Welcome back everyone! It’s another Worldbuilding Wednesday, this time focused more on my publishing results last year than actual writing subjects.
So, over the last week I went through the taxes and through my numbers from 2014. Just finished comparing them to 2013, too. Bear in mind that I’m just barely started at this and heaven knows I’ve got a ton to learn.
I did better in 2014 than in 2013, despite my perception that I was selling worse. That was a big surprise. In 2013 I sold a grand total of 186 titles over the course of the year. in 2014, it was 203.
Not great, not even close to what I wanted, but it was still an increase and that makes me happy. I also earned about $200 more in 2014 than in 2013, thanks in part to the greater numbers sold but also to a couple of other factors.
First, I got an artificial spike in January when Amazon stopped holding royalty payments until they hit a threshold. They started paying whatever you had sold 60 days after the end of the month you sold in. Very nice surge at the start of the year, very much a one-time thing so I’m discounting it.
Second, I went through all my books early in 2014 and changed them from the 35% royalty rate to 70% royalties. I’d misunderstood the requirements for the 70% royalties and lowered my money earned unnecessarily. That’s fixed and also a one-time thing. The results comparison from 2014 to 2015 will (hopefully) be apples to apples next year.
So what sold best?
Romance and Fantasy Adventure. In 2013 my top sellers were Sound of Obedience, An Unrepentant Bastard and Fitting In, all three of them fundamentally romances though of very different types. In 2013 my top seller was Artifacts of Awareness, followed by Dragon Rider’s Song and then The Nature of Beasts. All three of those have serious romantic themes though Artifacts of Awareness is more Fantasy Adventure than romance.
It’s worth noting that all of my top sellers were published in 2013. It didn’t seem to matter how old a book was. It still sold. The newer books actually seem to have less traction than the older ones, which makes a good amount of sense, really. A new story might not sell for months or it might sell right away and then not again for months after that.
Interesting but not necessarily very helpful for 2015, right?
Well, I also noticed during this review that I’ve got several things to work on.
Hot Romance sells well. I like writing it so I should write more of it. That means getting back at Muirin, Debts to Recover, and that I need to work on being a better Romance writer.
Fantasy adventure (Artifacts) sold best of everything. That means I really need to get it’s sequel done, put out the prequel book and, hopefully soon, get Secrets of the Artificer Mages (the story that started me on this journey) out as well. More in that series would be good. Fortunately I do have a book ready and other one maybe half ready. Good thing to work on this year.
Next, wow, do I ever have covers that need to be replaced! I’m amazed that the Debts series has sold as well as it has with such horrible covers. I’m going to have to dedicate some time / effort / money to fixing them up and releasing them more professionally. They’re pretty darn amateur right now and I know I can present them much better than that. A lot of the Random stories need better covers too, and heavens, the Muirin early stories have the worst formatting ever. Their TPBs are a shambles that I really need to fix, soon.
My biggest goal this year is to have everything look professional both in cover and formatting. Blurbs, too. It’s a big project but I’ll get there.
Hopefully fixing the covers / formatting will help with sales. Hopefully focusing on my strengths will help too.
And as always, I’m going to keep writing whatever I love, whatever inspires me. Because it’s fun and writing should absolutely be fun.
I’m curious how next year’s numbers will look and what I’ll learn during the year and afterwards.
Back to work for me–hope this was interesting!