Well, it’s been nearly a year since I began self-publishing—I actually started in mid-January 2011, but we’ll call it a full year to make it easy. Overall I’ve been very happy with how things have been going. I’ve made some cash and learned a lot and I feel well-prepared to keep moving forward. Here are some random thoughts:
My experience with KDP Select is mixed—I have one story and one story collection in the program right now. My sales have been good, but I couldn’t say that they’re a direct result of any exposure I have in KDP Select, since it might just be holiday buying. Also, I find it maddening that Amazon’s sales reporting is so mushy, lumping in free “sales” with paid sales. I really prefer B/N’s system. As I’d said in an earlier blog post, I think that for those with a wide variety of other books, Select may be a useful way to introduce a new title, so I may try it again in the future.
I’m planning to focus almost exclusively on novels in 2012. I released my romance novel the second week in December and I’ve had 10 sales, which I am thrilled with—no marketing, no ads, nothing, and I still got 10 sales. I fooled around with the price a bit; it’s currently at 3.29 but I’ve had it as high as 3.95 (and I actually had some sales at that price). The followup book is well under way and I hope to release it in February or March.
I absolutely love the Kindle Fire I got for Christmas, but I have decided to buy all my new books from Barnes and Noble from now on. Amazon doesn’t need my help, but I would like to do my part to make sure B/N sticks around for a good long while.
November was my best month all year, and just today I edged past that on Barnes and Noble (and I am guessing that I passed last month’s Amazon total earlier), so December now jumped into the number one spot. It’s still not a huge amount of money coming in—enough to pay some bills, though, so I’m not complaining. I’m earning about 3% of what I would need in order to write as a full time job.
My goals for 2012 (keeping in mind Dean Wesley Smith’s recent post about the difference between goals and dreams): finish and release three more novels (thus a total of four on sale), as well as two stories and a novella I have on the back burner. Considering that the 2nd novel is about halfway finished, I think I’m making good time. And as for dreams? Well, I have plenty of those too, believe me.
Happy new year!