Self Publishing

Update on Indie Non Fiction Sales: Month 3

Ouch, bugger, yuck, is there any surprise why people give up on this game. You want instant satisfaction – buy chocolate is my only advice. Indie non fiction books is not  going to give it to you! Indie non fiction books aren’t going to make you rich overnight!

Some times it doesn't just rain, it hails

My September Stats are rubbish:

  • 5 books sold
  • 4 books sold

Frankly I’m surprised that the UK sales are doing so (comparatively) well – for a book that is such an American search term- just goes to show that the English can read American but not the other way around.

I didn’t sell anything directly from – but thanks to their distribution system which sends my books to retailers I can’t get to  apparently back in August I also managed:

  • Apple 1 book sold
  • Barnes&Noble 2 books sold

So yes I guess it is worth getting your book formatted right and into their premium catalogue!

What I do have is a promotion plan going forward, I’ve developed it while avoiding writing the other books – because my brain does stupid stuff sometimes.

I’m building an email list. Its something I’ve resisted for years. As part of my “I hate marketing” mindset I of course particularly hate marketing email lists – after all I’m bloody expert on them – I am forever subscribing to them 🙂

But I have a new approach – and its not spammy, and its something I’d even admit to in public. It provides value to the subscriber AND its not even additional work for me!

But I’m not telling you the details. Why not? Its not original – the idea was provided in Zen Duck’s Forum – for free – you might want to check it out – and no that’s not an affiliate link. Really I’ve been in a lot of SEO forums over the years, kinda been there, done that. But Dave bullied me, and then he gave me a free membership, and I’ve got my money’s worth. I just think you would too.

Hell I might even get so enthused to start of a mail list here too …. just kidding, maybe…

11 replies on “Update on Indie Non Fiction Sales: Month 3”

Thanks for all the updates – they’re great, and honest. I’ve been reading your travel site and signed up to the list there. You have a really useful resource going so I hope your hard work will pay off in the form of more Kindle sales soon!

I have one short book on Kindle – I haven’t written about it yet as I want to see what happens more I guess before I do. But I sold a grand total of 17 copies in Sept, since they’re $0.99 each @ 35% commission that doesn’t equate to much cash 😉

The list is my big experiment there Ruth – keep your eye out for updates – any feedback welcome!

You have your book listed at 2.99 right? so that’s roughly $2 profit per book (more from Smashwords but let’s keep it simple). Let’s say for the next 10 years you only sold that exact number. You’d make nearly $3,000 for this one book (that’s a pretty standard advance from a regular publisher I only got $2,000 for my first book).

Now add those extra books you want to write and now say that you have 10 travel books (which if you did, you’d be killing it – I have no doubt). But let’s say THEY only sold 12 or so copies a month too.

Now you’ve made $30,000 over 10 years (still not awesome, but decent for the amount of work you put in).

BUT that’s usually not how it works. If you have more books people tend to buy MORE from that author, so instead of one person buying one book, they might by three or five books.

So now you are looking at 30,000 x 3 or 5 (let’s say 5 because it sounds better). Now over that same period (10 years) you’ve made 150,000 (or roughly 15,000 a year).

Not bad for some little indie books that you spent a few weeks on.

Now again, let’s say that over 10 years you wrote 50 books instead of 10 … you get the idea.

Basically what I’m saying is that it’s about volume (amount of books you have) and repeat customers.

So get writing those extra books, you are doing great.

t xx

Sorry to hear it, but Tracey makes a lotta sense…The credibility with an Amazon publication is really where I think the value is at – you’re a “real” author far as the world’s concerned, and doing what you love no less.

Here’s to your $150k!

Tracey is so right in thinking long term. And I don’t mean to rush you BUT with the introduction of the Kindle Fire and Amazon’s price drop to $79 US on their budget kindle and the closeness of the Christmas season you might want to try and get another title up before the end of the year, if you can. One only has to have a peek at the Writer’s Cafe on the Kindleboards to see the authors are all a twitter like Santa’s elves, raising their prices by a dollar, dusting off product descriptions and reminiscing about last DEC/JAN sales jumps.

You are so right Connie – I know that I will regret not getting those books out in time for the big rush – so I had better just get my act together right!

Selling books now Lis? That is great way to learn and earn. Only if I could manage to get something like that out on the web too. Oh well I’ll get back to work with clients and seo work for them.

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