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I know it's really nosy, so dont answer if you dont want to share, or feel free to be a bit vague.  I'm just really interested in how many people had quick success, and what kind of figures you would equate with success, and how long it took before you started making enough to feel it made a difference to your lives, or did it not at all?
Thanks in advance  :)
 

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It took me about three months to sell 100 copies, and the book was priced at $2.99, so that was $200-ish. No, it didn't make a huge difference--I'd wasted about $700 on promotion that didn't really help. :p So I was still about $500 in the hole at that point. Things improved fairly quickly, though.

It's not a nosy question, btw. I frequently wondered the exact same thing in the beginning.
 

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About 60 dollars, at 2.99.

For an unknown author in a hard to market niche (most of my sales were word-of-mouth from my friends acting as a street team) I felt pretty good about it.
 

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I've made about 100 dollars since December but I spent more on my covers and on getting a domain name.
So I don't think I'm going to meet costs for another quarter.

smreine said:
I'd wasted about $700 on promotion that didn't really help.
Can you talk about the promotion you feel you wasted your money on?
 

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I made like $10-20 a month for the first three months. And that was with two novels. It took 12 months, a third novel, and heavy use of Select before I did any better.
 

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I think it's a good question, and one a lot of people want to know the answer to. One thing I love about KB writer's cafe and being indie in general is the attitude of openness and sharing. Being open with each other creates a community of encouragement so I'm happy to share my experience with anyone who asks.

I sold 141 books in the first full month my first book was available. It was only 99 cents, so that was less than $50. I also think that was mostly friends and family buying the book. I was able to release my second book quickly and sold 1134 that second full month (Dec. 2010), but I also listed that book at 99 cents. That meant just under $400. I had similar sales the following month. So, basically, I think I made about $850 in the first three months, but that included sales of a second book. I wasn't keeping records back then, so I'm not sure how many on book one alone. Probably around the $500 mark.

It wasn't until I released my third book in late Feb. 2011 that I really started to see money that made a difference. I listed that book at $2.99 and sold 3703 books the month it released, then over 6000 the following month (March 2011). That was also the first month I started actually tracking my sales and income. I made just over $6000 that month, which was truly a dream come true. For me at the time, that was a level of success I hadn't expected to ever see.

I think I was very lucky to see such quick success. Of course, back then I was able to put the books out very quickly which really made a difference. It was also a different world 2 years ago. There is a lot more competition now, so don't feel discouraged if you don't see huge success in three or four months. It might take time, but as long as you continue to write, you'll see it grow and grow.

I actually listed out all of my sales numbers by month in a blog post a while back if you want to take a look. http://sarracannon.com/2012/09/milestone-100000-sales-the-numbers/
 

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Lady_O said:
Can you talk about the promotion you feel you wasted your money on?
Mostly sending out paperback review copies. I sent them to anyone who asked, and quite a few people who didn't--including folks in places like New Zealand. Do you know how much it costs to ship a paperback to NZ? A lot. This might not have been a problem if I was only sending stuff to major book blogs and actually got reviewed by everyone, but many times, those review copies went to bloggers without followings, and/or I received silence in reply. I also did several paperback giveaways that didn't turn into anything.

As a side note, every single person I sent stuff too (bloggers and readers alike) were pure awesomesauce. It just wasn't a good way for me to allocate money in the beginning, especially since my family had very little extra money.
 

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My first book came out in mid-December. Although I felt I’d chosen a subject to fill a gap in the market I wasn’t particularly confident it would sell, and so I set a low price - £2/$3. It sold about 20 in December and 50+ in January, almost all in the UK and without much promotion. It’s a success as far as I’m concerned and if it keeps selling at this rate then it’ll be useful extra income each month.
Just wish I could think of a subject which would attract sales in the larger US market….
 

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I think I got lucky by being in an easy to promote genre.

I made $250 the first month, $1000 the second and a little over $1200 the third. Not huge numbers, but they were encouraging to me. My price for those three months was always $4.99 and  think that really helped with the bottom line, if not the number of copies sold.
 

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$49.75.  I do believe there's room for improvement here, don't you think?
 

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I think I sold about 70 or 75 novels at $2.99, so I made enough for a few trips to Starbucks.

 

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Mine has only been out around 6 months. I'll put it this way, though. I have yet to make enough to make me care if the check gets here. I don't think I've been following any royalty payments at all, since it's gonna be coffee money, or maybe coffee-and-bagel money. My first novel is a fairly graphic novel with a controversial subject, so it's basically impossible to advertise it, although it seems to be getting pretty solid reviews.
 

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I don't mind sharing bc I wanted to know this stuff when I started. You don't have your own numbers to compare yet. So:

KISS (.99 - 11k)
Jun-11 31 $10.85 (first day Jun 22)
Jul-11 62 $21.70
Aug-11 39 $13.65
Sep-11 28 $9.80

Single Girl (1.99 - 23k)
Dec-12 45 $15.75 (first day Dec 21)
Jan-13 50 $17.50


 

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Uh, about $10,000. Dec 19 2011 to March 19 2012. That's the first book only and doesn't include the second book which came out in Feb of 2012. Wish I was selling that well now.
 

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Clements said:
I know it's really nosy, so dont answer if you dont want to share, or feel free to be a bit vague. I'm just really interested in how many people had quick success, and what kind of figures you would equate with success, and how long it took before you started making enough to feel it made a difference to your lives, or did it not at all?
Thanks in advance :)
Not much. Not enough to brag about, or even get paid all three months.

I think if you totalled it all up, I might have been able to pay for a trip to Chipotle for my wife and me... and even then, we'd have had to walk... LOL

It's gone up since then, thankfully....
 

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My first book was Baby Dust, which I did the old-fashioned way, reviewer copies four months in advance, book launch at a bookstore, the whole shebang.

I made $1900 in the first three months. This frightened me, as I'd foolishly spent $4000 on design, editing, covers, ARCS, and mailing stuff out. My budgets are about 1/4 that now.

But a year out I've made $11,000 on it, so it all worked out in the end.
 
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