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I Hit the 150,000 Mark in Sales!

A funny thing happened this weekend. I hit the 150,000 mark in sales only I didn’t even realize it until my friend Kay Bratt asked me this morning about my current sales totals.

As of last night, my total sales for eBooks, print books and audiobooks is 150,556.

I rarely share figures, but I thought I’d share a few to give self-published authors just starting out hope that they’ll start making sales.

I published my first book Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes in July 2011. The official release date was July 12, however, I uploaded my eBook formats early, worried I’d screwed them up somehow. (I formatted that first book myself.)  And even though I didn’t really announce the eBooks were available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, some readers still found them and downloaded them. Not that I’m complaining.

So the exact number of days Twenty-Eight was available is questionable so we’ll call it the entire month. And in that first month I had 209 sales. A VERY respectable first month. I was told to expect 20.

I released Chosen at the end of September, expecting all of those readers of Twenty-Eight to rush over to buy it. Yeah, not so much. See, readers only genre hop if they really, really love an author. And I hadn’t gained that reader trust yet.

In early October, I was in a bit of  despair. I was selling 3 copies a day of Chosen while I was selling 50-60 of Twenty-Eight. I wondered if New York was right. Maybe paranormal was dead. But I’d enrolled Chosen in two blog tours that ran back to back and by mid November,  I was selling over 100 books a day of Chosen.

I released Hunted, Chosen’s sequel at the end of November. I also released my YA science fiction romance, Here at the beginning of November.

Here also debuted with slow sales and I expected sales to build slowly like the other two. However, other than a few spurts here and there (no pun intended) Here has never been a big seller. Still, with a current to date total in sales of over 14,000, I’m not complaining.

The important lesson to learn here is that each book is different. The way Chosen behaves in the market and after promotions is completely different than Twenty-Eight’s behavior. Here has always sold more books at B&N. Why? I have no idea. And let me add that just because a book isn’t selling well now doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause. If your cover is great, your blurb is good and you have excellent reviews, it just might not be that book’s time. But that’s the beauty of eBooks. They are always out there, waiting to be bought. Unlike a traditional book on a bookstore shelf that gets returned in a few months.

So let’s look at some numbers.

The first month I had one book available with 209 sales.

By the end of 2011 I had four books available with a total of 26,691 in sales.

I hit 100,000 in sales on May 29 and I hit the 150,000 mark on Saturday, September 15.

My biggest selling book is Chosen with over 50,000 sales.

Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons is my lowest selling book*. However, it was released the last week of June, 2012. So over 6000 sales in less than three months isn’t too shabby.

*I don’t include my short stories in this category.

I currently have six novels available, three short stories and two audiobooks.

If your sales are lagging, the best advice I can give you is make sure you are releasing a quality product. Great cover, COPY EDITING, professional formatting. (If you can format it yourself and make it look great, more power to you!)  Second, KEEP WRITING AND RELEASING BOOKS.

Let’s say I have a book for sale and I only sell 250 copies a month. But then I release three more books and each one is selling 250 copies. In one month, you’re joining the 1000 club!  Plus, the more you release, the more you sell.

That’s the dirty little secret that a lot of people don’t get.

You CAN make money as a self-publised author even if you aren’t a best seller. If you have your books priced so that you make money ($2.99 or more) and you are selling 1000 books or more a month (with several books available, that’s not so inconceivable)  you’ll make some nice money. Maybe not enough to live off of. Yet. But keep releasing books. Plus, new releases that are received well will spur sales of your other books within the same genre.

My dream was to be a published author. My path wasn’t the one I planned, but it’s so much better. I’m living my dream and so can you. Now get back to writing!



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9 years ago

Seriously so proud of you! I love that you are living one of your dreams!

Debra Holland
9 years ago

A very inspirational post. Congrats on your 150,000 mark!

I haven’t done a good job with keeping up with my numbers the last couple of months. Too much other stuff to do. But I’m probably around the 150,000 mark too. Maybe I’ll work on that today. :)

Here’s to 200,000 (for both of us) VERY SOON!

Kristine Cayne
9 years ago

Huge congratulations to you, Denise! What you’ve achieved is amazing and very inspirational. Thank you for sharing!

Amanda Luedeke
Amanda Luedeke
9 years ago

I love this post, Denise!

Trish McCallan
9 years ago

Woot!! Huge congrats, Denise. I wondered when you’d hit the 150k milestone.

There’s a second dirty little secret that you exemplify, working like a fiend! Six books in one year adds up to a lot of sleep deprived days. You deserve this success more than anyone I know :)))

G. Aliceson
G. Aliceson
9 years ago

This is the type of post that writers need to read. It is inspiring and honest and informative! And knowing your experiences, it shows the value of all of the hard work you have done to make this career happen. Congratulations!

Paola Bell
Paola Bell
9 years ago

Great post! Your “dirty little secret” makes so much sense. I am so glad for you that your dream is really working out for you. Keep writing…because we want to keep reading! Congratulations!

Clover Autrey
9 years ago

That’s so awesome to see that it can be done. One good book at a time.

Emilia Anaruma
Emilia Anaruma
9 years ago

Congratulations! As a fan I definitely loved that you put so many different books out there and that you went so long sleep deprived for our greedy little reader needs ;) I love all of them!

Michelle Grey
9 years ago

What great inspiration! Thanks, Denise! I’m sure with Redemption right around the corner, you’ll surpass 200k in no time. Really appreciate the info. For me, the journey begins on 1/2/13. God bless!

Mary Ellen Blackwood
9 years ago

Shouting out inspiration, sharing great accomplishment and motivating all of us on the diving board of e-pubbing – you’re the best! Thanks for all your news and your advice…..meb

Monica Enderle Pierce
9 years ago

Glad I stopped by today. Admirable and inspiring as always, hon. Congrats!

Lucy Francis
9 years ago

Great post. Congrats on 150k, Denise! That’s an awesome cake.

Sarah Jae Foster
Sarah Jae Foster
9 years ago

Thanks for sharing and for your encouraging words! You have reaped the benefits of being a hard working writer and putting out stellar product! Many congrats!

Alicia Street
9 years ago

Congratulations, Denise! And thanks for sharing and inspiring the rest of us.

Rogenna Brewer
9 years ago

Very inspirational, Denise! Thanks for sharing.

Judy Ridgley
9 years ago

Your success has been an inspiration and a joy to watch. I just got my dream up and going last night thanks to you Denise. You make this possible. God love ya. I do

Theresa Ragan
9 years ago

Wonderful news, Denise! Congratulations on all of your success. Thanks for sharing.

Toni Kenyon
9 years ago

Congratulations, Denise. I’m new to publishing – my first book was released three weeks ago – so I’m grateful to you for sharing your experience and your success.

Here’s to the next 150,000! :)

Heather McCorkle
9 years ago

Congratulations! I can’t tell you how big of an inspiration you are to me. Your success keeps me going!

Sahara Roberts
9 years ago

I was rereading the transcript from your Savvy Authors chat and decided to drop by. I’m thrilled to read about your success!

Stories like yours are inspiring. Congratulations!


[…] 100K and a Winner I Hit 150,000 in Sales […]

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