My First 8 Months of Indie Publishing: June through January Book Sales

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while now. I think being transparent with sales numbers is a big help to other indie authors, and to the self-publishing industry as a whole. So without further ado, here is my sales record since I published my first book back in June.

Unless otherwise indicated, these are for e-book copies of Restless Spirits priced at $2.99. You’ll note a few copies of Fragments & Fancies in there — that one’s priced at 99 cents. Also, although it’s been available in trade paperback since July, I have yet to sell any hard copies of Restless Spirits.

June 2011

  • Amazon – 8 (5 US, 3 UK)
  • Smashwords – 0
  • B&N – 4

July 2011

  • Amazon – 3 (All US)
  • Smashwords – 2*
  • B&N – 0

August 2011

  • Amazon – 2 (1 US, 1 UK)
  • Smashwords – 1 (Fragments)
  • B&N – 2 (Fragments)

September 2011

  • Amazon – 3 (1 Restless Spirits US, 1 Fragments US, 1 RS UK)
  • Smashwords -0
  • B&N – 0

October 2011

  • Amazon – 1 (US, Fragments)
  • Smashwords – 23**
  • B&N – 0

November 2011

  • Amazon – 0
  • Smashwords – 0
  • B&N – 0

December 2011

  • Amazon – 1 (US)
  • Smashwords – 0
  • B&N – 0

January 2012

  • Amazon – 2 (US)
  • Smashwords – 0
  • B&N – 1 (Fragments)

* It was on sale for 50% off

** I publicized a coupon to get it for free during the month of October

Total Sales (not counting the October giveaway copies): 30

Average monthly sales: 3.75


Clearly, is my biggest market over all, although Barnes & Noble has done better for Fragments. I wonder if that means anything about Nook users having more of a penchant for short story collections. Smashwords hasn’t really been great for sales, but they are really great for generating buzz through sales and giveaways since they make coupon generation so easy.

November was my only month with a total goose egg — that probably has something to do with the fact that I was too busy doing NaNoWriMo to do any active promotion. December sales were also pretty dismal despite my participation in a holiday Kindle giveaway that was meant to draw a lot of attention to me and Restless Spirits for Christmas. Although it did net me a lot of new Twitter and Facebook followers, so that’s something. But if January is any indication, then things are starting to pick back up.

I know those numbers are lacking in the “Wow!” department, but honestly, a steady rate of 3-4 books a month is better than I expected, considering that I’m only offering one novel and what amounts to a chapbook.  It will be interesting to see if and by how much things pick up after I release Dominion. I’m planning to do quite a bit of pre-promotion in the run up to its release, which I didn’t do at all for either of my first two books. I’ve already got a little buzz going for it, thanks to including the first two chapters with the free copies of Restless Spirits that I gave away in October.

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with these numbers.