If you know where to look, you can find ebook sales numbers for any number of indie ebook authors, and you’ll find they run the gamut from almost nothing to six figures a year. J.A. Konrath details his figures on his blog, others post them on KindleBoards.com. I’ve read samples of books from many of the authors, both large sellers and small, and I’ve come to some conclusions.
First, if your sample sucks, people won’t buy your book.
Eh? What? You mean I need to write well? Yes. Write a good book. Get all the errors out. Don’t screw up your POV. Start with something interesting to read. Readers read the samples before buying the book. You do, don’t you? I sure do. I may have some disposable income, but I’m not about to dispose of it on something I don’t want, and I certainly don’t want books where I can’t stand the writing.
Second, one book isn’t enough.
You may get lucky and that book you wrote may be the only book you ever need to write. You may also get lucky and have a thousand one carat diamonds just fall into your lap. Nearly every author selling large numbers of books (hundreds per month) has more than one book available. Each book sells itself, but they are advertisements for your other books, as well. Each new book is a new page on Amazon. Each page helps to sell all your books because of the link to your Author Name. They also help because of links to similar titles and people who bought this also bought this other thing.
Third, this is going to take forfuckingever.
I’ve seen that when you’re just starting out, one book a day is a pretty decent number for the first month. If you can get some additional books available, you can be selling a few hundred books a month after about six months. Even if I could write and release four books a year, and their average numbers are Konrath numbers, it will take several years to replace my current income with writing income. Big numbers come from multiple complementary books, and I haven’t even finished the first one yet.
I don’t want you to get the idea that I’m writing only for money. I’m not. I’m writing because I want to write. I’d like to be able to spend my entire day working on things I want to work on, be it my games, my music, or my writing. The only way I can do that is if one of those things, or a combination of them, generates enough money that I can jettison the day job.
If you really want to help me out, tell all your friends to buy multiple copies of StoryBox. I like working on that, too.