I recently started working to become a full time writer. I am blogging about my experiences to help other new authors understand what the journey is like. It is something I wish more authors did because deciding to self publish is daunting and I would really have loved to read the struggles others have gone through.
By the end of June I am up to twenty self published ebooks. This includes the foreign language editions. That is double what I had in Maymonth. Most of what was added were foreign language editions although I also added a novel, a short non fiction book, and three erotic stories.
In May, I sold 26 ebooks. In June, the number total sales of ebooks (through various sites) were 109 copies sold. Now, that is admittedly an amazing increase. But, I just want to add that the majority of the books that were sold are priced at $0.99 and so I made an average of $0.35 per sale (so, even with all those sales my actual earnings were slightly less than $100. Not bad, but certainly nowhere near letting me quit my job and write full time either.
My total audiobook sales went from 11 in May to 22 this month however I believe the majority of that increase was free books I gave away. I don’t (as far as I know) have a way to tell which audiobooks were from credits I gave out and how much were from people using their own credits.
I ran several giveaways this month with total books given away approximately 100 books. I also created a perma free book on Smashwords to try to attract more customers. I couldn’t add it to Amazon due to objectionable content (yup, this was one of those erotic stories. Though, I am not entirely sure why Amazon decided it wasn’t appropriate. The content was much milder than what is found in many Kindle books. But (shrugs shoulders) what can you do?
My main goals this month are to put out at least two erotic stories per week (erotica is something I find fairly easy to write and I want to see how people respond to it. Everyone seems to say there is a market for it but I’m not super sure.)
I also am working on revisions to four romance novels/novellas and I would like to get at least two out this month (but no idea if that is going to be feasible).
Am waiting on two foreign language books to return from the translators but will probably not be putting out any more of those in the near future. I just can’t afford the translations at the moment. And, there is always concerns about the quality of the translations.
I have several paperback books for sale as well but none have sold at all this month. I am a little bummed about that but maybe my luck will change next month.
June was one of my toughest months yet. I had lots and lots of self doubt during that month. It is something I am still really struggling with. I had several days during the month where I wanted to throw up my hands and just give up. But, I didn’t. And, I plan to continue on my journey.
For me, the biggest challenge is belief in my own abilities. I am always afraid that my writing sucks. It doesn’t matter how hard I worked at writing my book. It doesn’t matter how many grueling hours I put into revisions. I still have plenty of moments where I release a book into the world and wonder if I am really good enough. Is my work really worth reading? Should I really be asking people for $4 for my novels? Who am I? I started out as a fan fiction writer sharing my stories for free. What gives me the right to ask for people to pay me now?
If I had read a blog a year ago when I had less than a sale a month and found out someone who sold over 100 books in a month still was feeling self doubt, fear, and trepidation about their future, I would have been absolutely floored. I mean, 100 books seems like so many. And, it gives me hope that with more books I can make even more sales. But, there is always that doubt that June will have been nothing but a fluke and that July I will be back to 5 sales. Or, maybe none at all.
I don’t want to imagine that.
Any seasoned authors have similar feelings when they had first started on their journeys?