Quick Self-Pub Update and Industry Thoughts

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Hi everyone. The past couple of months have been so crazy-busy I could barely even breathe. I just realized it’s been 2 1/2 months since I released my first self-published novella, so I’d like to give an update on sales.

In my first month of sales (I’m counting mid-May to mid-June), I sold about 120 books. The next month I doubled that figure. And so far for this month? On track to double last month’s figure. Now, overall my sales are relatively modest, so I didn’t put the pattern together until I decided to do another update for you folks.

The result? I’m pretty freaking excited. If the sales numbers are doubling every month, within a few months I’ll have a pretty nice income for one little story that took me less than a month to write and publish. And what will happen when I put up a second book for sale? A third? I can see how sales figures will grow exponentially, and that makes me want to dance around the room.

In other industry thoughts, there are times when you make a decision and you are truly conflicted over whether you’ve made the right one. You could go one of two ways and you seriously don’t know which way would be better.

This is how I felt back in March when I received an offer of publication from Entangled Publishing. I was querying my manuscript and several agents had the full. My request rate for queries was pretty decent: about 1 out of 10. I finally decided to go with Entangled because I loved their vision and truly believed they understood where the industry was headed. Also, frankly, I’m very impatient. I didn’t want to wait to find an agent, wait to (hopefully) sell, then wait another 1-2 years to be published. The thought of that killed me.

Now, several months later, I’m soΒ glad I made the choice I did. So much has changed in the industry even in just these four months. Ebooks are taking over far more rapidly than I think anyone could have expected. Part of that is the ease of these reading devices. Earlier this year I told anyone who’d listen that I would never switch over to an ereader. Now? I’m addicted. I still like my paper books, but for traveling nothing beats an ereader, and I can see how I will likely phase my paper books out as time goes by (especially now that my fave bookstore, Borders, is out of business). And the best thing about my new publisher is that, for those who refuse to make the leap to ebooks, they will also release in print (via POD and possibly through sales to retailers like Walmart and Target).

To sum up, there are a lot of great things happening in the publishing industry right now, and they’re happening on the ebook front. Can’t wait to see what comes next!

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28 thoughts on “Quick Self-Pub Update and Industry Thoughts

    terryspear said:
    August 1, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Those are great sales, Rosalie, for having released just one novella! You should be proud of yourself.

    I’ve found the same for my works–that the sales keeps increasing. Except that I keep publishing new books also so that I have 24 out now. And that really helps sales also. More so than any promotion can, I’m finding. I’m working on the third book in the YA fae series because sales for the first two books continues to sell so well. And I need to write a sequel to Kiss of the Vampire, another YA that has just as many sales. πŸ™‚

    So write some more books! And enjoy the journey!!!

      Rosalie Lario responded:
      August 1, 2011 at 7:56 am

      Thanks, Terry! You’ve touched on what so many other authors repeatedly say. The best way to sell your books is to write more!

      I’m so glad to hear that you’re doing so well with your combo of traditional and self-publishing. πŸ™‚

    Juliana Haygert said:
    August 1, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Hi Rosalie =)

    Those are awesome numbers for one book. Normally, I hear that, to sell well on indie, you gotta have more than one book out and new books coming in quickly one after another.

    It’s nice to see you’re achieving your goals on your own way =)

    May I ask you what did you do for advertising?

    Congratz on your sales!

      Rosalie Lario responded:
      August 1, 2011 at 7:58 am

      Juliana, the first month I put out many requests for interviews. I think I got maybe a total of 10. I did advertising at a couple of review sites by placing my cover art on their page for a certain amount of time (a week to a month). I spent $50 total on that. And that’s it.

      Now, I do have a series releasing tomorrow with the new boutique publisher, Entangled Publishing. That might certainly account for some of my sales, because I’m working with a publicist who’s been getting my name out there. πŸ™‚

    Mary George said:
    August 1, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Great Post. Congratulations on the sales. I look forward to your posts. Having just sent my ms to be edited so I can self publish, I’m terrified and excited the closer I get. Once I get the hang of it, they’ll be no stopping me. And like you, e-readers aren’t appealing to me, only because I’ve worked on computers for so many years, I’m tired of screens.

    Looking forward to your next post.

    Mary George

      Rosalie Lario responded:
      August 1, 2011 at 7:59 am

      Have you checked out the Kindle yet, Mary. It’s amazing how paperlike it looks.

      Best of luck with the self-pubbing! I definitely think it’s a good process for any author to try. You might find yourself addicted. πŸ™‚

    Brinda said:
    August 1, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Congratulations on your success, Rosalie. I another question to add to the one about advertising. Did you send out to reviewers and if so, do you feel that word-of-mouth and reviews helped your initial sales?

      Rosalie Lario responded:
      August 1, 2011 at 8:56 am

      Brinda, I did send my book out to a couple dozen reviewers. It was picked up a handful of times. I think that probably contributed to getting the word out about my story. To be honest, I really think what helped the most was my price point (1.99, and now .99), and the tags I used on Amazon to help readers find my book.

    Suzanne Johnson said:
    August 1, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Congrats, Rosalie. I have a feeling when that terrific new Blood of the Demon releases tomorrow, you’ll have a flock of people looking at your other work!

    Ciara Knight said:
    August 1, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Congratulations. This is an awesome start. There are a ton of writers who said, “I’d never self-pub,” out there working on it now. You should be proud. πŸ™‚

      Rosalie Lario responded:
      August 1, 2011 at 9:32 am

      Thanks, Ciara. Things are changing so fast. When I first decided to self-publish (back in March), I still questioned the wisdom of my idea. Would it totally tank? Would I not be able to find a decent editor in my price range? Now I’m really glad I did it, because it shows me the power I have as an author. I will continue to self-publish as well as publish through other avenues (hopefully I’ll have a longstanding relationship with my current publisher, Entangled. I really heart them). πŸ™‚

    Kendall Grey said:
    August 1, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Huge congrats! I love hearing about self-pubbing successes! You clearly have a great story. Hope your sales continue to rise like crazy.

      Rosalie Lario responded:
      August 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm

      Thanks so much, Kendall. Me too, and for you as well with your series. πŸ™‚

    rfirasek said:
    August 1, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Congratulations, I’m inspired.

    Katalina Leon said:
    August 1, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Congratulations Rosalie and thank you for sharing your self-publishing experience with us. You work so hard, no doubt you’re headed for success.
    XXOO Kat

      Rosalie Lario responded:
      August 1, 2011 at 1:59 pm

      Aw, thanks Kat. *blushes again*

    Julia Rachel Barrett said:
    August 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing your news, Rosalie. It’s good news!

      Rosalie Lario responded:
      August 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm

      It is, Julia! At least I’m excited, LOL.

    Shelley Munro said:
    August 2, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Congratulations, Rosalie. Thanks for sharing about your self-pub journey.

      Rosalie Lario responded:
      August 2, 2011 at 7:32 am

      Sure! I think it’s interesting to see how others are doing, and if it helps someone make a decision on whether or not to self-pub, all the better. πŸ™‚

    Lavada Dee said:
    August 2, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Thanks for the post. I am going to try the self pub. It’s an anthology I’m doing with my critique partner. We have both published but not self published so this will be a new challenge for us. I really appreciated your openness and the comments.

    Congratulations on the sales.

      Rosalie Lario responded:
      August 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm

      You’re welcome, Lavada. I’m an open book when it comes to this type of stuff. πŸ™‚

    LJ said:
    August 2, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Very inspirational! Congrats! I’m still working on my first draft, but have which way I want to publish in the back of my mind yet. Thanks for the success story!

      Rosalie Lario responded:
      August 2, 2011 at 8:51 pm

      Glad you found the post helpful, LJ. πŸ™‚

    Tara Neale said:
    August 30, 2011 at 3:01 am

    Love you story

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