Month 4 Sales Report – Ahh Sweet Apple, How I Love Thee

It’s now been four months since I started this journey as an independent author and I have to say I love every minute of it.  October solidified the fact that this was the right decision for me, and even though I’m still not swimming in cash yet, things are starting (ever so slowly) to pick up.

It was this month that Smashwords reported sales from both Barnes & Noble and iBooks.  To tell you the truth I wasn’t really expecting much, so when I saw that I had sold 120 copies of 5 Simple Rules I nearly fell off my chair!

I guess in part it’s due to the fact that it comes up as the number one return if you search for ‘investing in the stock market’, a term that once the market starts to turn around (is that happening now?) could be quite profitable.

My Kindle sales however were only slightly up, and considering I had added the new book at the end of last month (Spending Detox) I was actually hoping for some increased sales since I think the book is the best I’ve written so far on my journey.

(Stats are for sales that I know about – Kindle, B&N, Apple)

Total Books sold: 152
Approx Royalties: $230

Quite a nice jump from last month and hopefully that ball will keep on rolling.  The big jump is of course due to the sales from Apple.

Ebook Store

I told you last month that I was going to open an ebook store as a way for people to buy books directly from me.  Well I got it up fairly quickly and as of yet I have 0 sales from the site.  Ahem.  And it’s costing me $10 a month since I’m using e-junkie as my payment processor.

I’ve set it up so that readers can buy any version: epub, mobi or PDF (or all three) for $4.99 (same price as everywhere else).  I would still rather they buy direct from the retailers of course since it’s much more convenient to buy and download direct to your e-reader but having the extra option I thought would work.

I’m not thinking it’s a total flop though, as it’s still quite early days.


I’ve also decided to POD publish my two indie books as well and have ordered my proofs from Createspace choosing their Pro Plan.  I ordered my proofs three weeks ago and still have not received them which I’m a bit worried about since I chose expedited shipping which means they should have got here a week ago at the latest.

I’ll give them another week before I give up completely.

But in the meantime I’m not sure whether I should approve them sight unseen or order more proofs and wait the extra time?

The reason I chose to POD these books (in time for Christmas of course 😉 ) was because even though ebooks are the fastest growing format and print books are dying, ebooks STILL only represent about 25% of the marketshare right now.  That means I could potentially access that other 75% of the market that is still buying print books.

But more than that (since I don’t really expect the POD books to sell that great) is I believe having print versions of your books can actually help boost sales of your ebooks.  You’ll get more exposure on Amazon and you’ll look more legitimate.  Both positive outcomes.

I’ll be pricing my print books at $9.99 (if they ever arrive so I can proof them and approve them that is).

Free eBook

I’ve seen that a lot of fiction authors have had some good success by having a loss leader where they will price one book in their series either cheap or free.

That has inspired me to try a similar experiment and so I’ve put up a free eBook that I’m hoping will help promote 5 Simple Rules.  It’s only just gone up so it’s still 0.99 cents on Amazon (they should price match once it gets onto B&N and iBooks (or at least that’s the plan anyway).

So far it’s only free on my blog and Smashwords but it should be interesting to see what happens when it goes free on Amazon as well.

Trad Pubbed Books

My traditionally published book has been going really well and I’m still in the top 30 of business books here in Australia.

It’s also had a nice little feature for Shopping for Shares in Madison magazine this month so I’m hoping to see a bump in sales from that too.  I have noticed that the Kindle edition has an improved sales rank (which obviously means its selling ok even though it’s priced at over $10).


I’ve got a fan!  I got a lovely email from a fan in America that had got a copy of $0 to Rich and loved it.  What a treat.  So thank you to her for making my day.

Well that’s about it I think.

This month I’m starting a new book, will continue to add content to my blog and I’ve started a facebook fan page.  Go and visit and like me if you want 😉

Tracey xx


  1. Sabine A. Reed says

    Tracey, I enjoyed reading this post. It’s nice to see actual numbers by authors because it’s a valuable info and not everyone gives it out. I subscribe to your blog by google reader, and it’s an interesting mix of writing and publishing advice and general info. I am doing a similar blog. Do check it out and let me know what you think? I don’t have sales yet because the book came out in oct, and it is from an online publisher and reporting is every 3 months, but I also hope to give the readers a peek into the publishing world.

    • Tracey says

      That was quick! I just hit publish 😉

      Glad you are finding it useful. I checked out your blog and you have some really interesting articles. I like that you blog so regularly too (something I really should do more of here! LOL) Ahh where do we find the time to fit it all in? Will definately be reading more and I’m following you on Twitter as well. Good stuff! Good luck with The Black Orb!

  2. says

    I watch with interest your POD adventure – not sure I do it because I specifically design for eBooks – but never say never!

    Did you make the Apple sales at the $4.99 price point?

    • Tracey says

      Mostly at the 2.99 sales point. I only increased the price at the start of October so those sales haven’t been reported yet. Probably will make things a bit slower obviously.

      I didn’t think I was going to do POD either, but I had the files there, it was just a case of making them flow nicely for print, put some page numbering in and some indexation really. Rod had made the covers already print friendly when he designed them (300dpi or something) so it wasn’t that much extra work. Still not sure if it’ll work or not though! And still haven’t received the proofs here (post is taking sooo long these days to get to Aus! grrr).

  3. says

    Wow, nice sales Tracey. I am hoping after my latest amendment to my books that they will finally get approved for apple via smashwords, talk about tough to please!


    • Tracey says

      Thanks Dave,

      I know, it can be ‘challenging’ to get into the premium catalog but definately worth it. Let’s hope sales continue to rise each month. Fingers crossed.

  4. says

    Hey there, clicked thru from TKA. Best wishes on your self-pub adventures! I have put an ebook up on Smashwords for my pool and billiards website and it sees some small purchasing every month without any marketing as-is. Yet… I’ve also become a fan of the marketing system created by author John Locke called “How I sold 1 million ebooks in 5 months!”. He’s publishing fiction, yet this will work for just about any product, I believe.
    I’m in the process of creating 1 more ebook for my pool site, as well as beginning a steampunk fiction series. Once these are in place, I can begin to implement his marketing advice. I think it’s very sound, though a little time consuming. But hey, if it sells books…

    Nice blog! Good luck again!


    • Tracey says

      Hi Jobo,

      Thanks for visiting. I’ve got John Locke’s book too, although I have to admit his method of targeting people on Twitter and writing ‘link bait’ posts is nothing new in the internet marketing world. I also don’t think his method is something that everyone can replicate easily – you need a good marketing background and some writing skill to pull it off. Personally I think there are easier ways to build an audience, but I do refer to his book from time to time for inspiration. :)

      Good luck with your books, sounds like a great niche to be in.


  5. Michael A. Robson says

    So, submitting your ePUB file to Apple was pretty easy I take it? I’m really shocked that the iBookstore is kicking butt like that. Wow. I might have to reconsider doing one!

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