Like you and many of us, I'm in this for the duration--basically until they must peel my cold dead fingers from the keyboard!
    In the mean time, like you and many of us, I'm living the dream of being a published author, sharing my words with the world!!
    How cool is that?

  31. Lynn,
    These were my numbers last summer. Like you I had out other books, but my self-pubbed books were hearing only crickets not the cha-ching of a cash register.

    I've now got the first book in my series up permanently free. I've let a couple of big advertising sites know it's available free and one actually picked it up. It made a HUGE difference in getting up the rankings and on the lists.

    As we all know sales beget sales. I'm crossing my fingers that my sales this month aren't a fluke and my books are actually turning a corner.

    Hang in there. You never know when something will "catch" and things will fall into place for you. A year and a half into this and I'm finally seeing monthly royalty checks that do more than by a happy meal. :D

  32. Lynn, don't dispair, those were my numbers last summer. Even after having about 10 books out through a traditional publisher, I didn't even make enough to get a royalty check a month. (And nothing at SW because I didn't make enough ALL year to get a check!)

    I've tried everything successful authors have tried. FINALLY, it seems luck smiled on me. I put the first book in my three book sales free at the end of June. For some reason enough big sites decided to promo it and ... August exploded! I feel very blessed. But it's been a loooong year and a half.

    I don't know if it will continue, but I can only hope this is only the beginning of continuous sales.

    Just keep plugging. Something's bound to take hold.