2011 in Self-Publishing

I do one of these posts every year, folks, so here it is. I’m sharing this info in the interest of being transparent and to help others considering self-publishing to decide if it’s a good idea for them.

(I’m a little leery of showing this, considering I did just have to quit my day job, and I’m going to be trying to make a living from writing. Did I make enough money to live on last year? Not really. So, was I an idiot? Should I be looking for another job? I choose to think positively and hope that I’ll make more money this year. Time will tell. I’m not giving up on this writing thing, though, so even if I can’t make a go of it without a day job this time, at some point, I will.)

Self-publishing was much better to me this year than it has been in the past two years. It was much better to a lot of other people than it was to me, but I’m quite happy with where I am.

So, let’s first take a look at where I’ve come from, shall we?

Gross: $637.58
Expenses: $455 (stupid ISBNs!!!)
Profit: $182.48

Gross: $542.28
Expenses: $111
Profit: $437.28

Gross Breakdown:
Amazon: $17,955.90
Smashwords: $550.49
Createspace: $99.70
Total: $18,606.06

Astonishing growth, right?

In terms of expenses, I’m going to be spending a lot of time figuring those out come tax time, so I’m not going to go into it here. I had no big expenses. I did my own cover art, used volunteers for editing, etc. I’d hoped to be able to start paying an editor, but now that writing money is food money, that seems unlikely for the foreseeable future.

The big question, if you’re a fellow writer, I’m guessing is, “What did you do differently this year?”

Well, not much.
-I published more books. In 2009, I published four books. In 2010, I published three more. In 2011, I published four novels, two novellas, and two short stories. Okay, so actually that wasn’t really a difference. I just kept publishing books.
-I lowered my prices. In 2009, my ebooks were $7. In 2010, they were $5. In 2011, most of my books sell at $2.99-$3.99.

So, why this huge growth? I got lucky. Some Amazon algorithms found me and promoted me. Also, I think, dear blog readers, that you guys are also responsible. I get messages all the time from people telling me that they’re going to tell their friends about my books. You have! And I thank you for that so, so much.

Anyway, if nothing else, here are some dollar amounts from someone who’s not Joe Konrath, but who doesn’t feel like she’s doing too badly for herself either. Happy New Year all!