Just got a notice in my email letting me know that Smashwords has transferred my sales profits for this quarter to my Paypal account to the tune of $49. That means since starting this publishing venture at Smashwords
at the beginning of the year I've made more money so far than I ever did at my dead tree site
at Lulu.com. I strongly suspect the latter are looking at their business plan and wishing Amazon and their Kindle had never existed.
Conclusions so far:
1. I'm not surprised to find that Unexpected Diversions
has been my most consistent seller. For one thing it's got the most professional looking cover, its length is significant compared to its cost, and as always Elfporn Sells. I'm a little more surprised by the profitability of The Dragon's Companion
, but given that it's a compilation of three other stories, maybe people look at it and think "Bargain!" even though they weren't attracted to the individual stories before.
2. Kobo was a significant source of profit for my shorter stories. Hopefully the slack from its loss will be taken up by Barnes & Noble, my next biggest source of sales outside of Smashwords, but I'm not counting on it.Edit:
Rumors of Kobo's demise are apparently exaggerated. Nevermind.
3. Sony and Apple sales so far have been anemic.
4. Sales of Demon Eyes
have been in the toilet, despite the nice cover by Wazzy. I'm not sure of the reason behind that. POW I'm less surprised by. The current cover is awful and the subject matter (furry erotica) is a little esoteric even by Smashwords standards.
5. I really need to get something new up soon. The last thing I published was back in April, which is far too long. I'm going to have to kick myself out of my funk and do some editing on Triumvirate
with an eye getting it published before the end of September.
6. If I'm ever tempted to buy another ISBN from Smashwords, I'll be sure to punch myself in the head until I get over it.
7. The elephant in the room is going to be Amazon. Once Smashwords delivers my stuff to their Kindle store, I think
the results are going to be significant. How
significant is anyone's guess. There's an awful lot of choice there already and I may just be lost in the crowd. The question is whether I can get one or two sales there to start with and
positive reviews to stir the waters a bit.Problems for the Future
1. Cover Art. First impressions are everything and I need good cover art to make it. Unfortunately my own artistic and Photoshopping skills are terrible and given the sales on even my top selling items, I can't afford professional work. I might be able to trade art for prose with other artists like I did Wazaga, but I can't count on it.
2. Self-Promotion. I really suck at this and I don't know how to go about it without feeling like... well, a self-promoting ass. Nobody likes having commercials stuck in their face and the lower key stuff I've been doing like advertising on LJ and Facebook when I put something new out hasn't really been that effective. I might try and hit a Readercon or something similar to try and do a reading there. Other than that I'm at a loss.In Summary:
The Long Tail keeps growing...( Breaking down the numbers behind the cut )