A year of self publishing (Sept '11 - Aug '12)

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Scarfy, Oct 9, 2011.

  1.  
    Scarfy

    Scarfy Stephen J Sweeney

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    People are always interested to know this sort of stuff, so I thought I'd share the results and reactions to self publishing my Battle for the Solar System trilogy. I'll try and come back with the results each month (Sept '11 - Aug '12), so that people can get a good idea of the realities of self publishing.

    I'm going to add up the total sales per month of The Honour of the Knights (Second Edition) and The Third Side. I'll not break down the individual sales, because that would probably get tedious.

    In September, I did 1337 eBooks (worldwide). I don't have numbers for Barnes and Noble or the iBookstore yet, as they have yet to filter through. I'll pop these in once I get them.

    If you have questions or anything, please ask away!

    Steve
  2.  
    Ian Whates

    Ian Whates Author and Editor

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    Hi, Steve, that's great news, many congratulations! :)

    Questions? Okay, what sort of price has the kindle been selling at during this time, and how has the paperback edition been doing?
  3.  
    Scarfy

    Scarfy Stephen J Sweeney

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    Hi, Ian! Thanks! :)

    I've been pricing the Kindle editions of the books at £1.99 / $2.99 each right now. I've actually withdrawn the paperback of the first edition of Knights from sale, as it was priced at £9.99 and only generated about £0.13 per copy (and sold about 1 copy a month..!)

    The first edition is now a free ebook available from a number of places, including my own website. It's sort of acting as free promotion :)

    I've just seen I've been given a 1-star review for the second edition! Reviewer has complained that the book is an ego trip and that it's a non-story with no beginning, middle or end, and that any book in a series should be a self-contained story, allowing people to jump in at any point.

    Hmmm, bit angry at that. Might have to pop a comment on there. Shouldn't, but that review is frankly ridiculous.
  4.  
    HareBrain

    HareBrain Lagomorphing Staff Member

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    What determines whether or not you can apply your 40 reviews of the first edition to the second? How big were the changes?
  5.  
    Scarfy

    Scarfy Stephen J Sweeney

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    Fair point, Hare. The differences between the first and second edition are style, and depth of character and plot. I'd have prefer them to be treated as separate entities, however. I don't exactly consider the first edition to be canon.

    Looks like the reviewer simply relished the opportunity to be the first to rate it and give it the lowest possible mark they could. Oh well.
  6.  
    Gary Compton

    Gary Compton King Harvey Basset R.I.P

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    Don't worry about it. Criticism is always going to have the good, the bad and the ugly.

    1300 sales in a month. You must be doing something right!

    Onwards and upwards.:)

    And PS dont reply to it. That's what he wants.
  7.  
    psychotick

    psychotick Dangerously confused

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    Hi,

    That's good sales numbers for self publishing. My own numbers have dropped from 790 in July to a little over 500 in September, and I have to admit the miserable one star review I got did not help.

    I was really peeved with it actually, becuase the sum total of the review was that he'd read four pages and it was unreadable. To add insult to injury, he came from nowhere, I was his first and last review, and hasn't written anything since. I felt more then a little got at.

    But I figured it was best not to respond. It'd probably just make a bad situation worse, and even if it's cost me two or three hundred sales a month, I have to believe that more better reviews will come in and wipe his away. Some already have, but not enough yet.

    Cheers, Greg.
  8.  
    Scarfy

    Scarfy Stephen J Sweeney

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    After sleeping on it, I've deleted the comment. People are entitled to their opinions :)
  9.  
    thaddeus6th

    thaddeus6th Active Member

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    Psychotick, might be an idea to put a link to your site/blog/books in your public profile. Just had a quick look so I might've missed it.

    Anyway, best of luck to both of you.
  10.  
    Peter Graham

    Peter Graham New Member

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    Hi Steve,

    In light of the increasing interest in self publishing on this forum, I think that this is an excellent thread - many thanks for agreeing to share your experiences.

    Might I ask what this translates into in cash terms - either turnover or gross profit?

    Regards,

    Peter
  11.  
    Scarfy

    Scarfy Stephen J Sweeney

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    For a book priced at £1.99 on Kindle, you're going to get £1.20, before tax reductions.

    So, depending on your tax rate, you're looking at £0.85 per book or there abouts at the end of the day.

    Er... that's my guess, anyway. I tend to assume that the tax man takes 30% of what you make! ;)
  12.  
    Gary Compton

    Gary Compton King Harvey Basset R.I.P

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    If you set the revenues up to be paid into a Limited company, then as well as being able to claim part of all your household bills, as effectively you have your office at home. Corporation tax is only 22-23%

    There are many other legitimate ways a good accountant will save you tax. If your yearly revenue is less than 5K then you should get away with no Tax:)
  13.  
    Varangian

    Varangian New Member

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    I have a question Scarfy. Your e-sales are doing very well by the look of it. How are you marketing your product?
  14.  
    Stephen Palmer

    Stephen Palmer author of novels

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    I'd like to know that as well.
  15.  
    Peter Graham

    Peter Graham New Member

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    Thanks Scarfy,

    Fair point, but you'd still have to pay income tax and NI (both employers' and employees!) on anything the Company then pays out to you. You might be able to save NI by structuring it as share dividend, but bear in mind that having a limited company involves certain administrative requirements.

    But Gary is right - if you are making a few quid, it's well worth speaking to an accountant to make sure you are making use of your legitimate tax allowances.

    Regards,

    Peter
  16.  
    psychotick

    psychotick Dangerously confused

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    Hi Thaddeus6th,

    That sounds like a good idea. How do I go about it? I have an author page on Amazon and a blog on Goodreads. Can they be linked somehow?

    Cheers, Greg.
  17.  
    thaddeus6th

    thaddeus6th Active Member

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    If you go to your User Control Panel and then click Edit Details on the left you have the option for a homepage.
  18.  
    Gary Compton

    Gary Compton King Harvey Basset R.I.P

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    Tax and NI - My brother Rodney doesnt believe in all that crap:eek:


    regards Del
  19.  
    Scarfy

    Scarfy Stephen J Sweeney

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    Hmmm, I'm not really doing any active marketing as such. I have a dedicated website to the trilogy: www.battleforthesolarsystem.com and I'm also giving away the first edition of the first book for free, so I guess it's sort of passive marketing.

    Having a website is important these days, as people will always be Googling you and the title of your novel, looking for information, reviews and such.

    Otherwise... yeah, just some passive marketing on my part.
  20.  
    Scarfy

    Scarfy Stephen J Sweeney

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    As promised, here are my numbers for October:

    1095 ebooks sold, the vast majority of them from Amazon. I'm actually not sure of what the numbers are from iTunes, as I've not had them in yet..!

    The total is about 2,754 now.
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