Friday, December 14, 2012

Show Me the Money!

So here's a funny thought - I am an author.  I have just released my second book and it is currently on three best seller lists on Amazon and three hot new release lists on Amazon.  It is climbing the charts.  The book cost me nothing to write, edit, produce and release.  You'd think, then, with a zero dollar investment, my return would be great on a best seller, right?

Think again.

I have been absolutely AMAZED at the blatant queries of how much I have made so far on "The Christmas Cottage".  I mean, CLEARLY, when you have a best seller, that must mean that I am being handed BUCKETS full of money!

Think again.

I have had some people since the book's release, looking for that dollar amount because they are wanting a share of the wealth.  They weren't interested in helping me promote the book, they weren't interested in even knowing what the book was about; they wanted FREE copies of the book and to know how many millions I am making.

And they were serious.

So for the mathematically challenged, let me make it super easy for you to understand... I invested $0.00 to produce the book - I used all of the free services that Create Space provided.  I invested $0.00 to list the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords and in return, I listed the ebook version for a measly .99 cents.  Of that .99 cents, I get about .35 for each download.  The book would have to be downloaded 2,857,143 times (approximately) in order to make a million dollars.  I can GUARANTEE you, the book has NOT been downloaded that many times.

Now the print version.  I priced this version at $6.99 and it's paperback.  I still felt it was a little high priced for the size of the book but the reality was, that's what I needed to set it at to show any kind of profit. And that profit is only $1.48 per copy.  Amazon gets the rest.  If it sells through Create Space, I get a whopping $2.78.  I went with the free distribution options because to expand the options would have cost me $25 that I did not have.  For some reason, the sales haven't tracked on Amazon yet and I am working out the kinks to figure that out but according to Create Space, I have sold 29 copies of "The Christmas Cottage" and one copy of my previous title, "Jordan's Return" making my royalties for December $74.19.

I realized that advertising to get the book out there is not free.  Sure, there are some free options but to really get the ball rolling, you have to pay something.  So far I've paid out approximately $200 between advertising and having the blessing of an assistant.  So technically, I am about $125 in the NEGATIVE.

So for those of you looking to cash in on my success, please keep in mind that it is my author name that I am building; it is the achievement of a life-long dream that is making this success so damn wonderful.  I feel sorry for those who only see success in dollar signs.  I'm not going to get rich doing this but the joy that I have in writing something that people are reading?  That's priceless!

We hit an all time high earlier today on Amazon and it was pretty freakin exciting!
#29 in Contemporary Women's Fiction
#45 in Contemporary Fiction
#69 in Contemporary Romance
#12 in Hot New Releases in Contemporary Women's Fiction
#14 in Hot New Releases in Contemporary Fiction
#18 in Hot New Releases in Contemporary Romance AND...
#330 in Kindle Downloads

It was a great way to start the day and yet there was no chauffeur driven limo waiting to take me to work, I did not book a Disney Cruise and my lunch was some $5 take out from a local pizzeria.  I am not living a financially charmed life, people, but I am damn happy! 

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