May-June-July re-cap!

Oh, what a slack blogger I’ve been! Sometime last week, my newest book passed the 5000 sold figure! I was very excited. The book has done so much better than I expected and has made such a difference to me financially this year.

Instead of just swimming by with my head barely above water, and more often than not being swamped with waves, I’m actually ahead. Long-standing debts have been paid off. I’m on track to have $10,000 in the bank by the end of the year (I started the year off in the negatives). It feels good.

May and June were both good numbers, sales wise. I also taught full-time all of June, so I was bringing in $1500 (before tax) a week from that as well. July was a slightly down on the sales front, but I got my tax return back (almost $4k) which let me finally pay my Mum back in full. I owed her $2500 from when she helped me buy my car at the start of 2016. Also cleared my main credit card debt which felt soooo good. Very determined not to let that creep up ever again! Now I just have my balance transfer to clear. That’s 0% until September next year, so I’m going to chip away at that over the next year until it’s gone.

Like everyone, I like some hard numbers, so here they are:

May:

Amazon.com: $1463.31 USD
Amazon.co.uk: £76.14
Amazon.com.au: $60.34 AUD
Amazon.ca: $22.29 CAD
Day job: $2770.40 (after tax)
Copies sold: 811

June:

Amazon.com: $1512.60 USD
Amazon.co.uk: £98.05
Amazon.com.au: $125.78 AUD
Amazon.ca: $9.74 CAD
Amazon.de: €0.90
Day job: $4277.80 (after tax)
Copies sold: 865

July:

Amazon.com: $1036.42 USD
Amazon.co.uk: £89.49
Amazon.com.au: $122.84 AUD
Amazon.ca: $24.51 CAD
Amazon.de: €2.83
Day job: $1627.80 (after tax)
Tax return: $3852.10
Copies sold: 644

Thanks to the crummy Australian dollar, those American $ payments stretch a lot further here! Once it was all converted, May and June were over $2000 months, and July was about $1700. Not bad 🙂

I haven’t been focussing enough on writing new material this year. For my plan to work, I need to actually have books to sell! So that’s going to be the main focus for the rest of the year. Actually writing, and publishing two more books. I’m only 10k words into the current work in progress, so I have a lot of work ahead of me!

I’ll try to check in more often over the next few months. August’s official numbers come out next week, so I’ll definitely do another update then. August was a bit funny. US sales continued to slide, but for some reason, the UK and AU sales were the best ever – by a lot! I don’t really get it, but I’ll roll with it…

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Offical March self-pub numbers

Woo! Amazon official reports are out! I now know exactly how much I made last month, and how much I can expect to land in my bank account at the end of next month!

*drum roll* 

BEST MONTH EVER!!!!!!

Official March sales figures: 

Sales: 215
KU Pages: 225,873
(Equivelent of 767 total sales)

Amazon.com: $1461.81 USD
Amazon.co.uk£50.43
Amazon.ca: $7.67 CAD
Amazon.com.au: $38.96 AUD

Hitting $1000+ a month has been a goal since I started this gig, and to have finally made it feels bloody fantastic!!

My newest release has been carrying most of the earning burdon. I really need to get the sequel out ASAP. I need $1000+ months to become the new norm, not the exception!

March was not great on the writing front. I ended up working for the whole month with a proper almost full-time teaching load. Lots of tests to mark, classes to prepare, and reports to write and just generally dealing with all the emotional and mental energy that teaching full-time zaps from me. My March word count was a pathetically low 4455 words.

Trying to do better for April! I really need to capitalise on the interest that the new book has generated and follow up with the sequel sooner rather than later. I’m currently re-proofreading it in preparation for the paperback release. Not sure if I’ll actually sell many/any paperbacks, but it’s nice to have the option.

So far, April is shaping up to be similar to March sales-wise, so that’s great and I’m hoping it holds steady until the end of the month!

Financially, things are looking up for us. I’m on track to be completely clear of debts (pay back my mum the money I owe her and the credit card debt) by the time I get my tax return back in July.

I was on track to be clear of debt without the book money so this little windfall will make the debt repayments go faster, and proper savings start earlier. I’m excited to be able to start saving properly again.

Term 2 for school starts on Monday. I’m aiming for at least 3 days/week. That would be perfect. After tax, I would get paid about $770 (we’re getting a pay rise, but I don’t know exactly how much yet…) each week for those 3 days work, and I’d still have 4 days a week to focus on the book side of thing. Term is 11 weeks long, so if I do get the 3 days every week that will be $8470 + the ~$4800 from the books I’ll get paid during that time and things aren’t looking too bad! Plus my tax return will most likely be around $3000, so yeah. Should be able to start the new financial year with a clean slate! It will be a good feeling!

 

Newest book: First 60 days

The new book has been out 60 days now.

It’s done much better than I was expecting.

It’s sold 1040 copies in the first 60 days.
Breakdown is 319,979 Kindle Unlimited page reads (the equivalent of 776 copies), and 264 paid sales.

It’s earned approximately $2850.
I’ve spent $276 on AMS ads.
Profit = $2574

Rank has been holding fairly steady this past month, and better than the first month.

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The reviews have largely been positive.

16 reviews on Amazon (4.3 rating)
49 ratings on Goodreads (4.24 rating)
66 sign-ups to my new release newsletter.

I have no idea how long the good times will roll. I’m not going to do any advertising other than the ongoing AMS ad until I have the second book out. Once it’s released, then I’ll do some more aggressive advertising, and even try for the holy grail of a BookBub ad.

I’ve just started school holidays, and one of my jobs over the next two weeks is to get the paperback version out. Hopefully move a few copies of those.

 

Achievment level unlocked

I just passed a nifty little milestone – 1001 books sold so far this year!

It took me over three years to hit my first thousand sales. With this new book, I’ve sold over a thousand in less than 3 months.

Breakdown:
Book #1 – 38
Book #2 – 20
Book #4 – 2
Book #5 – 941

Book #3 has sold nothing all year. Sad book.

The books have earned me approx. $2560 for those 1001 sales.

Making this happen isn’t feeling so crazy anymore. I can do this, right? I can be a full-time writer? Right?

New level up goal: sell 1001 books in a single month!

Feb re-cap

It’s mid-month! That’s often an exciting time for us Amazon authors – we find out exactly how much money we made last month!

February was my best publishing month, BY FAR. That is, until March rolled around – we’re only mid-month and I’ve already passed Feb’s figures 🙂

Without further ado…

Official February sales figures: 

Sales: 75
KU Pages: 122,686
(Equivelent of 386 total sales)

Amazon.com: $682.96 USD
Amazon.co.uk: £34.90
Amazon.ca: $1.38 CAD
Amazon.com.au: $19.85 AUD
Amazon.de: €1.32

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As you can see, it was Kindle Unlimited that made this month the best month so far. I’ve had months early on with as many sales (although from memory, they were at 0.99 or 2.99…. most of this months were at 3.99, so more revenue), but this was by far my best KU month.

The dreaded 30-day cliff never materialised (touch wood), but sales and rank actually became stronger.

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Rank has been holding pretty steady. No idea how long this will last, but I’m stoked while it does!

Most of my income came from the new book, but a bit came from some of my older books. The new book had 357 sales/full reads, my oldest book had 19, and it’s sequel had 10. My other pen name had a grand total of zero. It’s been very quiet there for a few months. I’m contemplating whether to retire it, or try one more release and see how that goes.

I did not get much writing done in Feb, mainly because I was teaching a lot. Feb is usually rather quiet on the CRT front, but I actually worked quite a bit which was good for the old bank account, but not so good for my creativity.

I’m still finding it difficult to do anything worthwhile in the evenings. I’m just so tired and mentally drained once I get home.

School holidays are fast approaching so I will have a chance then to recharge my creative batteries and put pen to paper. In the meantime, I’ll keep on keeping on.

New Release – First 30 days

The new book has been out for 30 days!

If you’re familiar with publishing on Amazon, you’re probably aware of the dreaded 30-day cliff. I’m here. I’m standing on the edge of it. But (knock on wood) I haven’t fallen off yet. My ranking is actually the best it’s ever been today! I have no idea how long that will last. It might all come crashing down tomorrow. Only time will tell.

So, how have the first 30 days been? Better than I expected, that’s for sure! Nothing ZOMG AMAZEBALLS, but, you know, good enough that I’m thinking maybe I’m not so crazy after all to think this might actually work out.

As of this minute, its sold 61 copies (with 1 of those being returned), and had 92,244 Kindle Unlimited page reads. The book is 412 KU pages long, so that’s the equivalent of 223.9 (let’s round up to 224) full reads.  So, 284 copies bought and/or read. It’s made me approx. $545 USD, or $685 AUD in those 30 days. I won’t know the exact number until mid-March when the KU rate for Feb gets released. That figure could go up, or it could go down. Just have to wait and see. I’m using a conservative rate though so that I don’t get too disappointed if it’s a lower month.

Below is my Book Report data, showing you how much of a difference the new release has made to my bottom line!

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 2.58.24 pmScreen Shot 2018-02-25 at 2.58.51 pm

The reviews so far have been very positive as well. As of my last check, I have 4 reviews on Amazon.com (three 5*, one 4*), one review on Amazon.co.uk (4*) and 12 ratings on Goodreads (average 4.33).

My rank has been holding steady around the 10,000 mark. At the moment it’s #8,314 Paid in Kindle Store.

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Now… to somehow replicate this. If I had 4 books that managed to get sticky around the 10,000 ranking, I could potentially be earning $2000/month. Easier said than done, though!

ETA(26/2): Hah. I’m silly. I just realised I miscounted. This data is all for the first 4 weeks/28 days. 30 days is today! In the past two days since posting this, I’ve sold another 25 copies and made another USD$60. Also had my best KU day today with 7811 pages read. I’m only 150 pages read from hitting 100k for the month! With three days left (American time), I am very confident that I’ll reach that milestone!

So. 310 copies for the first 30 days, and ~$600US/$750AUD. 

 

January re-cap

I finally got a new book out! It’s a new secret pen-name, and the only person I’ve told about it are my partner and my mum, so all the sales (apart from 2) have been organic. It’s chugging along better than I expected! Best release yet. Nothing mind-blowing, but I’m happy with it so far.

As of writing, it’s had 32 sales and 51,915 Kindle Unlimited page reads (the equivalent of 126 full reads), making me roughly $395AUD in the two and a half weeks it’s been out. The rank has been holding steady around 12-15,000 in the Amazon.com store, with a few dips into the 9000’s, and down to the 18,000’s. I don’t expect that to last much more than another week or so, with the way Amazon’s algorithms work, but just have to wait and see. Makes me excited to release another book. My previous release was an utter flop, so I’m never quite sure how it’s going to go.

The new book was released on the 28th of Jan, so most of the sales have happened in Feb. Next month’s update will have the bigger numbers!

Official January sales figures: 

Sales: 14
KU Pages: 8,847
Amazon.com: $52.55 USD
Amazon.co.uk: £5.40
Amazon.ca: $1.63 CAD
Amazon.com.au: $5.91 AUD

Real Life Work Stuff:
It was summer holidays right up until the end of January. Term 1 is notoriously slow for CRT (casual relief teacher) work, particularly the first few weeks, so I felt very lucky to be booked by a school for the first two and a half weeks of school! A teacher had unexpectedly quit right at the end of the holidays, and they needed me to fill in until they hired a replacement.

So I surprisingly actually worked one CRT day in January (the 31st, first day back at school). February is shaping up to be much healthier financially than any other February since we moved back to Australia. Last Feb I only worked 6 full days and 1 half day. I think it was only one day in Feb 2016. None in Feb 2015.

No progress on the debt reduction scheme this month, seeing as I had no income. Feb will be better.

Spent $1983.60 in January. The aim is to keep each month’s outgoings under $2000. Preferably closer to $1500. Spent a bit too much on discretionary stuff last month than I should have. Might do a proper breakdown later so I can see where I can cut the fat.