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Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Lay of the Land

So it has been on my mind to write an article about the way things work with self publishing. I have now written 7 books in the Arth Series plus two others in the same universe, Kendra book 1, two thirds of Kendra book 2, flash fiction short stories and novelettes. It is said that 80% of all Ebook sales are through Amazons Kindle or Kindle apps. Therefore this is by far the biggest market and the one that must be pandered to. I managed to get two of my books into the top 16 when I used the Kindle Select opportunity. This lasted five days. To get me into the top 16 I had about 300 downloads from America, about 45 from the UK and 15 from other countries. So that is 350ish downloads in 5 days to get me into the top 16. I found out that I did better than a local book publisher who did 320ish downloads in 5 days. I did get 15 paid for book sales after the promotion. In reality this is a sorry state of affairs. Another fact is that approximately 80% of all authors who publish on the Kindle earn less than $500 a year. So I got into the top 16, I have earned less than $100. I have 8,700 followers on Twitter, but most of these were gained by Twitter Karma, i.e. you add me and I'll add you. The biggest boost to downloads is when you give it away free and are able to add about 1,000 people a day on Twitter. About 250 people will follow you back and possibly 50 people or more will read your bio and download the book. This, along with the Twitter following you have garnered, gets you about 350 downloads or more. Ok, so if it is an excellent book and it takes hold and people start to talk about it then you might just get you your break. The thing is though that most self published books are in the sea of unnoticedness and are not making enough money to even keep their authors in coffees for more than a couple of weeks. So are we all, the good, the bad and the indifferent, just waiting for a break? 50 Shades of Grey isn't particularly well written, started off as Twilight fanfiction but got a break. Ok, so the author garnered a following on the book site she was publishing on and a Twitter and Facebook fan base but she still got a break. So what is the use, do we still keep plugging along waiting for the break, getting a few more fans and keeping our hand in or do we call a spade a spade and start digging a hole to bury us and our work in?

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