Monday, June 27, 2011

"Making a living," only not quite

Here's an article from Robin Sullivan, based on the figures she got from authors on Kindleboards, called The New Midlist: Self-published ebook authors who make a living. Yours truly is mentioned. Two things: 1. Her guesstimate for what I made in March is actually low; and 2. I'm not making that much now.

February and March were far and away my best months for indie publishing so far. I was doing mindblowingly well on B&N, and my sales on Amazon were way up too. After that B&N did the infamous +1000 to my rankings on my bestseller, and possibly changed the way they do algorithms. In any event, my sales over there have never recovered. My overall sales (and a lot of other people's sales) have been down this month, too, perhaps due to "summer slump." So I can't say I'm "making a living" this year. Had I continued with my February and March numbers, then yes, I would have been making a living. But alas, I didn't-- and some of my loss in numbers had to do with external factors I had no control over.

On the positive side, I will say I have made a quite decent income-- I've paid my mortgage every month this year, except June, when I think I'll come up a little short-- and self-pubbing has absolutely been better for me than trad pubbing or small press pubbing. But the point is that you can't extrapolate "making a living" based on a month or two. We writers know that income goes up and down. It's part of the business. I am hoping my income will go up in the next couple of months as I get a few new titles up. But I don't want anyone to look at me and think, "Oh, look, she's making a living and I write better than she does, so I can make a living too!" You probably do write better than I do *smiles*. But I'm not making a living... yet. And there are no guarantees for any writer.

So if you go into indie publishing, go with your eyes open and your fingers crossed. Good luck!

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