Self-publishing—an update

I know, I know. It’s been so long since I wrote about self-publishing that you might have forgotten. Occasionally it slips even my mind.

I wanted to share two things with you: a interview and my book sales.

A few months ago, Beth Ann at It’s Just Life, suggested I request a review from TBM who blogs at Making my Mark, and is the author of A Woman Lost. TBM graciously read and reviewed Dancing in Heaven. A few days ago I answered interview questions for her.

Have I always wanted to be a writer?

What writers have influenced me the most?

When did I decide to write the memoir?

How difficult was it to write about my sister’s death?

I answered these and other questions about what I learned, my family’s support, and my current project. I know I’ve written a lot about Dancing in Heaven and my writing process, but I think there are new things in this interview. You can read my answers at Making my Mark. Stop over if you get the chance.

Now for the sales. Amazingly enough, considering my almost complete lack of regard or effort for marketing, sales for Dancing in Heaven continue to dribble in. At random intervals I receive a royalty check or a notice that money has been deposited into my account from a miniscule amount of $12 to a somewhat respectable amount of $320. That always reminds me that I’m still selling books, or at least that Amazon.com is still selling books for me.

I think Dancing in Heaven has made enough in royalties to pay for my publishing expenses which include setting up my business. I didn’t take the time to do the math and calculate the exact amount of money I’ve deposited, but I did add up how many books I’ve sold. As I approach the two-year anniversary of publishing Dancing in Heaven, I’ve sold about 770 books. Although initially I sold more print copies, over the two years the print copies amounted to only 18% of total sales. The lion’s share, 67%, of sales are from Kindle e-books. The remainder is from a combination of Nook, Smashwords, and hand-sold books. All things considered, I’ve been selling about one book a day. I’m okay with that.

I’m grateful for Amazon who basically does free marketing for me by suggesting my book to shoppers who are looking for similar titles.  Dancing in Heaven only has a bestsellers rating of 90,589, which sounds like it might be at the bottom of the barrel. But when I consider there are more than 1 million Kindle books for sale, that puts me in the top 10%. (Something Mark pointed out.) Which is somewhat amazing to me. I had read somewhere early out that the vast majority of books don’t break 100 copies. So at least I’ve done that.

I also have given away quite a few books, which means more readers for Annie’s story, which is what it is all about for me.

I’d do it all again.

In fact, I am doing it all again.

You can read more posts about my self-publishing journey, including things I learned in a self-publishing workshop, on my self-publishing page.