Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Talking Money - Part II

From B&N I get an exact amount of # of books and $ owed as the books are sold. With Amazon, it's all accumulative and I don't want to make it sound more complicated than it is...but some of the $2.99 books earn 35% through the UK, etc., so it's not a matter of just multiplying number of books by a certain amount. It depends on WHERE the books sold. Also, if you move your prices up and down (I'm trying that with Taming Mad Max right now) that makes it harder to determine exact amount you earn for that month until you get the monthly KDP transaction report. I don’t have the report for May from Amazon. I believe it will show up before the 15th.

Now for $$$ amounts...

March, 2011: I SOLD my VERY FIRST BOOK on Amazon about seven days after I released it, then I put out the second book at $.99 and within days both books were selling really great.

Amazon:   $524
B&N:         $157

April, 2011: I was already thrilled with sales (over 100 books a day) and then on April 12th, Pixel of Ink pushed my rankings from 2,500 to #68. Both books have been selling great ever since.

Amazon:  $3,524
B&N:         $469

May, 2011: I released Taming Mad Max on 4/25 and Finding Kate Huntley on 5/6. So I had 4 books out for most of May.

Amazon:   $5,300
B&N:         $320

June, 2011: I released ABDUCTED (5/30). 5 books out in June and these amounts are for 5 days.

Amazon:  $1,150
B&N:         $80


GRAND TOTAL $11,528 in about 12 weeks.

Weeks before self-publishing, I was looking through the want ads for a job and trying to decide what type of work I was going to do now that my youngest child was going off to college. Financially, I had known the day would come when I would need to go back to work full time, but with the economy and other factors, the pressure was on more than ever. From the beginning, I wrote every day and I never stopped writing or learning the craft...because I wanted to be able to do this for a living. This was never a hobby to me. My passion was and is writing. It's all I want to do. It's all a lot of writers want to do.

But at the beginning of 2011 I truly thought my time was up. I had tried and failed...because as much as I just wanted to write…financially my husband and I knew that I had to go back to work. In February, 2011, thinking I was going back to get a "real" job, I decided to put my medieval time travels out there...I had nothing to lose at this point. I never for a moment thought about the $. It was more like, okay, the gig is up. Time for me to get a "real" job so I might as well throw the books out there and see if anyone else likes them as much as I do.

And then a miracle.

The books started selling and my life literally changed overnight.

19 years and suddenly...BOOM. I'm selling books, getting fan letters, and making $. For the first time in my 19 years of writing, I realize I just might get to WRITE for a living! How cool is that?

I'm still pinching myself.

One more thing about the money. How much would I have received in advance money for these books? Seriously? When I first started writing I was hoping for a $10,000 advance. A year ago, I would have taken $1,000.

If my two time travels alone bring in $2,000 to $3,000 a month, that would be $14,000 to $21,000 at the end of 2011, not counting the $11,500 I’ve already earned.

If this keeps up, I could potentially make over $7,000 a month. The sky is the limit.

At this point, though, I just want to write. I don't even want to look at the dollar amounts which is why I have to figure it all out everytime someone asks me for a dollar amount. I want to sit at my desk and write books that make me smile. And it looks like that's what I'm going to get to do and I feel blessed and lucky and happy.

If this had happened 19 years ago, I have a feeling it wouldn't have been nearly as satisfying.

One more thing...I still see blog posts out there saying self-published books suck. That's silly. It's like saying all doctors suck or all Chihuahua's shiver (mine doesn't). Not all traditionally published books are great. Not all self-published books are great. Not all doctors suck. And every Chihuahua in the world doesn't shiver. 

IF you are going to take the time to publish your book, send it to someone who knows how to edit. Spell-checker isn't going to do the job.

More than that...I say believe in yourself. Dream big. Write the books of your heart. Never give up. That's what really matters.

15 comments:

Miss Good on Paper said...

Good for you! Congrats on this amazing achievement; you created something! You created art. And thanks for the inspirational message, too.

-Miss GOP
www.thewritingapprentice.com

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

FANTASTIC, Theresa!

I am so thrilled for you and your accomplishments!

Plus, the old analyst in me just had to do this calculation: If you had worked at a 40 hour per week job for those 12 weeks and earned that amount, you would have been earning $24 per hour! That is a DARN GOOD PAYING JOB! Just sayin...

AC

Theresa Ragan said...

Hey Miss GOP! Thank you for taking the time to leave such a nice comment.

Hello, AC. Thanks to you, too. I love that you figured that out for me. $24 an hour. I'll take it! yay!

cidney swanson said...

Thanks for posting about your struggles (as well as the earnings.) I got teary-eyed. I think so many of us can relate to those moments of feeling like it is time to throw in the towel. I'll keep reading your posts to get my injection of sunshine!

Cate Rowan said...

WAHOO and AMEN on this post, Theresa! Self-publishing is a miracle for authors. Now we can have readers AND income AND full control over our books and what we write.

I looooooooove it!

Theresa Ragan said...

Ahhh, thanks Cidney.

And Cate, thanks for stopping by and for encouraging me to "go for it" from the very beginning.

Cate Rowan said...

I'm glad I had the chance to! Keep on rollin'. Your success makes me giddy, gal. :D

azarimba said...

What a heart-warming message! It's great that you can live your dream. Good luck to you in your future endeavours, and keep on writing!

Theresa Ragan said...

Azarimba, thanks so much.

Carradee said...

Wow! Congrats!

Your lovely covers may have something to do with it—they look like modern good-quality publisher creations. :D

Theresa Ragan said...

Thanks, Carradee.

Elisa Michelle said...

Wow, those are impressive numbers! Out of curiosity, who did your cover art? I'm about to self publish an ebook and could really use some advice.

Theresa Ragan said...

Elisa, go to my LINKS tab on the home page and the top link is Dara England. Click on her name and that will take you to her website. She does custom covers for around $50. I also put the link below. Good luck and thanks for commenting!

http://mycoverart.wordpress.com/

Elisa Michelle said...

Thanks! I'm still trying to figure all of this out, and the fact that you had no previous readership is encouraging, as that's the primary reason people keep telling me not to self-publish. I have no readership, no experience. You know?

Theresa Ragan said...

Elisa, listen to your instincts. Sometimes the best way to learn is by doing. If your book is ready, the readers will find you. Besides, you can learn how to promote and market as you go. Wishing you tons of success!