Q08: Sales

(This question is part of a larger subseries called Perpetual WIPs: Self-Published Authors. For the remaining questions, see here.)

What kinds of sales expectations did you have, and how did your actual sales compare?

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I had low expectations for sales, as I knew I was taking a gamble and didn’t have a ton of money to throw into promotion. Sales have been decent, not fantastic, but I’m hoping with the release of the next book more will come.

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I didn’t have the highest expectations because of my lack of publicity. I’ve been moderately happy. I cared more about the happiness of the readers I had than just a mass of readers who felt indifferent, if that makes sense. So overall, I’m pleased.

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The main thing I know about predicting sales is that I can’t predict sales. I had a book I thought was great, feedback from the beta readers and editor was great, I did a huge promo push, and reviews were really positive…but sales were just ho hum. Then later I had a book where, because of some controversial aspects, I thought it would get slaughtered by reviewers and wouldn’t sell. I did zero promo, no tour, nothing. I almost didn’t publish it. But that shot to the Amazon bestseller list for a couple of weeks when it came out and has been my highest seller overall. It’s pretty wild to know that this book I’m working on right now might do well enough to hit a list or might plop on its way to the publishing toilet.

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I had no sales expectations whatsoever, so I was pleased with the response I got. Because I am writing a series, I do not expect to see more sales until the entire series is available.

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I had no expectations going into the first book. I wanted to make enough to be able to publish the rest of the books in the series, and to recoup my money. That was it.

It didn’t take as long as I’d feared, actually. I had paid for all of my expenses by the time the 3rd book in my series released.

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I had pretty modest sales expectations – I wanted to recoup my spending within the first year. I met that goal within the first couple of months.

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Honestly, my sales expectations were very small. If I sold 20 copies, I’d have been happy. As it turned out, that’s what I’ve been selling a month, give or take, so when you look at the average, I’m above the curve there. Each book in the series that drops boosts sales for the ones before, so I’m hoping I only go up from here.

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I had no idea what to expect, so – zero expectations. The book exploded, earning thousands of dollars in its first few weeks. I was shocked.

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My initial sales expectations were nearly nil, and reality did not disappoint.  But I’m still optimistic.  Writing, especially indie writing, is a long game.  From what veterans of the enterprise have said, it’s not until your third, fourth, fifth book that things really start to take off.

I can live with that.  After all, one of the nice things about indie publishing is my first books aren’t limited to a “print run”.  They are on Amazon, and they will be ad infinitum.  This means I will always be able to make money off of them, even if it’s later rather than sooner.

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I had zero expectations and was pleasantly surprised. I think some people I don’t even know bought my book! I’m happy.

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I tried to have no expectations. I knew an average book doesn’t sell more than 500 copies in it’s lifetime and self-pub is typically much lower. So with that in mind—I hoped to do at least 500 copies.

And I did.

My books don’t burst out of the gates and hit the bestseller list. And I’m okay with that. Because three months after release, my contemporary romance is still in the top 2k on Amazon and selling steadily every day. I’m more than okay with that.

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1 thought on “Q08: Sales”

  1. This is actually very comforting. Must learn patience, and find happiness in any outcome 🙂

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