Self Publishing on Kindle – How Many eBooks Do We Need To Sell To Be Successful?
I chat a lot about self publishing. Mostly it’s to writers who are as yet unpublished, who want to know what’s involved in the self publishing business through my imprint Write Good Books.
At one time these were all writers who simply wanted to get into print. They all had this burning desire to see their work in print and for sale in high street book shops…this was ‘success’….they had made it.
All of them had some kind of idea how many books they were willing to have in their possession. It ranged from as few as 10 books to 2,000. It was my job to advise them what was practical, and to give them all the facts and figures as best I could.
My advice was usually taken, sometimes not, but in the end most of those writers managed sufficient sales to at least break even. I saw that as one of the most important aspects of my job – make sure the writer gets a fair deal and has a chance of getting their money back. If I thought a book would be lucky to generate any sales at all outside the writer’s own family or social group I would try to persuade them to keep the number of books to a minimum. This still happens of course.
But with the arrival of self publishing online, particularly for the Kindle, we all know things have changed.
I was speaking to a group of writers the other day about publishing on the Kindle and the group as a whole had one burning question “How many eBooks do we need to sell to be successful?”
Good question. Unfortunately it’s one without an answer. Like the ‘How long is a piece of string’ conundrum.
For some writers I work with just seeing the book up on Amazon is success. It really is. They get quite emotional about it. Sales don’t come into it. They’ve done it. They have completed a manuscript to their own standards and can now see it online. Their book is available around the world. They are quite staggered at the thought of it.
Then there are other writers who go through the familiar routine of selling a handful to family and friends, generating interest on WordPress or Facebook and making another batch of sales and then…..well, not much happens and it’s a case of start thinking ‘long term’ sales. Total sales, maybe 50 books. Successful? My guess would be 50/50. I know some who are thrilled to bits, but I know others who are still not happy. It’s the glass half full/half empty syndrome.
I also know writers who have sussed out the eBook market and are WordPress, Facebook savvy and have made quite significant sales online but they are probably the least happy of them all. Tell them they are ‘successful’ and I doubt they will beieve you. But they are.
In the end it’s all relative. Just one single book sale can mean everything to a writer starting out…it’s an incredible feeling. It’s success. I see it as being my job to give that writer a start, to give him/her the opportunity to make their mark, and to encourage them to move on to another book, to keep going, to keep writing……and never to take any sales for granted, and be grateful for every book sale. Every single one.
To be honest, I think we’re all more successful than we realise.
If anyone ever needs any advise about eBook publishing please get in touch.
About writegoodbooksI help new writers become published authors through self-publishing. I also offer writers the chance to have their work converted into Kindle eBooks and publish them on the Amazon Kindle store.
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