Thursday, August 25, 2011

Going Indie - Is it worth it?

Time to talk results.

I take this giant leap of faith - so necessary to gain forward momentum in my career - and three months have passed. Some authors are selling tens of thousands, some authors are making thousands a month, and a very lucky few are doing both.

And me?

My results have exceeded my expectations. I have recouped my initial expenses. And most importantly, I have taken the next step in my career. No regrets.

So lets talk Dollars and Cents:

THE HALO CHRONICLES: THE GUARDIAN sells for $2.99 eBook and $14.99 print (discounted at B&N but with very little margin for me).


MAY 24th













Smashwords (3mo. total)


A good friend of mine, who published about the same time, has sold in the thousands. While ecstatic for her, for like a second I was jealous of her sales. (LOL Tonya).

Keep in Mind at my Pricing structure: 100 = 700

I considered dropping my book to $.99. While $.99 price point does tend to explode sales, the margin is very low.

$2.99 (70% is $2.093) x100sales = $209.30
$.99 (30% is $.297) x100sales= $29.70;  700sales= $207.90
My choice, earnings at $2.99 or sales at $.99? The authors who are really doing well have a tiered approach (that I plan to model). When their subsequent book releases for $2.99 or $3.99, their current title drops to $.99. That way they are accomplishing both sales and earning. So I'm hard at work on the sequel THE HALO CHRONICLES: THE KEEPER. :)

Here are some other AMAZING indie authors who have transparently shared results:

* Debra also has a great post on price point

Debra's August sales information
Theresa Ragan

Gemma Halliday's results (1 year 600k and counting)
D.D. Scott (on Right side of page)

Cate Rowan on The Ruby Slippered Sisterhood site

Julianne MacLean's promotion experiment (How important are cover and price?)
Know of any other indies disclosing sales? Post a link in comments and I will update this post. :)


Tonya Kappes said...

Carey, you are doing GREAT!! I did have two of my books at the 2.99 price point and sold over 1,000 in the first month. I decided to lower the price for one reason only...readers! I have sold over 5,000 books in three months, one and a half has been at the .99 price point. This month alone I've sold over 3,000. So I'm reaching more and more readers.
I want to connect with them, visit with them at conferences, I talk with them on email HECK...I even have a Big Brother night with two of them of Facebook every time Big Brother is on. I'm so honored they take five minutes out of this crazy, busy life to pick up my books and read it. It baffles me and I'm full of gratitude.

I don't ever look at each sale as money. I look at it as another reader! My getting published had nothing to do with money. Money will come with readers, but I was about connecting to readers and building a relationship with them.

I have several Indie friends who have price points all over the board, and it works for them. I think that's great. At the end of the day, every writer has to do with feels right for their career. It's working for you!! Cheers!

D.D. Scott said...

Go, Carey, Go!!!

And thanks sooo very much for the shout-out!

It's by having the courage to go for the gusto of your Indie Epub Career then sharing your experiences that you are truly paying it forward to other writers.

Go, Girl, Go!!!

Renee Vincent said...

Wishing you the best of luck in your career, Carey! Believe me, getting that second book out, so you have a "backlist" is going to be crucial for your sales. Backlists are a silent partner.

I think even Tonya can agree with that. *wink*

Elizabeth Loraine said...

I too am doing very well with sales of my first series Royal Blood Chronicles. In July I sold 888 with 5315 downloads of my free title.This month so far 2056 sales with 10128 downloads of my free title which includes half of the first book. I have six books, plus the free novelette. one at .99 and five at 2.99. Indie is definately the way to go.

Edie Ramer said...

Carey, you're doing fine! It's just going to get better for you.

Bev Pettersen said...

Thanks for sharing, Carey. It looks good, like a snowball gaining momentum. Wishing you an avalanche of sales!

Lorie Langdon said...

So proud of you, Carey! To gain readers and make money with what you love to do...this is a huge accomplishment! And I appreciate your transparency in sharing your results. This is just the beginning. :)

Athena Grayson said...

Carey, you're doing great! Remember, this is the Long Haul--you're not pressured and limited by a 3-6 week "shelf life" of any one title...and you're also not limited to sticking to your price point, either--you're free to drop your price to 99 cents for a week or a month, as part of a special. You're free to take it down and re-upload an "extended director's cut with extras" if you like. The door is open for you, hon! You are doing great!

I've learned (in the 15+ years I've been doing this) that we writers are never in competition with other writers--our competition is ourselves--challenging our skills and exceeding our own (sometimes extremely high) expectations.

Don't forget to enjoy the ride.

Kristie Cook said...

You're doing great with one book out. The big stuff starts happening when you have at least 3-4 out. I only have 2 and have been in the thousands per month since April - when I dropped one book to 99c. But I think you're right to wait until you have another book out. I do agree with Tonya, though, that its not about the money (at least, not yet). It's about gaining a loyal readership - those who will keep coming back each time you release a book. Many readers said they took a chance on me because it was only 99c and are so glad they did. They wouldn't have at a higher price point. Something to keep in mind... Best wishes for your indie journey!

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Congrats, and keep going! Offering more titles will only make it better!

Carey_Corp said...

@Tonya –you have a true gift when it comes to marketing! Your success is well deserved and earned.

@D.D. Thanks for paying it forward!

@Renee – agree about backlist. Must put but in chair and write.

@elizabeth. Thanks for stats.
Congrats with the great sales.

@Edie – Welcome. I appreciate you stopping by.

@Bev – here’s hoping we all snowball together!

@Lorie ;)

@Athena – I always appreciate your veteran perspective and your name. ;)

@Kristie – Hi there. Glad to hear your tiered approach is working.

@Terry – Thanks for stopping by. Wow, you have a lot of books out! Where are you from in California?

Anonymous said...

Fascinating. I'm a big fan of Tonya Kappes and DeeDee Scott. Love seeing all the great minds meeting.

Jennette Marie Powell said...

Congrats on your sales, Carey! Of course now that I'm reading the book, it's no zurprise - it's fantastic! My #'s for the first two weeks of release are miniscule. Compared to yours and otber commenters here, but I've done next to no promo as I'm trying to focus on getting the next book out, as well as aprint edition. Thanks for sharing your experiences - it's only going to get better!

Jennette Marie Powell said...

That should be SURPRISE LOL darn phone!

Carey_Corp said...

@Pj - Welcome. "I'm a big fan of Tonya Kappes and DeeDee Scott." Me, too!

@Jennette - Congrats on your recent release. You are really smart to focus on the next book. Marketing helps - and i really do see a spike in sales when I am active but based on what I've seen those lifts are not as significant as having multiple books published.

Norah Wilson said...

Thanks for sharing, Carey. And for plugging my post, as well. ,-)

As others have said, I think these are very encouraging numbers for one book. You'll see the benefits multiply when you add other titles, especially if you employ that tiered approach.

Good luck! And keep us posted so we can squee for you.

Carey_Corp said...

@Norah - Thanks for stopping by and sharing your journey. Personally, I really appreciate the transparency! :)

Theresa Ragan said...

Go Carey! Thanks for the mention and for sharing.

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Thanks for sharing, Carey. I have just put my first indie up on Smashwords and will put it up on Amazon soon. It is so interesting reading about other author's experiences with sales and numbers. Onwards and upwards!

Carey_Corp said...

@Theresa - Thanks for the mention on your blog and for continuing to share your journey (and mine). :)

@Helen - Welcome! Congratulations on taking a leap of faith. What fun!!! I look forward to hearing about your journey.

Carey_Corp said...
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Bob said...

Congratulations on your success. It's an exciting time to be an author. After we count up August, I'll post my sales for July and August, but essentially I am selling over 2,000 eBooks a day. In July the total was over 80,000 and we've uploaded a couple more titles since then. We're also launching a new title exclusive to Nook for 30 days starting on the 31st of August and I'm interested to see how that works out.

Carey_Corp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carey_Corp said...

Hi Bob! Thanks for stopping by. He Who Dares Wins Publishing is doing such really cool stuff. And I'm really curious to see how the Nook exclusive venture works out.

Carol Topp, CPA said...

Thanks for being so open. I find the Amazon vs. BN interesting. I like the way you think (100=700) , but that's probably because I'm a CPA.

I'd like to share your post to my blog at OK with you?
Maybe an interview in the future too? I'm hoping to set up blog feature where authors talk about their businesses and money.

Carol Topp, CPA

Carey_Corp said...

@Carol - Thanks for stopping by. Yes, please feel free to post anywhere. ;)And I'm totally game for collaboration and cross promotion. I'll contact you off line. :)

Julianne MacLean said...

Thanks for posting my link, Carey! And thanks also for sharing all this info. Very helpful.

Dr. Debra Holland said...


Good for you for being so open with your sales. As others have said, when you have more books, your sales will increase.

Thanks for mentioning my blog!

Julie Wright said...

I appreciate your open honesty about sales and what to expect. I just got rights back on four of my opublished novels because they'd gone out of print and I've been dancing around this subject for a while now as to what to do with the books. I finally tok the plunge and put the first one up on Kindle and Nook. I appreciated having your sales listed so I could know how to gauge my own. You are awesome!

Renee Pace said...

Great post and like you I'm on the ride. The fact you've covered your expenses is perfect and you are obviously on the right path. Your book is on my TBR pile.

Carey_Corp said...

@ Julie - Congratulations for taking the plunge.

Carey_Corp said...

@ Renee - Congratulations for taking the next step inyour career. OFF LEASH is on my TBR pile. :)