Monday, November 16, 2015

Crunching the Numbers at Year One

Looking back, I made my first payment for self-publishing expenses on 11/5/14, so I figured this was as good a place as any to do a number crunch.

With the last couple bills paid (Monday morning when the banks open, hopefully), I have spent just under $5000 this year bringing four books to market.  That's about $3K under what I thought I'd be spending, so I have that going for me.

It works out to roughly $1200 a book on average.  That's for editing, cover art, marketing, print copies, postage, etc.

To date, I have made just over $1300.  (Well, $1100.  Amazon pays 60 days out, so I haven't seen the money from Sept, Oct, Nov yet.)  More than I thought I would at the beginning of this journey, but less than I had hoped.  The CFO is pleased, which is a good thing.

I've sold 946 books.  That's about $1.40 a book.

Of those 946 books, here's how the sales break down:

Dying Embers - 496 (55 books a month avg)
Accidental Death - 414 (69 books a month avg)
Wish in One Hand - 31 (3 books a month avg)
BloodFlow - N/A

I'm blaming the disparity of book averages from the first two books and the third on the inability to secure a ENT ad.  I had huge sales jumps for DE and AD from their ads.  Needless to say, we're a little disappointed in WIOH's performance so far, but I've heard that with paranormal books, you don't really start seeing beaucoup sales until the third book is released.  Basically, we'll have to wait until late summer of next year to see if that's true.  (Second book due out Feb or March. Third book Aug or Sept.)

All in all, I'm pleased with the first year.  Not content, mind you, but pleased overall.  I've learned a little about what works and what doesn't.  I have my good days and my bad days.  Such is life.  I've felt the thrill of a good review and the butthurt of a bad review and the utter confusion of a bad 5-star review.  :eyeroll: :facepalm: :headdesk:

And I've enjoyed the smooshy hugs and support from my friends, family, and readers.  Thank you, all.

With each release, I hold my breath and hope this will be the one that takes off and takes the others along with it.  You'll see that BloodFlow is N/A up there.  That's because it just became available for pre-order and doesn't officially release until 11/24.  So, while the money to pay for it has gone out for the year in question, the money coming in will have to be tallied with next year's fundage.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Hope that helps you if you're thinking about jumping into self-publishing or that it was at least interesting if you're not.  If you're already in the thick of it, please don't take these numbers to mean anything compared to your numbers.  Each of us walks our own journey through the self-publishing jungle.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.  I'll answer what I can.


  1. Wow, B E, I don't know whether to say congratulations or commiserate on the costs involved. I'm going with congrats because at the end of the day you've published 4 books which I've enjoyed immensely. Well, 3 because I only started BloodFlow yesterday and then had to stop due to a blocked sink (I really must improve my plumbing skills).

    I didn't realise how much money was involved and I'm a little shocked by it. Thank you for taking us through this process with you as it helps readers to understand all that you go through, just so we can enjoy the story you want to tell.

    I'm going to pop over to Amazon now and see if it's up for pre-order yet.

    1. I'll take the congratulations, Fran! Thanks! Ugh, darn blocked sink. I hate that.

      I've heard of people who pay a lot more. And like I said, I came in under what we had budgeted. I got lucky that I could do the covers for Accidental Death and BloodFlow myself, so that cut the costs on those considerably. And my new cover artist for the genie books is less-expensive, too, so I'm hoping to spend more on marketing next year.

      In case you didn't find it, here's the link at Amazon UK: It jasn't shown up on my Author Page yet, but I think that's on me. So much to do that sometimes I forget.

  2. Congratulations on selling 946 books! You rock!

    I'm told we should spread costs out over ten years for a reasonable Return on Investment. You're far above the break-even point per year already! I'd say you're doing fantastic sales. :-D

    1. Thanks, Deb!

      LOL, I can't think that far ahead. Ten years for ROI? Nope. I'd prefer 3. The CFO (Hubs) is happy I made enough to fund one book, so as long as he's happy, I'm good. ;o)