“So how’s the book doing???” The #indie life

Posted 17 April, 2015 by DLWhite in Writers Write 0 Comments


The other day, I woke up and, as per usual, I reached for my phone. I have a bookmark that goes right to Kindle Direct Publishing. Some days I am surprised. Some days I suck my teeth in disgust and toss the phone away as if it has offended me. On this particular day, I logged into KDP reports and said, “Oh my GOD!”

Then I got to work, where I am asked THE QUESTION. This is a question that I am asked frequently. Almost daily. The seemingly overnight success of authors like EL James has created an assumption that all it takes to be a millionaire author is to put a book out there. No longer is getting an agent and getting signed to a publisher ‘The Way To Make It”. Just write a book and toss it up on Amazon and the money starts rolling in… right? “So how’s the book going?” Like people expect me to say that I am quitting my job next week.


People at work jokingly ask me if I am rich yet.  Uh. No. Actually. I’ve spent more on this book than I’ll ever make on it. I MIGHT have made back what it cost to buy the art for the cover and have the cover made. So. YAY?

Anyhoo, I like looking at numbers and pretty charts so if you do as well, feast your eyes upon these babies, fresh from the internets! First up, The Monster that is Amazon:

kdp 4.17

Spike #1 is all the books going out after my pre-sale. Also known as half of my friends buying the book sight unseen. The second day is all the people who forgot to buy it in pre-sale. That last really cute spike was a mention from Sarah Wendell at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and my favorite knuckleheads, Three Guys On Podcast. Also, I lowered the cost of the book last Saturday. Between those three occurrences, I have sold nearly 20 books on Amazon ALONE. I’m limping toward Best-Sellerhood ya’ll!

Next up is Smashwords, which tracks everything not sold at Amazon or Lulu.com, including Barnes&Noble, Kobo, iBooks, Scribd, etc.

smashwords 4.17

This here chart shows sales for the last 30 days at various outlets. The majority share is iBooks and Barnes &Noble. A couple at Kobo, which come from the Smart Bitches mention, as she listed their Kobo affiliate link when she pimped the book. I’m also noting that these numbers are ONLY for Ruby’s. I have a FREE ebook available via Smashwords that is an Interracial Erotic short story. People are EATING IT UP, hundreds of downloads. CANNOT get Amazon to price the thing for free and NO ONE is buying it there. I kind of want to unpublish it from Amazon and just let it be free.

Anyway, not too bad on the numbers from Smashwords.  Next up are paperback sales. I only did paperback because so many people said they wanted a physical copy. I am very surprised at the number of people I know that don’t do ebooks!
lulu 4.17
I manage my paperback sales through Lulu.com. The price is $9, down from almost $11 since I reformatted the book with smaller, justified font. It’s still discounted 40% off the suggested price (the price lulu estimates it will cost to print and ship the book and make a good profit). No one in their right mind should buy my first indie release for $15… so I’ve discounted the paperback severely to make it affordable. At the current price, I make $1.11 off of the sale of each book. Pricing it higher just doesn’t seem right to me. so… $1! I just want people to read it and enjoy it, since it doesn’t COST me anything to have it printed.

YES, I have blocked out the revenue, nosy! But truth be told, my royalties are somewhere in the vicinity of $150.  Before withholding. So. Maybe I can take me to a nice dinner to celebrate?

So, total book sales in the 3-ish weeks the book has been out? 128 copies.  Reviews? 4 on amazon, 9 on goodreads, 0 elsewhere.

When people ask me how the book is doing, I just stare at them. Then I tell them, “I’ll let you know when I am rich.”

I’ll tell ya’ll though. Mama’s tired. Real tired of promo. REAL. TIRED. Like, I wrote the book so I know what it is about, but I hired a person to do some twitter promo and I had to come up with ten DIFFERENT tweets about the book and it was TORTURE. I do not have ten different things to say about this book I spent four years writing! I did manage to get it done and so hopefully I will see another uptick in amazon sales. I’m not really concentrating on other venues, because… Monster.

When I was writing the book I was tired. Tired of thinking about the book, about chapters and characters and story arc and plot. Then I finished the book and I was tired of editing and rewriting and thinking about indie vs finding an agent. Now the book is out and the tired continues! This indie life, ya’ll. It’s rough.

So that’s how the book is doing. Have you purchased your copy yet? Have some LINKS!


Amazon- http://www.amazon.com/Brunch-at-Rubys-DL-White-ebook/dp/B00T6R46WG
Barnes & Noble- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/brunch-at-rubys-dl-white/1121176160?ean=2940046560640
KoboBooks- https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/brunch-at-ruby-s
iBooks- https://t.co/Si2jEC4x7z

PDF/ amazon/nook versions also at Smashwords.com: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/516818

Order the Paperback at Lulu.com http://www.lulu.com/shop/dl-white/brunch-at-rubys/paperback/product-22071445.html  (You CAN buy it from Amazon, but the price (and the royalty) is better though Lulu.com.

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