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Old 03-29-2009, 08:42 PM   #1
sirbruce
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Question So, how many ebooks are you selling?

So, I thought I'd ask impolite question and get right to the heart of the issue. For those of you going the self-published ebook route, how much money are you making? Or perhaps, if that's too close to the vest, how many ebooks are you selling? Making money as a writer in traditional publishing has never been easy, and currently the industry is in the midst of transition. So maybe this is the wave of the future, but what are the prospects currently? And what about POD sales?

Also, is there any evidence of traditional publishers looking at ebooks as a source of new material or talent? Aside from Cory Doctorow, are there many cases of traditional publishers soliciting ebook authors?

I'm not out to embarass anyone; I just want some hard numbers, not simply philosophical proselytizing.
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:38 PM   #2
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Glad I'm not the only one curious about that question, esp with the number of good authors hawking books for 1.59 on Kindle -- making a living at it or getting picked up by a traditional publisher will likely require a lot of investment effort, and a lot of writing for (basically) free just to get noticed.

I would have to imagine that traditional publishers would use ePub sales as an indicator of investment potential, assuming you weren't giving your book away free, but they're in such a state of confusion about what to do in the next ten years (and trying not to make the same tragic mistakes of the music industry) that it could be mixed at best.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:57 PM   #3
Steven Lyle Jordan
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I made about $800 last year in e-book sales. This is without an advertising budget at all, strictly making myself visual and vocal on various web sites (like this one). 2008's high point was Read an E-Book Week, good PR for me, wherein I made about $400 of that in one month.

(Important note: My novels were in the Kindle store during 2008, but only made about $150 for the year. Due to such a poor showing, I've pulled them all.)

Based on past sales I believe that money spent on advertising would significantly improve these numbers... I just haven't had the ad money to spend, though I was originally hoping to be able to start at the beginning of 2009 (pesky economy!). At this moment, it looks like 2009 sales will not match or exceed 2008 levels without investment in advertising.
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:11 PM   #4
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Still, you keep prices pretty low to generate interest. How many copies did that equate to?
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirbruce View Post
Still, you keep prices pretty low to generate interest. How many copies did that equate to?
Wish I could just "do the math"... unfortunately, since many of those sales were in bundles, which are cheaper per book than individual sales, I can't cough up those figures without getting into the sales records and tallying things up sale by sale.

Suffice to say, we're talking somewhere between 400-600 books last year.
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:03 PM   #6
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Fair enough. Thanks for answering! Now if only some of your fellow authors here would as well.
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:06 PM   #7
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In six months time I have sold just over 100 copies. It's hard work. There is a small audience for ebooks and an even smaller audience that is willing to pay for them. Still, it's slow going but definately worth it.
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