by Molly Greene, @mollygreene
Since 2011, I’ve been blogging about self-publishing and my journey through it. I released my first title, Mark of the Loon, in May of 2012, but didn’t publish Book 2, The Last Fairytale, until late 2013. Book 3, Paint Me Gone, came out mid-2014. And so on, until, by the end of 2015, I’d published seven books in the series.
I waited until I had three titles to promote, but the promos I took on didn’t result in significant sales, not until my first BookBub in late December, 2014. Long story short? My author earnings were more or less nil until 2015.
Now I have something to report.
My 2015 earnings were not nearly what I’d hoped they would be. Income, money, success – these things are relative and I have no regrets, but I did not earn a living wage, and I am a full-time writer. No job to fall back on, no partner to help out. It’s just me. I had to dip into savings. Still, I’m sharing the numbers, and I hope they either inspire you to work harder, or make you feel super because you earned so much more! 🙂
$24,649.83 Total Amazon Royalties (KU + Book Sales)
$2,474.97 Total $$ Spent On Book Promotions
$1,990.00 $$ Spent On Six BookBub Featured Deals
All my fiction titles were in KDP Select throughout 2015. I did not break my Amazon earnings into book sales/KU borrows, but beginning with the KU changes in July, 2015, borrows became apx. half (50%) of my monthly royalty payments. I stayed in Select because my #1 goal was to accrue reviews, free promos are the easiest way to do that, and promos are easy to schedule when books are enrolled in Select.
The BookBub Effect
To my astonishment, throughout 2015 I scored a BookBub deal every couple of months, six in total, until November. At that point, my submissions were pretty much declined across the board. (I don’t know why, other than increased competition.) And then borrows and sales plummeted.
My takeaway? BookBub promos boost backlist sales and help new readers discover you, but they do not necessarily guarantee continued sales and success. That has been true for me. And although BookBub and KDP Select simplified my 2015 marketing, it’s now time to actively seek other methods and processes to sell more books.
My 2016 goal is to double the figure above. I’ll post about how I plan to do that in the next couple of weeks.
Now it’s your turn: Did your 2015 book sales make you dance, or drink? Please leave a comment and share!
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