First Month Sales Report – How’d I Fare?

Well the month has just finished and while 5 Simple Rules has only been up since the 8th July I thought I’d report on my progress so far.

As of today I have sold 10 copies.

10 copies that I’m actually pretty thrilled with given it’s my first month (indie authors usually notoriously have low numbers in the first few months) and that it’s a book on the stock market (not exactly a hot topic right now).

So for 10 copies at $2.99 my royalties are: $18.34 (8 @ 70% + 2 @ 35%).


(Less the stupid 30% tax that they’ll take out before they send me a cheque because I’m not a US citizen and haven’t bothered to fill out all the IRS tax forms yet – but which I can still claim back through the Australian tax system under foreign credits so am wondering if I really will bother about the forms anyway).


What does this mean? Does it mean that you can make money being a nonfiction indie author or not?

Ahh do not give up grasshoppers because like I said this is my first month. Plus it’s the only book I have up on Kindle so far (actually that’s not entirely true – I just uploaded a romance erotica short story under a pen name – just to see – too early to tell about this genre yet though).

The real key to making money with the Kindle is to have lots more books up. So this month I’ll be working on the second of my simple rules books. This one will be more a general personal finance topic rather than a specific stock market title. I’ll continue with the stock market books once the market heats up again (which it will –interest in stocks is cyclical and when the economy recovers there will be renewed interest in the topic again – at which time my book will be waiting patiently in the wings ready to say – hiya there big boy).

But the second book will help give me more exposure and should boost sales of the first one as well.

Ask any successful author and they will tell you that an extensive backlist is your key to indie riches. So basically – write more books!

Of course, as an internet marketer, I ALSO know the secret to selling more books is a good highly targeted blog.

Currently my brand new blog has received 139 visits. I have no idea at this stage how many of these visitors were converted to sales yet, but anyway 139 is still quite low. Still not to worry – that’s 139 potential book buyers that I didn’t have a month ago!

Although more promising is that I’m ranking (albeit not very highly yet) for investing in the stock market. My plan is to increase my rankings for this term through internal linking and key outside backlinks over time.

My best ranking post is the one I wrote on avoiding penny stocks – a topic I feel quite passionately about – although I suspect most people searching for information about investing in penny stocks want to know HOW to do it, rather than be told it’s not a good idea. Ca sera sera.

It will also be interesting to see how the short story I wrote a million years ago does. I found it while cleaning out my filing cabinet. I wrote the story when I was much younger, and obviously much less un-inhibited seeing that it has a rather raunchy sex scene. It’s very short at just over 2,000 so I’ve priced it at just 0.99 cents.

I’ll let you know how it goes when I get the reports next month although I’m not sure if I’m ready to become a well known erotica writer! LOL. I prefer my nonfiction work. But it if does sell well then I may have to rethink things a little.

Talk soon rockstars!

Tracey xx


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  1. says

    LOL dunno I’m going the ertoica route – though there is certainly quite a lot of it available – and Amazon does have the relevant related products…
    Thanks you inspired me to look at my stats (been good and not been peaking) and I think I’m tracking pretty similar to you.
    Are you building a list? I feel that’s the trick to get a stable income – I’m thinking about giving away a report for free to get signups and then use the list as the main way to get sales in the future – I’ve heard it works- but its all new to me LOL.
    Meanwhile – I have some more links to build!

    • Tracey says

      Yeah I’m not really sure about the erotica route either at this stage – but it was just sitting there in my filing cabinet so I thought why not see what it does. But if sales are strong I may have to rethink things ;).

      I haven’t been building a list. I’m a bit of a list hater having been there during my early spammy days. I can see the benefit however, especially for nonf. But I don’t know yet if I’ll do it. I may just encourage rss subscribers instead. I dunno.

      Great to hear you’ve had a good first month as well!

      Tracey :)

  2. James W. Lewis says

    I definitely think you’re on the right track. I have two ebooks right (both novels) and I’m doing the exact same thing with the 99-cent short story. I launched my first ebook last July and averaged about 25 – 40 sales per month (at 3.99). Then in April of this year, I dropped it down to 0.99 to experiment and sales jumped big time. I sold over a 100, then in the following month something like 500. Just last month I sold over 1,000 ebooks at 0.99 (including Kindle and Smashwords). Of course, I’m promoting everyday, too–targeted audience via Facebook, Twitter, contests, in-person book signings, etc.

    • Tracey says

      pricing is definately something to experiment with. it’s all about getting that right balance of sales vs profits. I don’t have enough data to make any conclusions yet so I’m going to stick with $2.99 for the ebook and 0.99 for the short story for now. (this may and probably will change in the future however).

  3. says

    That’s a great first month, Tracey. I only sold 2 for Kindle and none at smashwords (yet!)

    Got 2 weight loss books at 99c and the third is ready to go when I finish piddling about with proofreading and then “should I really have said that or…?” details. Mmm

    I’m nearly done with my first fiction book of 3 short stories and I think that’s where my real interest is and probably why the weight loss books are not coming out as fast as they should.

    Writing real books is way more fulfilling than pounding out endless pages of dross for backlinks and for the googlebot to read.

    Keep on keeping on!

    BTW its “Que sera, sera” – its Spanish :-)

    • Tracey says

      Good work for your 2 sales! It’s only up from here remember. Remember also that if you’ve sold any on ibooks or b&n via smashwords that those sales won’t be reported for at least 3 months so you could have sold more than you think you have but just don’t know it yet.

      Good luck with your fiction as well!

      t :)

  4. Rebekah says

    That’s great! I’m sure the sold copies will generate word-of-mouth creating more potential book buyers. Good luck.


  5. Michael A. Robson says

    I did a quick scan of Amazon’s Kindle Nonfiction/Biz charts, looking for Indies. Couldn’t find any. Googled it, and I found you. So congrats, you’re doing something pretty out there 😉 I’ll subscribe to your RSS and check on your progress now and then.

    21tiger highlights a range of awesome non-fiction books for young professionals, obviously I’m looking to highlight some Indies (no harm in that), and really want to see you flourish here. 😀


  1. […] a traditional publisher, but as this is her first time going the DIY Kindle route, she’s documenting the experience on her […]

  2. […] giving it a shot. Both recently published first month sales reports for their first indie ebooks. Tracey reports $18.34 in royalties from 10 sales between July 8th and August 1st of her ebook, 5 Simple Rules For […]

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