On Saturday, September 13, 2104, one day after my 57th birthday, I woke up, tallied my sales for the month on the XL spreadsheet I use for that purpose, and cheered as I saw that I had passed the one hundred thousand sales mark since I had been keeping track. I had been keeping this spreadsheet since August of 2012, which discounts the forty to sixty books I had sold from January through September 2012 across multiple outlets. And in August of 2012 I had only sold twenty-two books. The Deep Dark Well was my big seller that month with eight books. Things changed in September when I gave away 4,035 copies of The Deep Dark Well in a KDP Select promotion, and I later sold over 200 of TDDW that month on the way to selling 237 books. October was even better, with 507 sales, 307 of them TDDW, but also 112 copies of Exodus: Empires at War: Book 1. In November Exodus 1 took off, with 872 sales, then ,1,721 in December, along with 1,297 copies of Exodus 2. January 2013 was the real eye opener, the one that really let me think I could do this for a living, as I sold 8,560 ebooks, including 3,088 of Exodus 1, 2,758 of Exodus 2, and 750 of TDDW. Heady days, and I made the decision to quit the State of Florida and go full time in the Fall of that year. 5,677 sales in February changed those plans, and I never looked back as I left Department of Children and Families in March of 2013. Since then, my worst month has been 1,917 in July of 2014. My best, after that eye opening January, was 7,002 in May of 2014. Book 7 of the Exodus series came out August 20th, and has already sold over 4,300 copies, while September is turning out to be another great month.
What it comes to is 100,000 total sales in just a little more than twenty-four and a half months (August 2012 can be thrown out of that calculation, since I was over 100K by more than I had sold in that entire month). I was hoping when I got into this self-publishing thing that I would be successful. Success defined as enough money, along with my day job, to get by and possibly get ahead. By that definition I have been successful beyond my wildest dreams. I work for myself. I travel where I want to go when I want to. I’m buying a house, by damn. Not a big house, a nice little three bedroom two bath that I can fix the way I want. Enough for me, without being a big job keeping up. And I’ve met some really great people, at Dragon Con, Liberty Con, and the Superstars Writing Seminars. Big time authors, and people in the early part of their careers. My kind of people. And the many fans I have met, a few in person, most over the net. Again, my kind of people, even if we don’t agree on everything, we have a passion for one thing, sci-fi and fantasy.
On the same day I sold my hundred thousandth book among ebooks, paperbacks and audiobooks, I signed a contract with Kevin J Anderson to appear in the third volume of his Five by Five military science fiction series, coming soon. Kevin, Michael Stackpole, Sarah Hoyt, and Dani and Eytan Kollin round out the authors of the five stories, and I couldn’t be more proud or excited to be in their company. Looking forward to the coming year, and some more books to put out there, more people to meet. And hopefully come some steps closer to become a hybrid author, publishing in both the traditional and self-pub realms. I am working on a fantasy submission for Baen books right now, along with book four of the Refuge series. If Baen doesn’t like the fantasy I eventually will publish it myself, while working on a sci-fi idea for them.
I’m not on the New York Times Bestseller list yet, I’m not on any Hugo or Nebula lists, not well known outside my small circle of fans and friends. But I’m doing what I love, every day. I’m my own boss, and the future is looking really good.
Tomorrow will be a blog interview with Cornelius Walborski, the Hunter from the Exodus: Empires of War series. And the day after I will be blogging about my very soon to be released book (probably that day) How I Sold 100,000 Books On Amazon. More than I’m use to doing with the blog in such a short time, but such is life right now.