Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2019 Sales and Marketing Wrap-up

Happy New Year!  Well, that's another year in the can.  I can't say I'm sorry to see 2019 go.  :waves buh-bye:  Let's just go ahead and get this wrap-up out of the way so we can put 2019 away.

It was not a banner year for the whole writing/selling books thing.  I had hoped to get two books out in 2019, if I remember right.  That didn't happen.  I started the year in a slump and it pretty much lasted all year.

I did get Ugly and the Beast written.  I also got it kind of edited.  Then I started Cinder Ugly and the wheels came off.  I wrote part of a Space Bunny thing.  I also did some noodling around with ideas for another SCIU and another Dennis Haggarty.  I participated in NaNo and got another big chunk written on a YA fantasy I started 6 years ago.  Oh, and I started a short Christmas story involving the genies.  Not much to crow about considering there were 365 days in there with which to work and how little I actually worked on writing.

In the selling books arena, here are the numbers.  It's easier to deal with numbers sometimes.

Total sales $: $469
Total copies sold: 484

Not as much money as last year, but better than 2017, so I'm not crying into my coffee too much.  With no new books hitting the market, I should be happy I got that many sales.  This year, I did roll over 3K books sold over the entirety of my publishing life.  It averages out to 603 books and $712 a year.  (2015 was a big year, so it skews the average.)  Woohoo.

Dollars spent on marketing: $316
Sales $ earned from paid ads: $353

So, I finished the year in the black on paid marketing, but not by much.  If it weren't for marketing, I wouldn't have sold much in 2019.  I mean, take the $353 off the $469 and you get $116 worth of books sold without any paid advertising. 

Average per book income: 97c

Considering that I only sold 24 books at full price, I'm amazed I averaged that much.  I attribute it to Page Reads, which, while not netting me the same dollars as selling a full-priced book outright, certainly nets me more than a discounted 99c book.  I sold 316 books at the sale price of 99c, of which I get about 64c.

Speaking of Page Reads...

Number of books sold through the KU program: 72.82
Dollars earned through Page Reads: $126.04

And the majority of that can be attributed to paid ads.

It's getting harder and harder to sell books as a self-published author.  For me, anyway.  I'm sure there are writers out there doing much better than I am.  They're probably dropping new books at least 4 times a year, spending a bunch more on marketing, and have more social presence than I do.  I can only do what I can do, so I'm trying not to come off as whiny.  Like I said, this was a hard year but not the worst year ever.  Sure, I'd like it to have been better.  Who wouldn't?

My goals for the year ahead depend mostly on having the funds to pay my editor.  If I can swing that, I'd like to see Ugly and the Beast and Cinder Ugly hit your ereaders in 2020.  I'd also like to get another SCIU and another Dennis Haggarty at least written, if not out there in public.  Beyond that, I can't commit to anything.  Not yet.  I hope to under promise and over deliver.

Ah, hope. It's a thing.

Do you have any questions for me?  How was your 2019?  What are you hoping to accomplish in 2020?


  1. Yeah...let's not talk about 2019. I did learn that no new books equals tanked sales of backlist books. Which means I have to get out of the headspace that crippled me in 2019 and publish. I have plans. No promises, just plans. We'll see. At least I have a new release in February. I wish I had one for January but I'm not holding my breath. With luck, I'll have something in March--MOONSTRUCK: BETRAYAL. That one is a matter of editing, adding, filling in some blanks and a short middle novella to provide quality updates to entice people who have read HUNTER'S MOON and WOLF MOON to buy them again in expanded version. At least that one will go wide. My Pages Read numbers tanked just like my sales. I am seeing some traction from the Nightrider books that I took off KU and went wide with. Not much, but some.

    It's a new day and a new year. I'm going to try to be a new writer this year. Anything is better than the old writer of yesteryear. So yeah, closing the book on you 2019. Here's to looking forward with 2020 vision!

    Sorry. Couldn't resist. 😏

  2. My fiction completely tanked, and the nonfiction didn't take up the slack. But while I was updating my spreadsheet for the new year I discovered I had left several cells out of the total, so sales weren't as bad as I feared.

    Here's to a better-selling 2020 for all of us!