How’s your ebook success coming along? This year has given me and my friend some moderate success. Of course, we don’t earn nearly as much as many ebook indie authors out there; I have read many stories where people make well over $1,500 per month. However, we take whatever we can get with great appreciation. Even if Amazon sends you a $10 payment, you’re now $10 richer, correct?
If you browse through this blog, you will notice that I haven’t been posting income reports for the past couple of months, as described in this blog post. This is simply because the income has remained the same, more or less. Sometimes we earn less money, sometimes we earn a bit more, but nevertheless we have not seen anything significant to report.
When I got more serious about publishing in 2011, I had big dreams of quickly reaching $3,000 to $4,000 per month by the end of 2012. Sadly, life got in the way and interruptions came along. Additionally, many of the books my friend and I published haven’t been quite as successful as we’d hoped. Through trial and error we have found our simple, yet very damaging mistake.
Lack of Diversity
We spent the majority of the year publishing erotic books which had very similar themes. These mainly consisted of step daughters who had the hots for their step dads, and vice versa. Don’t get me wrong, many of these books actually bring in a few bucks each month. Considering our typical length is roughly 4,000 to 4,500 words per book, most of these can be written in one day with an additional day dedicated to editing and creating a book cover. When you consider the minimal amount of time it takes to churn out these short stories, their return of investment (ROI) isn’t necessarily bad.
That being said, it is always ideal to expand your library and identify potentially selling niches (or fetishes, when it comes to romance and erotica.) To increase your chances of success, you must undergo through a series of steps which are not difficult to conduct, and yet can bring you a nice chunk of change every month. For example, look into Kindle’s Top 100 (Bestsellers) and analyze what topics are selling most. Write a few of these down. Then, go into their salespage and write down any keywords being used in the title, description and/or tags. There won’t always be any (after all, books do not depend solely on keywords) but at the very least analyze what it is people like about these books.
Note, however, that I haven’t put any of these claims to the test as of yet due to several reasons. First and foremost, as I stated before, I got too comfortable writing about a theme I’m very familiar with. Secondly, I often have to stop producing books altogether to write articles for upfront payment, since my monthly passive income is not nearly as high as I’d like it to be. Finally, sometimes there’s the case of procrastination and a lack of motivation, as we all face here and there. The takeaway here is to keep on expanding, even if it means getting out of your comfort zone. If you really can’t write about a certain subject, outsource the work! It’s completely legal.
Anyway, this past October I decided to go all out and drastically improve my friend’s ebook earnings, producing about 20 individual stories that month alone. Again, these are quite short; combine it with a familiar theme/fetish, and you’ve got yourself a large amount produced in no time!
As many of you know by now, I have been producing most books for my friend’s Kindle account and have been neglecting my own personal Kindle journey, as I am trying to help her out financially– especially in a passive way. She’s got more things than she can handle at this point in time, so I figured there’s nothing better than to receive a nice chunk of passive income every month, right?
So, let’s talk about earnings. Since I’m dedicating the rest of 2012 to improving her Kindle account as opposed to my own, I have been keeping much of my interest in her sales figures. As a result, we consider our success pretty mutual, or “one in the same.”
My Income Report:
Amazon Books Sold: 84
B&N Books Sold: 73
Total Income (Approximate): $230
My Friend’s Income Report:
Amazon Books Sold: 219
B&N Books Sold: 139
Total Income (Approximate): $700
Note: While I no longer disclose exact income figures due to these websites’ TOS, I can still provide an approximate amount between Kindle and B&N combined — Give or take a few bucks.
So, it appears as though the hard work I did back in October is actually paying off, despite making the mistake of writing too many stories under the same “Step daddy” theme. If you read through previous income reports, you will notice that she had been averaging roughly $250 to $400 per month, tops.
Theoretically, if I keep working as hard as I did back in October, this ebook income could increase by at least $100 every single month. It certainly feels nice to be able to say, “I can give myself a raise every month, without limits.” There’s no need to wait for your employer to give you a raise; you are your own boss!
In fact, I would like you to sit down, find your passion and dedicate a full month to doing the best you can on the ebook arena. Write as much as you can, ensuring you deliver both quality and quantity at the same time. This is essentially what I did in October, and the results have been fantastic.
For those of you who are struggling to regain motivation or simply don’t know how to get stated, feel free to shoot me a message or comment any time. Remember, not all books will sell and many others will sell poorly (even with good research.) The market is sometimes unpredictable, but don’t let this discourage you. Yes, low sales have discouraged me plenty of times, but guess what? Ironically, that’s the exact reason I decided to write so many books in October; I was sick and tired of wishing and dreaming. I want to see a healthy income every month, and I realized that self-pity is NOT going to help me accomplish that.
It’s always okay to fall. The important factor here is to get up again and fight even harder. I hope the above figures have motivated you somewhat, and the heavy duty action I took these past two months.
Best of luck.