Self-Publishing Update — October sales, full disclosure

I debated back and forth whether or not to post actual sales numbers (or lack of them) as part of my self-publishing series. Some people might consider it ill-advised, or even down-right tacky. I think it could be outright embarrassing. “All this noise and work and you only sold 10 copies?”

See what I mean?

But I know that several people have faithfully followed this blog because of an interest in self-publishing. I also think writers often approach self-publishing with unrealistic expectations. That’s one thing I heard loud and clear in the WD Successful Self-Publishing workshop I took. I just don’t think it’s fair to have dragged everybody through this with me so far and not be willing to share the results.

I also know that how successful a self-publishing author is depends on many factors, including how willing and energetic they are at promoting the book. I probably will fall on the low end of that spectrum.

My plan at this point (subject to change if it just gets too darn depressing) is to give you monthly updates on the Dancing in Heaven sales. I already posted about how much money I need to make to break even. I think the chances of that happening are pretty low. But that was never my original objective.

October Sales

Dancing in Heaven went on sale in October. I focused my promotion efforts on my inner circle of family, friends, and blogging friends. I also ordered 50 books and have given away 38 of them to family, close friends, people who were in the book (including John Kerry), and a few reviewers.

Bookseller Number sold
Createspace/Amazon(print) 21
Amazon Kindle 5
B&N Nook 1
Smashwords 3
Smashwords/Sony/B&N/Kobo/Amazon/Apple/Diesel not available
Handsold 3
October Total 33

It’s nothing to write home about, but if you count the 38 books I gave away (and assume everyone has read it, or will), then I reached 71 people with Annie’s story. I feel good about that. Also, readers are sharing the book with others, so I will never know how many people read it. My mom gave one to Sr. Audrey, one of the nuns that lives down the street, to read and share with the other sisters.  Two readers have told me they’ve given the book to their mother to read.

I hope to post my promotion plan soon (once I have one.) As always, I am open to, and appreciate, your suggestions.

The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation.
  Mark Twain

28 thoughts on “Self-Publishing Update — October sales, full disclosure”

  1. Christine, I think that 33 books is pretty cool. And, some stats that might make you feel good, the review has become my most popular Hub ever, with 52 views. That may not be a huge number, but hopefully some of them will buy the book.

    1. I feel pretty good about 33 books. No one can buy it if they don’t know about it. The hard part is getting the message out. You certainly helped a lot. As did Cynthia’s review and William Lambers’ interview.

      I’m happy you got a lot of hits. That’s great.

      It would serve me well, (and likely you too) to remember that some things take time.

  2. I hope you are not discouraged!!!! Good things take time and I know that your book will reach a lot of people over time that will really appreciate it and love your wonderful writing style. What you did was so ambitious and I for one am very impressed with all the work that went into the whole process. Christine, you rock! Don’t forget that!!!! 🙂

    1. It’s funny, Beth Ann, I was writing the above reply, and when I clicked back to the page, your words were, “Good things take time.” Haha. Think there’s a message here for me?

      I get discouraged, mostly because I don’t want to have to do, what I think I will have to do to sell the book. I’d like to just let it fly on its own. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will leave its roost without a lot of nudges from me.

      If it stopped right here, I would still feel successful. I have a history of producing things for my own sense of accomplishment.

      Thanks for your continued support.

  3. I think this is a good start Christine. I am hoping that it just continues to pick up steam each month and your sales will continue to rise. Don’t get discouraged. You are doing fine! 🙂

  4. I think it’s wonderful that so many people have read Annie’s story! I’m so impressed with all the hard work you put in to get it written and out there, and it will be hard work to get the word out that it’s available. Just a different kind of work, but you will get there. Can’t wait to hear more about your journey!

    1. Well, I’m not exactly sure that that many people have read Annie’s story, but I have hope that they will eventually.

      Sometimes I feel like I am in the middle of a reality show. I hope I don’t get voted off the web.

    1. Thanks, Cynthia, for your encouragement. I got a bit of good news today. I sent an email to Hospice of Dayton and they want to put a selection from my book on their website with a link. So that’s good.

  5. Thanks for sharing. I don’t find it at all tacky, especially since I’ve been one of the ones so interested in your journey.

    Remember too that many authors don’t find success until they’ve been publishing for a while. Clive Cussler had his first few Dirk Pitt books go out of print and bought back the rights. Later when he became a best seller, they were republished.

  6. I admire you for posting your sales, and I don’t know if I’ll have the courage to do the same. Your book is on my Christmas list so you will have another reader. I know you will agree with me when I say that I’d do it all again regardless if I whether I sell one book. You wrote your book because Annie’s story needed to be shared. I wrote mine because I needed to share my experiences. Call me crazy but if our hard work only helps a handful of people, then the process was worth the time, effort, and money. Perhaps we should include ourselves in those people our books have helped because the process has changed us. I admire you in so many ways. You are talented and compassionate. I’m excited to think that your book will go places you never dreamed possible.

    1. Well, we’ll see how long my courage lasts. I do agree, I would do it again, in fact I have plans to do it again. And I think you’re right, we should be included in the number of people our books have helped. Very true.

      I look forward to seeing what you will do in the future. What is the status of your book?

  7. Nothing embarrassing about writing a book, or teaching us a thing or two about sales. October is a fine start! Every statistic, we can get out hands on, helps us to make an informed decision. I wish more writers were as brave. Thank you 🙂

  8. OK. I have gotten around to getting books from authors that support my blog. I want a copy of your book. Please autograph to my mother ” To Jennie…………………” Perhaps a snapshot of you she may use as a bookmark. She will be 88 in January and reads at least 3 novels a week. Give me your mailing address on my email and I will send a check for price and shipping(I know since I have Sicilian blood you may wish to make sure the check clears before you send it but I would do the same dealing with Sicilians so that’s OK).

    1. Thanks, Sue. I just need to keep reminding myself that anyone who reads it is one more person. I suspect Annie thinks it is funny, if she is able to know. Bless her little heart.


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