First Month Stats

internet-statistics_1July 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:

Money Spent

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

E-books Sold

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)

E-books Borrowed

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 🙂

Paperbacks Sold

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.

I’m Glad I Did It

It’s been three weeks since I self-published Twenty-Five, and I have to say, I am so happy I did it.  Before taking this leap, I really wasn’t sure about self-publishing.  I’d read articles saying that the stigma had been lifted and more books were being published by the individual authors than by publishing houses now, but it was still a big risk for me.  What if I pressed the “upload” button and then never sold a single copy?  What if I did sell copies, but then got bad reviews?  I struggle with rejection issues, so this was one of my biggest fears.  I didn’t want to fail at this, at writing.

My book is my proudest accomplishment.  But, it still is strange for me when people I know read it.  Again, that fear of rejection.  What if they don’t like it?  Will that somehow mean they don’t like me anymore?  It’s so silly to be so proud of something and hold it to your chest without giving anyone else the chance to see how awesome it is.

So, I did it.  I took the chance and I created the e-book and the paperback.  And you know what?  People like it.  I’ve actually sold copies!  Sure, a lot of the copies I sold were to family and friends, but then again, a lot weren’t.  It’s only been three weeks, and I haven’t had thousands of downloads, but my book is in the hands of hundreds of people.  Hundreds.  I don’t  know if I ever expected that.  I haven’t made much money because the majority of those hundred were free downloads, but money isn’t the point.  The point is, I wrote a book and now people can read it.

And I can’t even tell you how awesome that is.

I can tell you, though, that it really makes me want to get another book out there for them to read!  I’m working on that.

Saying “Yes” to Halloween

I continued my Saying Yes to Life campaign last night by spending the Halloween weekend in Charlotte with my sisters and their husbands.  Here’s my costume- it was definitely outside of my comfort zone!

And yes, in case you were wondering, I did have a few people actually pay me for kisses, and I gave some away for free!  I’ve never been the type of girl to go all slutty on Halloween, and I think this was a great compromise!  I had a blast hanging out with my sisters and bros-in-law; I always forget how much I laugh when I’m around them.

So, here’s to kissing strangers and spending time with family, and laughing my ass off.  Saying yes is working 🙂

Wish Me Luck!

I did it!  I got an audition for Bob and the Showgram!  I’m going to be on tomorrow morning from 8:00 to 10:00 AM, filling in as the guest Va-J-J.

I’m so freaking excited I can’t even stand it.

If you don’t live in the Triangle, you can still listen.  Just go to and click on “Listen Live” between 8 and 10.  After 10 you can listen to the archives (listed under “Audio and Video” then “Showgram on Demand”).  You can also listen to it on iHeartRadio.

Wish me luck!

7 Out of 11: My Speed-Dating Experience

I’ve tried all the methods you’ve heard or read about when it comes to meeting romantic potentials.  In high school and college I joined different clubs and organizations.  I let friends set me up.  I’ve smiled and said “hello” to random guys at Target, the grocery store, the mall food court.  I’ve stopped looking.  I joined

And last night, I tried speed dating.

During the month between signing up and going, I couldn’t decide if I was brave for trying something new, or pathetic for paying to go to a bar and have forced conversations with complete strangers.  I can honestly say, I’m still not completely sure, but I’m leaning towards brave.

I took my time getting ready- I curled my hair and put on a cute little black dress (very casual, but still a black dress, which you cannot go wrong with), traded my glasses for contacts, and did my makeup.  I’m not going to lie, I think I looked pretty good.

It started raining- hard- halfway to the restaurant and I wondered, “Is this a sign?  Should I turn around, go home, put on my pjs and snuggle up on the couch with Glee and a mug of hot cocoa?”  I didn’t turn around though: I pressed on.

Have I mentioned before that I have the worst sense of direction?  Well, I do.  So there was no way I was going to find the restaurant on the first try driving in the dark in the rain- and I didn’t.  Even with my GPS.  Luckily, I found a parking deck pretty easily.  Unlikely, I had to walk 2 blocks in the rain in flip flops to find the right address and was convinced I was going to slip and break my neck before I got there.  But I didn’t!

When I walked in the door, I immediately regretted the decision to come- but it was just a momentary panic, dread in not knowing what the hell I’d gotten myself into.  I checked in, sat at the bar, and ordered a drink.  It took a while to start because more people came in, but when it finally did, I took my place at “Table 4” and waited for my #4 counterpart to join me.

It was a very surreal evening in a lot of ways.  I found myself smiling and laughing through most of it- I actually had fun!  I knew that most of the guys were not men I’d ever want to see again in a romantic setting, but they were all friendly and kind.  None were cocky or arrogant or gave me a “player” vibe, which completely shocked me.  At the end of the evening, I turned in my “match” sheet, selecting three guys that I wanted to possibly see again.

This morning, I got my matches from the event’s organizers.  2 of the guys I choose selected me, too.  And 5 other guys selected me.  7 guys out of 11 wanted more Rachel, disproving my long-standing belief that men are repelled by me and convincing me that instead, I just need five minutes of their undivided attention to make them realize how amazingly delightful I am.

One Taste of Fame Just Wasn’t Enough

So I conquered radio a few weeks ago with my awesome stint on G105’s Bob and the Showgram.  I decided I wanted bigger and better.  Hence, my TV debut.

Check it out here:


Other than the fact that I look hideous, I think I sound and behave very professionally.  Wouldn’t you want me to be your wedding coordinator?

Almost Famous

Okay, I admit it, I’m an attention whore.  I love it, I crave it.  I try really hard not to beg for it, but when there’s a chance to display myself in a way that I think will receive positive attention, I’m all about it.

I sing karaoke every chance I get.  I have a decent voice, not amazing or anything, but in a room full of drunk people you’d think I was Kelly Clarkson or someone similar.  Hearing the announcer call my name, walking up to the microphone, and waiting for those first few notes, yeah I feel nervous.  But almost as soon as I start singing, I just feel happy.  And when I put the microphone back on the stand, do my little appreciative wave and nod to the audience, and head back to my seat, I’m elated.  On a “yeah, I just kicked ass” high.  It’s one of the greatest feelings in the world.  Especially if my friends tell me I sounded good!

In high school I did a lot of community theater.  My school didn’t have the funds or the interest for a real drama group or musical theater, so I participated in every community production I could find.  Sometimes I worked backstage and sometimes onstage.  I loved every minute of it.  I loved the costumes and scenery and the audience and getting up on stage and feeling the butterflies in my stomach.

This past Friday I had the chance to display myself on another medium- radio!  I signed up to be in the studio audience of a local morning radio show and the show’s host always chooses a few people from the audience to talk to on air based on questionnaires we had to fill out before hand.  When I was filling out my questionnaire I thought there was no way they’d put me on the air- I’m so boring!  But they did!  And I think I did a pretty good job.  I did sound nervous at the beginning, but it got easier, and they talked to me for a long time- almost 15 minutes.

So I walked into work today (for the ortho) and several of the employees at the dentists’ office where we go four times a month mentioned my fifteen minutes of radio fame!  One of our patients had heard me and told her mom, who works for one of the dentists.  She called the office and told the receptionist.  And a different patient’s mother stopped before leaving and said “Were you the one on the radio?”

I may never be famous for writing or wedding planning or anything else.  But I felt almost famous today, and it was kinda cool.

It’s Not October 15th Yet!!!!

But I reached one of my milestones!!!

I didn’t have a chance to log on at all yesterday, which is totally weird for me, I didn’t even open up my laptop yesterday, but here it is, 10:09 PM on Monday September 13th, a whole month and 2 days before my Blogiversary and I reached 5001 views!


That’s pretty much all I have to say today.  But I’m super stoked about it.

Now, if you do want to hear more from me, I’ll be posting Wednesday (9/15) on my company’s blog about the last wedding I coordinated.  Check it out:

A little thing that makes me happy: A blank page.  It’s a clean start every time, even if you are just carrying over the sentence or paragraph from the previous page.

Milestone Updates: This is my 94th post and I have 32 days until my Blogiversary!

What I Learned This Week

I’m often told that my writing is very honest- that I’m not afraid of putting myself out there on the page.  And I definitely find this is true.  In fact, I’m more honest in my writing than in actual conversation.  Not because I am untruthful in real conversation, but because I often just can’t find the right way to express myself.  Somehow, in writing, I always can.

I’ve been thinking about this phenomenon a lot lately.  Namely due to this guy I went out on a couple of dates with.  Let me emphasize A COUPLE OF DATES.  I’ll be more precise.  TWO dates.  You’ll see why the number is important in a minute.

This guy is very nice and we had a good time hanging out together.  He’s also very religious.  Not religious in the sense that he thinks you’ll go to hell for smoking, drinking, and cursing, because he certainly does those things, but religious in the sense that he feels a very deep faith in God and Jesus.

I respect his faith.  I respect anyone who is able to have an unwavering belief that God is the answer to anything.  But.  I am not one of those people/  I believe in God, but I don’t always like him.  This turned out to be a problem for said guy.

Personally, I think discussing religion on the first couple of dates is a BIG MISTAKE.  But, God isn’t as important to me as it is to him, so the subject came up.  I tried to explain I wasn’t comfortable talking about it, but it was important to him.  I finally wrote down my entire history with church and God because I felt like I wasn’t expressing myself very well verbally.

I am really proud of what I wrote.  I found it incredibly beautiful and honest.  One day maybe I’ll share it with you, but it is still very personal.

The whole experience also made me think about myself in a new way.  I’ve decided I’m pretty awesome.  I’m not saying that from a conceited place, but from a it’s-time-I-had-a-little-more-confidence place.  Because really, I’m an awesome person.  If things had worked out with the guy, he would have been lucky to have me.  Because I’m funny, and witty, and I don’t always take everything so seriously.  I can have fun sitting in the Garden Center at Wal-Mart playing dots.  (One of the activities on our first date.)  I’m smart, and dammit, I’m going to do something incredible in life.  I don’t know what that thing is yet, but I believe it’s going to happen.  I have passion.  I care about people.  I’m thoughtful.  I’m pretty when I get dressed up.  I’m freaking awesome, and just because no guy has been able to handle all of my awesomeness up til now, doesn’t mean that no guy ever will.  Because some guy is going to see it.  And he is going to be incredibly awesome, too.

One other thing I learned this week (which has absolutely nothing to do with the other two things), thanks to Nathan Bransford’s blog: I use too much repetition in my writing.  It is always good when you see a post by an agent that helps you recognize and remedy a problem!  Thank you, Nathan!

So, to recap, what I’ve learned this week:

1) I’m able to express myself more completely through written words.

2) I’m pretty f***ing awesome.

3) I need to edit for repetition.

A pretty good week, I think!