I finally got around to tallying up book sales.
When I first began writing books, I planned on going the traditional publishing route: write queries, find an agent, hope that said agent would be able to interest an editor or two, spend more time hoping that editor would be able to put together an offer (assuming that the marketing gods in her company were pleased with the manuscript).
In 2010, after researching agents who displayed a healthy track record in epic fantasy deals, I queried a fair number of them. I received no answer from the majority of them. From the minority left over, I received short no-thank-you notes. It was at that time I stumbled on the website of curmudgeonly self-publishing demigod Joe Konrath. I had never heard of Konrath or his books before. His blog, however, was an interesting mashup of thoughts on the advantages of self-publishing vs traditional publishing. The takeaway was that a warm wind of change was blowing from the Amazon jungle.
Shrugging fatalistically (after all, we’re all going to die one day, aren’t we?), I took the plunge and self-published The Hawk and His Boy in November, 2010. I sat back and waited for accolades and applause. Instead, I heard the peaceful sound of crickets chirping as no one bought my book. Inspired by this, I rooted around the web and found some review bloggers, joined the Kindleboards community, and published a collection of short stories.
Eventually, I ended up publishing the three books in the Tormay Trilogy, two collections of short stories, several stand-alone stories, the trilogy as one massive 1000-page tome, and an Italian translation of The Hawk.
So, where did all that mucking around with self-publishing get me after precisely 20 months (Nov 2010-June 2012)?
63,819 books sold, as of the end of June 2012. That doesn’t count books given away or books leant through the Kindle Lending Library.
Not bad. There are many indie writers doing much better and there are many doing much worse. Myself, I suppose I’ll keep trudging along, chipping away at another book or two and not paying attention to the trickle of sales. Over time, a trickle will fill a bucket.