First, a review…
First off, I wanted to share a nifty tweet from an author I know, Sidda Lee Rain. (If you like pictures of barely-clothed cowboys and a variety of erotica, she’s good at that too). She liked my free title “She Only Wore a Shirt to the Funeral”, and if you haven’t read it before, you probably should. And, I admit it – I’m posting this because I’m trying out this new “add posts from twitter” button that I just noticed in my Squirrly post editing console.
And now, for the Oh So Fascinating Statistics!
Yes, that’s right, I’m going to share numbers! If you’re falling asleep, you can feel free to stop reading here. But if you’re an author like me, or just “pen-curious”, you should probably keep reading. Anyway, it seems that for whatever reason, a lot of authors are revealing a year’s worth of their sales stats this month. As an open source kind of guy, and since I just recently crossed the one year line, I think sharing my statstics would be a delightful idea. So, the actual numbers are in a link at the bottom of this article, but I’ll chat a bit about what they say first:
Timeline: I published my first paid ebook (“Progenitor”) on October 14th 2012. Since then I’ve tried to release about one story a month, but I’ve been falling short of that goal lately. I’m writing about the same number of words, but I seem drawn into writing longer stuff of late, so it takes longer to finish.
Overview of the totals: Over the course of my first year, my royalties were just over $3k. To my readers, thanks! To my fellow authors, that should either encourage you or give you a “reality check”, depending on where your expectations lie. I’m rather pleased with it, as I never thought I’d manage to be a paid author at any point in my life. Reality is, I now am, so life is awesome. Anyway, what got me to this point was a year of writing for several hours a day, nearly every day. If you think I’m presently really successful, consider that if I’d worked for a year, 40 hours a week, it would have only taken a job paying $1.47/hr to make the same amount of money. $5.92/hr to make the same amount of money on only 10 hours a week. It’s not a way to get rich with little effort like it may have been back in the “erotica gold rush” days, but at the same time there’s enough out there to make a dent in a few bills every month if you apply yourself. It’s important to remember that a book only stops earning if it’s unpublished, and only one of my books has been unpublished by Amazon (“Cum In Me If You Want To Live”). “The Dream” of any author is that we keep writing books, and the new books earn more than the old books while the old books keep earning more or less forever. Assuming that I have the same quality and quantity of output next year, ideally I should make over $6000 in my second year because I’ll have my existing catalog of books out there, which continue to generate sales while my new releases are good for a continuing $3000/yr in new sales. Being slightly pessimistic and assuming a linear earnings graph (most authors find that they have an exponential growth rate as they publish more titles), this should mean $9k the year after that, and then $12k the year after that. So over the course of 20 years of writing like this, I’d essentially build a retirement pension. That’s not too horrible of a thing, but it’s far from the gold-lined swimming pool fantasies which some authors come in with. I am unlikely to ever be able to quit my day job, but historically very few authors really have been able to do so and maintain a middle class or higher existence anyway.
Anyway, my first-year statistics are at this link, including sales figures and how much each story has made. My apologies for it having to be a separate window, but blog publishing software just really doesn’t want to play nice with monospaced fonts and white space, so it was either make it a separate page, or let it be an unintelligible mess in this one.