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Author Topic: Self-publishing Experience  (Read 8906 times)

Offline JakeTheCyborg

Self-publishing Experience
« on: August 19, 2013, 08:20:23 PM »
Hey guys! :)

I self-published my first eBook Demon Stone: A Dagr Brightsword Tale back in May. I've only sold maybe seven copies. It's not too bad. I'm happy I sold at least one, for a writer no one has heard of. :)

How are everyone else's books doing?

Offline Reece Bridger

Re: Self-publishing Experience
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2013, 03:28:46 AM »
Hey guys! :)

I self-published my first eBook Demon Stone: A Dagr Brightsword Tale back in May. I've only sold maybe seven copies. It's not too bad. I'm happy I sold at least one, for a writer no one has heard of. :)

How are everyone else's books doing?

I first published mine back in April, and it's currently getting some good reviews :) even though I'm quite dismayed by the lack of sales in recent weeks... I've lowered the price of the Kindle version to as low as I can, ($2.99 and £1.49) before the Amazon people say 'No! No! Too low!' today, though :)
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Offline Shadowhand

Re: Self-publishing Experience
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2013, 04:04:45 AM »
I published a short story back in January with Amazon's KDP but haven't really been able to publicize it until this summer (was finishing grad school). Sold a couple copies back then. It's also now available at B&N and Smashwords, and I've seen a couple more sales. No reviews yet, though.
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Offline xiagan

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AW: Self-publishing Experience
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2013, 05:20:55 AM »
Same here. I find marketing too exhausting, so it's no wonder I'm not selling more than 1-2 of my short story anthology a month.
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Offline THElewisdix

Re: Self-publishing Experience
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2013, 05:12:55 PM »
I've sold approx 270 copies since the end of April, when I published my first novella. I'm quite happy with those numbers but to be honest I often doubt myself and my "success" when I see the sales posted by some other self-published authors. But I have to keep chugging along and get my next book (the sequel!) out there. My biggest take away is that the best way to build your sales is to release more books.

For those of you who haven't sold very many or got the time to market: Have you looked into sites like Kindles Books and Tips, Bookbub, Bookblast, etc, where for a fee you can have your book e-mailed to a list of subscribers? Each site has its own criteria (certain number of reviews, etc) and $$ cost but it's worth a look. For example, a $25 Kindle Books and Tips ad helped me sell 35 books in one day at the end of June and I'm sure those carried me to the 60 something I sold in July.
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Offline Reece Bridger

Re: Self-publishing Experience
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2013, 04:55:38 PM »
For those of you who haven't sold very many or got the time to market: Have you looked into sites like Kindles Books and Tips, Bookbub, Bookblast, etc, where for a fee you can have your book e-mailed to a list of subscribers? Each site has its own criteria (certain number of reviews, etc) and $$ cost but it's worth a look. For example, a $25 Kindle Books and Tips ad helped me sell 35 books in one day at the end of June and I'm sure those carried me to the 60 something I sold in July.

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Offline professional-liar

Re: Self-publishing Experience
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2013, 07:18:45 PM »
I've had some similar experiences.

A short story I gave away has more than 300 downloads in less than a month, but a novel I have for sale during the same period has had only 6 sales and a couple borrows.

I've thought of taking out an ad just to let people know about the novel, but I don't have any reviews yet and have told my friends not to review it under any circumstances. So, I'm stuck waiting on reviews.

My experience so far is that it's easy to give stuff away, but hard to sell things.
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Offline Elisa Nuckle

Re: Self-publishing Experience
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2013, 09:05:32 AM »
I've sold approx 270 copies since the end of April, when I published my first novella. I'm quite happy with those numbers but to be honest I often doubt myself and my "success" when I see the sales posted by some other self-published authors. But I have to keep chugging along and get my next book (the sequel!) out there. My biggest take away is that the best way to build your sales is to release more books.

Congrats on the numbers. I agree with you. Writing and producing more will definitely help. Now to actually do that.  ;D

Offline rmprioleau

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Re: Self-publishing Experience
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2013, 12:48:26 PM »
For those of you who haven't sold very many or got the time to market: Have you looked into sites like Kindles Books and Tips, Bookbub, Bookblast, etc, where for a fee you can have your book e-mailed to a list of subscribers? Each site has its own criteria (certain number of reviews, etc) and $$ cost but it's worth a look. For example, a $25 Kindle Books and Tips ad helped me sell 35 books in one day at the end of June and I'm sure those carried me to the 60 something I sold in July.

The problem with these sites (based on my experience), is the very strict criteria. Many require books to have at least 10 reviews, and the books (and sometimes the reviews themselves) cannot have less than a 4-star rating. Bookbub is actually the hardest to get into because they only choose a certain amount of books. Reviews are hard to get as it is, especially when new authors release their first book. Having to get 10 of them? and all of them 4-star or above? Even worse.

But congrats to you on making it into KB&T. You are among the very few that get that unique opportunity.

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Offline professional-liar

Re: Self-publishing Experience
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2013, 01:07:27 AM »
Rmprioleau,

I'm in the same shape as you. So far I only have one review. I've been reaching out to various bloggers and reviewers in an attempt to get more, but so far I've only gotten one review and that was from a person I didn't even ask.

I did try a goodreads ad, but without any reviews it really hasn't been helpful. I would really suggest waiting until you get reviews until doing any ads. People just don't take a chance on something without a few reviews.
Check out my webcomic-The Venom King www.venomkingcomic.com

Offline joshfishkins

Re: Self-publishing Experience
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2013, 09:50:57 AM »
Published in June, 60 ish copies to date. My initial thought was I'd sell about 20, so I was happy, but now I think "what's wrong with people, don't they know how genius this book is" or more accurately, "good god, I can't give up the day job. Damn it!". Marketing is difficult, getting reviews is even harder. A friend of mine is a bit of a whizz at designing websites and so on, and he says "there are seven billion people on this planet and 6, 999, 999, 900 of them have no idea you've written a book."   A fairly sobering thought.

Offline TOMunro

Re: Self-publishing Experience
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2013, 10:34:39 PM »
Lady of the Helm, published in June so far about 490 books sold at $0.99 or £0.75. 
I got an early review I also gave away 264 in a 2 day free promotion which I think helped.
There are quiet days and the peak months were July and August.
US sales were tiny compared to UK sales but are picking up now
Sales this last mid-week have been very quiet (1 book sold since Tuesday morning) after a busy weekend, so it seems quite unpredictable.

I have been a lot more active on twitter over the last month or so, but I am not sure if my quiet twitter periods co-incide with the dip in sales.

I did try a higher price point for a few days but then chickened out when sales seem to have stalled.
With amazon I can get as much from 1 book at $2.99 as I do from 5 at $0.99, but I'd rather have more readers than more money at this stage.

Book two "Wrath of the Medusa" will be out in about 3 weeks, so I will see what impact a second book has on overall sales.  All the advice is get a lot of books out there.  A stand alone book can be very hard to make visible/marketable.

Offline tchrofengl

Re: Self-publishing Experience
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2014, 09:12:34 PM »
Well, I published my first novel, Task Force: Gaea—Finding Balance, in February 2012, and I've sold about 160 copies, according to CreateSpace. That doesn't count the ones I've sold at conventions (about 50 - 60). Reviews have been good, but I'd like more. I've done some Goodreads Giveaways in the past, but only a few people have posted reviews so far. My second novel, Task Force: Gaea—Memory's Curse, also has some good reviews, but it's only been out since the end of May 2013. I'm not planning on retiring on my royalties at this point, but writing isn't my mainstay. I just write to get my stories out there.

As long as people continue to read the books, I'm happy. :)
Mediocrity is for the timid; excellence, for those who dare.

Offline AKHost

Re: Self-publishing Experience
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2014, 02:22:45 AM »
I sold 3 books my first year.  :) (Admittedly I published in December).  Self-publishing (except for occasional break-outs) is defininitely a long game business, a matter of gradually building reputation and fan base.

I don't bother much with marketing.  Giveaways have been the most effective, and if you've a book you think worth it, putting a review copy on NetGalley is at least likely to net some reviews.

I'm fairly open about my sales, if you want to see the year-by-year breakdown:

http://www.andreakhost.com/2013/10/sales-to-date.html

Offline AlexFF

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Self-publishing Experience
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2014, 02:56:58 AM »
I have published two novels and three short stories. One novel and short story I did back in 2011 in ebook only and they sold some. I get the occasional sale to someone I know still. My other short dtories and novel I've done POD and ebook and have sold very few.

I do no marketing other than my website. I am looking at this in the very long term. I want retirement income from my writing, so I don't care about sales now. I care about sales in twenty years. Given the tech shift in the past twenty years what I do now may be totally irrelevant in five years. My plan is to build up a back catalogue and a slow-built reputation. Before I dive into marketing (which my introvert self quails at), I'm going to see where the dust settles around the whole paradigm shift that's happening.


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