July is over. My first month of self-publishing is over. I’m hoping that sharing my findings will help those out there considering self-publishing.
I enrolled in KDP Select for the e-book. I choose the 70% royalty option and priced the e-book at $2.99 US, with comparable prices for other markets (UK, France, Germany, Canada, etc). My royalty for the e-book is approximately $2.03. I used 2 of my five free days early in the month, on July 3rd and July 6th. My thought process for the free days being that people would be on (or about to be going on) vacation, likely a beach vacation, and would be looking for something easy to read.
For the paperback, I went with the publish-on-demand (POD) service CreateSpace. I priced the book at $10.99 US, again with comparable prices for other markets. My royalty for the paperback when ordered through Amazon is $1.90 (no one has ordered it through CreateSpace, so I won’t worry about their royalty).
Now the good stuff – the stats. Here are all the details from the first month:
ISBN for the paperback – $10.00
Proof copy of the paperback – $8.28
Business Cards (with Title of Book, link to Amazon’s page where people can buy the book, and all of my Social Media contact info) – $49.52, purchased through Staples online print center (500 cards)
Copies of the paperback for Gifts, Giveaways, and In-person sales – $187.65 (35 copies)
Shipping of a paperback copy to a Book Reviewer – $2.75
Total Costs: $258.20
USA – 64 copies
UK – 267 copies (that’s right, they like me in the UK)
Canada – 4 copies
Total Sales: 335
Royalty Total: approximately $680.05 (this is calculating $2.03 royalty for each copy, though the exchange rates may cause some differences. I’ll know a firmer total when I receive the report on the 15th)
USA – 3 copies
UK – 5 copies
Total Borrows: 8
Royalty Total: Not sure what the payout will be for borrows yet, I’ll find out in my monthly report around the 15th, I believe. The average for the past couple of months (according to KDP community message boards) is approximately $2.00 per borrow, so $16.00
Free Downloads over 2 days
USA – 487
UK – 152
Canada – 4
France – 10
Germany – 14
India – 3
Total Downloads: 670
Royalty Total: $0.00, duh 🙂
Through CreateSpace – 18
Royalty Total: $34.20
In-person by me – 12 + 2 copies that were given with a promise of payment later (I know where they live!)
Royalty Total: (I spent $5.34 on each copy and charged $10.00 when selling them) $55.92
Total Sales: 30
Paperbacks Given Away
3, though I have plans to give a few more away
Royalty Total: $0.00 again
Approximately $527.97. For someone who never expected anyone to even read my book, let alone pay for it, I am REALLY happy with that number. Even though I won’t actually see the money for a couple of months (Amazon doesn’t pay out until 60 days after the end of the month in which the royalties are made and CreateSpace is 30 days after the end of the month in which the royalties are made).
I did very little marketing. I posted the link to the book on my personal facebook page and several friends and family members shared it. I then created a Facebook Author fan page, a Twitter account, and a Goodreads author page. I asked on my facebook pages for friends to leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads IF they read and enjoyed the book.
11 reviews have been posted on Amazon, all 5-star, 10 by people I know. The one person who I didn’t know, heard of the book through a friend of a friend.
14 ratings have been posted on Goodreads, with 5 actual reviews. (10) 5-star, (1) 4-star, (1) 3-star, and (2) 1-star. (5) of the 5-star ratings are from people I know, the rest are from strangers.
I’ve listed 2 giveaways on Goodreads. The first giveaway is for the US and Canada, for 5 copies. I started it on July 8th and it will end on August 8th. So far, there are 758 entries. The second giveaway is for the UK, for 1 copy. It started on July 15th and will end on August 15th. So far, there are 98 entries.
483 people have added Twenty-Five to their bookshelves on Goodreads.
I have two book bloggers doing reviews, but those will not appear until next week at the earliest. From what they’ve said in our email exchanges, it sounds like the reviews will be positive, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed there. But, even bad publicity is good publicity, right? I’m raising the prices on both the e-book and paperback tomorrow, and doing 3 more free days on Amazon the last weekend of August. I’m going to reach out to sites that promote free e-books before the second free promotion, which I did not do with the first 2-day promotion.
I did not tinker with the book’s description, cover, or tags in the first month, though I may once the higher price kicks in if I see that sales have dropped.
So, that’s it. My first month of self-publishing all laid out. I said in my last post I was happy I’d done it and I’m even happier today. I am so proud of myself and my book for taking a chance and taking the leap. These numbers are modest, I know, but they are mine. And they are more than I expected, especially the e-book sales in the UK. I can’t wait to see what the next month brings.