17 February 2017

Self-pub Statistics 2017

Here's the latest round of statistics, for those who are interested in such things.  I'm being lazy and just using a tool called Book Report to automatically turn all my Amazon sales into nice graphs.  Amazon is still about 85% of my sales, so this gives you a good idea of how it all breaks down for a laid-back non-promo type like me.  [I'd far rather just write and publish than go through promo hoops, which does mean my sales slide between releases.]

[If you want to see just how successful hard work and a solid promo plan (along with good books) can be, check out some of the posts Patty Jansen does on her far more active writing career.]

Earnings per month

First, here's earnings from when I first put my books up on Amazon (a few months after I'd first published them on Smashwords).  The two big peaks are two Bookbub promotions, back when it was easier to get into Bookbub.  The initial early leaps were in the days when putting a book free would have a tangible impact on your sales.  [The third biggest peak, incidentally, is the release of In Arcadia.]


Earnings by book and store

The Touchstone Trilogy is by leaps and bounds my bestseller, as can be seen by the pie chart.  No prizes for guessing which books are represented by the right of the chart.


Numbers and dollars by book

Dividing this by seven years makes the amounts seem much less impressive - but still definitely nothing to sniff at!  Not anything I could gamble on early retirement with, but a solid supplement to my income.  [Publishing and Amazon algorithms are such variable things that I don't think I would ever bank on book royalties until I no longer had things like mortgages to worry about.]


For the future...well, I'd still rather just write and publish and see what happens - the beauty of self-publishing is that the books are mine, and they're not going away, and I'm comfortable with letting my mailing list grow slowly and organically.

Not that I'd object to wild success.  I recently had a rather heart-stopping query from a very major production company about the film/TV rights for Touchstone.  It came to nothing, sadly, but it sure did give me some fun daydreams.  I re-read the trilogy afterwards, and really don't see how it could be adapted without cutting down on the massive cast list - but I thought it would be fun to have a show that paralleled Zan and Cass.  They both technically 'graduate' around the same time and are such different people.

10 comments:

  1. Was the major production company linked to Amazon? I went the rounds with them for about a year before they got some new people and decided they weren't interested after all (though I was forever wondering how a film or TV version would cope with psychic powers -- the characters are THINKING at each other -- and a lot less sex and violence than GAME OF THRONES.

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    1. No. Company belonging to a long-time, very established producer. [Producer of my all-time favourite movie, in fact.]

      The interface would be more difficult to depict in some ways. Cass spends a lot of time doing the equivalent of internet research. But it would be easy enough to add an interface like Siri or Echo for her to have conversations with.

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    2. I guess thinking at each other could involve voice-overs accompanied by hilarious/serious expressions.

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    3. Yes, voice-overs is what I thought, too. I did have a sort-of psychic matrix jewel lookalike (but of course they've gone out of production).

      In Cass' case, I think the film version might be a carefully designed web page.

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  2. The show within a show given the importance of the Setari stories would be fun to see. I often think of the Touchstone stories as I see our new digital, automated world emerging around us with the emerging conflicts due to old industry being disrupted and climate change/limited resources

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  3. I'm surprised _Pyramids_ hasn't done better. It's a book a traditional publisher would be happy to try, I'd think; I've reread it several times.

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    1. Oh, it's pretty successful given its recent publication date. And it's a book that requires a bit of paying attention to to enjoy. I've had a few people who bounced off it because the worldbuilding's so dense. [A friend of mine told me she started it, and realised straight away it wasn't 'light reading' and she'd need to concentrate.] Over the years, especially as I put out more books in that series, and can do promos, etc, I think it'll be a reliable but not enormous seller.

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  4. It warms my heart to see the Touchstone books (well 2&3) are pretty close in numbers, though am I right in assuming that most of the folks picking up LAB RAT ONE then also pick up CASZANDRA as well? (is that a fair assumption? I admit I'm not the best with analyzing this kind of data). Does this include paperback or just digital?

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    1. Yes - from the sales numbers above, above 900 people (of 11,000) didn't go from book 2 to book 3. A reasonable number of people don't like book 3, either - family building is not as interesting as action to many readers.

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  5. What a helpful post! Thank you for sharing this.

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