24 October 2013

Sales to Date

At the beginning of the year I noted that I'd hit 10,000 sales by the end of 2012.  Prompted by Patty Jansen's informative post, I've updated my figures for those interested in self-pub stats.

Sales by year:

(Date range is 1 December 2010 to 30 September 2013.  Freebies and not yet reported sales not included.)

Sales by store:

Amazon 17832
Apple 224 
Barnes & Noble 677 
BordersAU 2 
CreateSpace 437 
Kobo (via Smashwords) 42 
Kobo Writing Life 141 
LivrariaCultura 1 
Smashwords.com 347 
Sony 29 


I've been totting up last year's figures for my taxes (which run from 1 July to 30 June in Australia) and my (gross) royalty income looks to be around $16,600.  This is less than last financial year, despite what the sales numbers suggest - but mainly because Amazon pays by cheque about two months after you earn the money.


As you can see, The Touchstone Trilogy is still by far my most popular books.  Partly that's the power of series and first book freebies, but it's also simply very popular and gets very good word of mouth.  Stained Glass Monsters remains my least successful (ironic, given it's one of my favourites).

It wasn't until I'd totted these figures up that I could see that both And All the Stars and Hunting had performed quite well for stand alones.  Their numbers will no doubt drop off now we're well past their release dates, but I'd expect to continue to sell several hundred each year.

Sales Venues:

It would be nice to believe that sales will continue to improve at this rate, eventually giving me a comfortable income on which to write full time, but as Patty pointed out recently, self-publishing is a very unpredictable industry.  I was completely unaffected by the Kobo debacle - but as you can see it's not a primary market of mine.  [It will be interesting to see if that changes after a Kobo-related promotion I'm theoretically participating in at the end of the year.]

Like most self-publishers, Amazon is by far my best outlet.  Both Barnes & Noble and Apple improved this past year as a direct result of Bookbub, which is a cheap books notification service which has been one of the few effective promotion tools lately.


The big money in self-publishing tends to be in certain genres, and also in writing series.  Unfortunately I don't think I have the writing skills/style to do well in the big money genres (thrillers, romance and erotica can be difficult to write!), but I am at least writing series books this year.  Typically, I'm writing the beginnings of three series at once (while finishing off Bones) and the things I'm interested in writing tend to not match up with the types of books which become immensely popular.

But I am slowly finding a repeat audience.  And I'm having fun - which is probably what counts most for me. :)


  1. Impressive that you've gone from 10 K total to what will likely be over 10K in a single year without adding many new titles (Hunting's your only release so far this year, right?). On the face of it, you appear to validate the common wisdom that (most) self-publishers need at least 10 titles out there before they see decent, regular sales figures.

    I quite liked SGM too, and thought it one of your most accomplished works in terms of plot, character and setting. Maybe there's something about the name that doesn't work for people? I dunno.

    1. Best I can tell, the blurb doesn't make it sound interesting enough.

  2. Thanks for that Andrea, it was very interesting - and I'm sure my sister would love seeing it also!
    I buy mainly through Smashwords as they let me put all the books in one basket (one transaction for the lot), rather than Amazon (who have a far more extensive range), who, so far for me, each book has been a single transaction. Too many transactions can get expensive through our banking system. My wife shops mainly through Amazon as her Kindle has 3G (mine doesn't), and her tastes are different (she also enjoyed your books).
    Congratulations on the increased sales, and hope it continues that way for you.
    If you need inspiration for 'landscapes' then try staying in different areas of Australia - as an example, where my sister lives just south of Texas (Queensland), she has a couple of mountains in her back yard. The terrain is steep, rocky, isolated, dry mostly, and generally hot. One of my brothers lives on the edge of the Darling Downs, Queensland - this is a very flat farming area with few landmarks. You can drive all day and think you are going in circles. I live on the South Coast, and a nephew lives in Tasmania. All very different both visually and to your sensors. Ask your readers if they would like to have you as a guest for awhile (if they live in an interesting area) - I'm sure a lot of them would love to.
    That would come under the banner of 'research' wouldn't it?
    Just a (wacky) thought.
    For the record, I have no interest in trying to write - too much hard work (my stories are made inside my head, and they stay there - so much easier).
    I think it is wonderful that you get enjoyment from writing, and having others enjoy what you have written - especially if you can earn a living doing so!
    I enjoy your works,
    Colin. :-)

  3. I enjoyed this post. Informative. Thank you.

  4. "Stained Glass Monsters remains my least successful (ironic, given it's one of my favourites)." Doubly ironic as it is my favourite too. Your heroine in that book is very much to my taste. Mainly being able to look after herself, while also being able to be part of a team. I don't count the last wounding, as she would still have achieved the win even if she had perished. Although she would have left family and loved ones mourning if she had died, so thanks for keeping her alive :)

  5. Just wanted to chime in that Stained Glass Monsters is also my favourite. Like the above commenter, the main draw is the heroine's characterization as competent, intelligent, etc. Really great book, so I'm not sure why it's the least successful. I guess it could be the blurb; I sometimes ignore blurbs, because so many blurbs are not at all like the stories. Huh.

  6. Thanks for being so transparent! I don't know many authors who are willing to lay it all out on the line like you have.

    Also, my 2cents worth...I've been pushing all of your books, particularly Touchstone and All the Stars. Both tend to be great introductions to your unique world creation and the people I've shared these titles with have rushed out to experience your other tales.

    BTW, I love all of your work, I just think reluctant SFF readers (like many of my friends) find Touchstone and All the Stars a good stepping stone into your other worlds.

    I look forward to reading your next release.

    1. Thanks anon! I do find that some people like my SF more and some people like my fantasy more. The SF is definitely a good place for new readers (particularly not mainstream SFF readers, who might find the fantasy a bit of a challenge).


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