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Why, 2K!

That's right, as of...well, sometime last week, probably, I haven't been checking that closely...we cracked 2000 copies of Nine Goblins sold! How cool izzat?

Thank you, everybody who ordered a copy! You're awesome, and I hope you enjoyed it!

The following bits are probably only of interest to self publishers, but I wanna contribute what smidgeon I can to an often opaque set of numbers, so read on if you like that sort of thing!

In terms of numeric breakdowns, after expenses (mostly editing services and coffee) we're looking at around $5.5K. For self-pub, that's not the extreme end of the bell curve, but definitely a very respectable success. If you figure it took about 100 hours to write, that's a very good wage (although if you figure that it took since 2006 to write, the numbers good. And it's not like you can just sit down and put in a 100 hour work week and have another book. Well, I can't, anyhow. You know, trying to work this out like this is probably a fruitless exercise...)

Anyhow, as far as I can tell--and I am extrapolating from VERY little data here, so I could be very wrong, anyone with more experience, feel free to chip it!--the initial sales burst comes in the first month or two, then it begins to taper off. I'd guess there's a spike in sales when you put out a new book (or at least, so I am told!) but as the next Goblins book may take another couple years at this rate, we'll find out if it applies to other releases by the same author.

Around 90% of sales were via Amazon Kindle. Smashwords is definitely worth it, though, as there's a lot of readers who, for whatever reasons, will not use Amazon and it sucks to leave them in the lurch. I've heard from friends that direct sales from their website do very well, and that's something to consider, although I dread the tech support aspect there. Suspect that may be the wave of the future, though, as Amazon eventually will start to squeeze.

The nice thing about slow taper, though, is that while it's not paying my rent as it did for the first two months, it's still solidly buying groceries, and even as we slither downward, I can probably expect it to keep me in hard cider money for awhile.

That is due entirely to the readers, let me hasten to add--I'm not promoting it beyond posts like this one and links on the website, and it's the plethora of good reviews and (gasp! the legendary!) word-of-mouth that's moving copies. I am super grateful for that--I even had a fan tell me the other day that they bought a copy and loved it and didn't know it was by me. Which, I mean, pen-name and all, but that means the book has a life of its own beyond just yours truly, and that bodes very well for it.

So all in all, my first self-pub adventure has been a rousing success, despite all the weeping and bloodshed that it took to bring it into the world. (Come to think of it, there's a few more typos found...need to get that deal with in my copious spare time...) Thank you, everybody!

And yes! Promotion! I can do this! If you want to buy a copy:



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Congratulations! That's not bad at all, and it does lend credence to the idea that e-pub is bringing a revival to the novella format.

Charlie Stross talked about it recently (Link: for you to unspam-mark), and Scalzi announced one (Another link: only yesterday.

And now that you know it's viable, you can do it again (pace Danny (how many books left to make/get published?), and honeybadger demands).

Definitely the novella is AWESOME for e-pub! (Which is good, because it turns out that I quite like the 25-40K length...) So I'm hoping that'll continue!

So am I! I like your shorter wordsmithing quite a lot. :)

Are there any plans to produce a print edition of this, or to include it in a printed collection of some of your other short fiction? I just... I really like having a physical book, and an E-reader is still on my "Get when I have Money" list.

We've definitely had some interest, so a small run at some point seems plausible, but I don't have an ETA at the moment.

have you considered lulu or somesuch for a print-on-demand option?

Createspace has done very well for me and many of the people I know. :)

CreateSpace is easy for me, and I'm not a techie. And it produces a lovely product, too.

You *probably* already know this, but I am in HelpfulMode(tm) this morning. You can get free kindle/epub/etc readers for web/macs/pcs/smartphones; I tend to use Overdrive ( the most, but that's because it syncs up with my county library for checking out ebooks and audiobooks, which means no more late fees. You can get Kindle's app straight from Amazon, and search/app store/google play should bring up plenty.

Having books on my phone is the bestest thing ever, especially since I spend a lot of time in waiting rooms.

Edited at 2014-04-16 04:13 pm (UTC)

"Marvin" is my current favourite e-reader

iOS only though. It replaced my long-time reader Stanza, which has gone moribund, and is better in almost every way. Seriously configurable for best viewing, and with good default starting points.

Goodreads has a good review section on it, where it gets 4.9 out of 5 - well deserved. I bought it twice to encourage the developers!

I got the .pdf version from Smashwords and printed it at work. Then I read it on the train home. It doesn't look as good as a normal print book, but it works for me.

I bought it, read it, and used it as a bribe. I would only perform readings for my nieces whilst they washed dishes.

Now THAT is high praise! *grin*

Bwahaha! That is brilliant!

Informational note: getting something from Smashwords to download to a Kindle app on a smartphone is a somewhat arcane process. I never did figure out how it worked; fortunately, the "personal documents" feature from Amazon was able to accept the file and load it properly.

I was going to say this sounds much more typical of a hybrid writer (someone who does both self-pub and trad) who has the name to trade on, but then you said you used a pen name and, well, -- [is severely jealous]

I've marketed my little brains out and have yet, after three years, to hit 200 copies on any of my six books, let alone 2000, even with excellent reviews (but not many).

She did point her fans to the epub, so it's not like it was a pen name that she was trying to keep unconnected to her established work and secret from her fans. So I'm betting that the hybrid writer aspect that you suggested is a factor.

Oh, there's no way that T Kingfisher would have sold cold! It's all my fans here doing 95% of the buying, I'm guessing. Hybrid all the way.

I adored it when I first read it and recently reread and adored even more. I hope there will be more books in this series. I want more Wiggles the kitten :)

And I loved loved the teddybear - "the bears in charge"

I knew my mother would love it as much as I did, so I hacked her amazon account and bought her a copy! She is now asking when the next one comes out :D

*grin* Well, I started it, but then I went and worked on this other thing, which is really cookin', so...err...not for awhile yet...

I am trying to catch up on KUEC, and am in the middle of the issue where you are bitter, very bitter, about self-pub software. So it is pleasing to hear that the grief you were immersed in then had brought joy today. A truly Protestant outcome - suffering brings reward to the good.

It makes me sad I don't have book money anymore to buy Nine Goblins or anything else, but it's on my list of goals! ;-;

Also, this made me think of you! :) http ://www.care2. com/go/z/e/Aid2P/zONj/bSrIo (As usual, just remove the spaces! <3)

Had a friend visit who is a voracious reader -- kind of person who has to have a book in hand, and ideally two or three, at all times, and nevermind if there's hours and hours of nothing to do, just stick her in a corner somewhere and she'll be happy as long as her books last. I loaned her my Kindle on the basis of it being easier to carry and surely there's plenty on there she hasn't read already. Apparently she got three-quarters of the way through Nine Goblins before she had to give the Kindle back and sounded resigned to buying a copy herself.

Thanks! Great to have hard numbers. BTW the most helpful review on Amazon outs you as the author.

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