One Year of Indie Publishing

Yeah, I am not sure I like the term “indie” either, but it has become pretty common usage, so here goes.

In July of 2010, I decided to test out the e-book waters with three short stories.  I put them up under a name that has no internet presence (you can find those stories here if you are curious) and sat back to see if anyone would buy them.  That’s right. I didn’t bother with promotion or anything because hey, they were just short stories and literary short stories at that.  Since then, well, Music in the City became my bestselling story, outselling anything until I put up Surfacing.  When I wrote Surfacing and put it up at the end of April, it then became my new bestselling story (usually it accounts for 30-40 of my sales each month, which, as you will see, is the bulk of my sales).  Under my published/known name (Annie Bellet), my short story Broken Moon was my bestseller (10-15 copies a month) since it went up in April until I put my SF novella Light of the Earth as Seen from Tartarus free. Since it went not-free, it has sold over 40 copies in just a couple weeks though that appears to be slowing down.

But here is a year of sales, by month:

July- 3
August- 4
Sept- 3
Oct- 4
Nov- 2
Dec- 12
(released Spacer’s Blade & Other Stories)
Jan- 17
(released Light of the Earth as Seen from Tartarus (LoTEaSFT)
Feb- 18
(released Heart in Sun and Shadow)
March- 39
April- 34
(Released 3 short stories)
May- 84
(Released Gifts in Sand and Water collection, lowered LoTEaSFT to 1.99)
June- 87
July- 103
(LoTEaSFT was free for 2.5 weeks of July on Kindle with 3257 downloads)

I have also sold 2 print copies of A Heart in Sun and Shadow, one via Amazon, one through the distribution.  (If you are in the Portland, Oregon area and want a print copy, Annie Bloom’s Books in Multnomah Village carries a few and they (and I!) would be thrilled if you went and bought a copy there.)

I don’t know about all the June and July sales yet since Smashwords hasn’t completely updated, but usually for this sort of recording purpose, I count sales in the month they show up, not when they were actually sold (I don’t do this for my tax/permanent records, for obvious reasons).

But a year of ebooks looks like I’ve sold about 410 ebooks and 2 print books across 10 titles.  Only one of the ebooks up is a novel. I have two short story collections, one novella, and the other six ebooks are short stories.

By December I should have at least three more novels out (including the sequel to A Heart in Sun and Shadow), so I am optimistic that this next year will look even better since releasing new work has so far been the best way I see to increase sales.  I also have three more short story collections in the works including my Clarion project book.  Everything should be out by the Holidays.

Speaking of sequels- The Raven King, book 2 of the Chwedl duology, has been delayed. When I set the deadline for Summer ’11, I didn’t realize I’d get into Clarion.  So I’m pushing it back to Winter ’11 because I want to make sure I have time to write the book I want to write and make it awesome.  I also need to re-acquaint myself with the world I built for the first book.  So it is coming this year, just a little later than I’d originally planned.  Also coming in December are at least the first two books of the Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division.  Book 1: Avarice is mostly complete, I’m waiting to write the others before I release it.  I’m also waiting on the cover artist (the covers are paintings!). I’m really excited about this series though (it’s my Law & Order with sword fights series).

So that’s a year in indie publishing for me.  Here’s for a kick-ass Holiday season for all of us. *grin*

10 Responses to “One Year of Indie Publishing”

  1. D.M. Bonanno

    Indie sounded wierd on Dr Jones until we came to love him, so what’s in a name? 🙂 Glad the sales are going well. I hope they continue to rise for you.

  2. David Barron

    It’s ramping up! Good times. I’d wish you luck, but I think it’d be more useful to wish you more hard work.

    Also, I’m still waiting on Pyrrh.

  3. Burl


    You seem to be doing well… and I’m proud of the little girl who wrote me a “Novel in 30 days” on a bet, did you spend the $20 on books?

    How is your hubby? I was not happy to read that he was laid off… is he working now?

    I haven’t read anything about your grad school time… did you graduate?

    Please keep writing, and maybe someday I’ll be able to say I knew a “New York Best Selling Author.”

    — Burl

    • izanobu

      Hey, Burl. Matt still doesn’t have a job. I quit grad school to write for a living, so that’s the story with that 🙂

      I’ve re-drafted that novel (which I wrote in 19 days, thank you!) twice more now and will probably go back and re-do it from scratch a third time before it sees publication. Thank you for providing the motivation to finish a novel 🙂

  4. ccjamess

    Thanks for sharing. It’s nice to be able to see some real numbers…

  5. Jim Franz

    I just wanted to add my thanks for sharing your numbers. It looks like they’re starting to take off for you; good luck!

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  7. Grayson

    As always, thanks for the hard, dirty numbers, Annie. It must be gratifying to see them go up – even though they aren’t live-off-of numbers yet, if they keep going up, they will eventually become so. And I know you’re in this for the long haul.

    Best of luck to Matt on finding a job that strokes with his bliss and pays many bills at the same time.

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  9. S.E. Batt

    I know this is late, but thank you for posting this. I’m currently around your September phase and the slow sales are really off-putting. I know the key to an indie publishing gig is constant releases, but…I feel as if nothing will shift no matter how many releases I make. Seeing this ramp up in a year like that has given me inspiration to keep going. 🙂

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