Friday, November 9, 2012

What I earned this year

Because payments from retailers are two months behind, it's now possible for me to guesstimate how much I will earn this year. My earnings are decidedly down-- last year I earned approximately $30,000 from indie publishing, whereas this year I earned a bit less than $22,000. That breaks down as follows:

PubIt: $4200
Smashwords (mostly iTunes but some B&N as well): $4800
KDP (Amazon): $12,700

$22K is still a lot more than I've earned from my writing in the past, so I'm definitely not complaining. But obviously one would like to see one's earnings go up, not down, particularly when you consider I had thirteen new releases this year (for a total of 34 titles under three pen names). It does feel like I'm running faster to wind up further behind:-).

But to be fair, the market shifts and twists so much it's hard to know how well one is doing. I earned a great deal of money from B&N at the beginning of 2011, but that well dried up abruptly when they adjusted the way they handled erotica. This means that my 2012 sales were perhaps not down that far from the second half of last year.

I only got onto Smashwords at the end of last year, and so far it's obviously contributing a good deal to my income-- but that figure was also inflated by being on the bestseller list at the beginning of 2012, so how I'll do there next year is anyone's guess. Oddly, my regular romance seems to sell fairly well on SW, even though my romance sales are pretty much dead on Amazon, where I'm mostly selling under my pen names now.

My PubIt sales are down quite a bit from the beginning of the year, but my sales (mostly erotic romance) have held steady there since mid-2012, so I hope my income there will remain consistent, if not spectacular. Consistency is a good thing!

What I intend to do is continue turning out erotic romance shorts, and focus on those pen names. I'd like to see one or more titles really resonate with readers, in order to grow my sales, but that's not entirely within my control. All I can do is write the best books I can, and hope some of them will make a splash at some point. I'm not doing much to promote Ellen right now, but in order to keep her visible, I do intend to bundle three of my novellas under a single title. And of course there should be a re-release of The Light in the Darkness from Bantam later in 2013.


  1. Thank you for posting this here, it gives me a good idea of what's out there and what people can do even if they're not like a Hocking or a Konrath or a even an E.L. James (lol).

    I just started and will say that I'm just shooting to get more in the black as I continue in my first year.

    I can see that if Barnes and Noble altered things to bury erotica and such (as I'd seen your write on before), that it'd be very very hard not to have those sales suffer. People buy what comes up in that search box. Also, I think there's most likely going to continue to be a trend where traditional romance or even more rom-com stuff in book form is dead. Thanks to Fifty Shades (vanilla as it was in reality), that people are going to be looking at least for more intense erotica and with as much sex as one can cram in there ;)

    I hope things get better, and I do hope in 2013 you find something under your erotic names/pen names that really hits it big :P

  2. Oh and I forgot to add. YOU STILL made more in one year with this than I did with the most I was paid at grad school my first year.

    Wow, I never should have gone into academia.

  3. I wonder how many authors are experiencing the same trend despite releasing 13 new books? Or would anyone else even admit it? I know you're talented and hardworking! I hope your new wolf series really catches on.