As indie authors, we tend to celebrate each milestone, no matter how insignificant it might seem to everyone else. Finishing our first novel. Publishing our first novel. Making our first sale. Making our first sale to a complete stranger. Once you’ve cleared those initial goals, the milestones tend to become a little more personal. Finishing book 2. Reaching X sales. Finishing your first series/trilogy. Some seem more daunting than others. And often, we look at other authors and think, “Jeez! They’re so far ahead of me!” It may be true, but you can only do what you are capable of. And half the trick is to just keep your head down and move forward.
I’ve been self published since 2011. I had one book (Multiples of Six by Andy Rane) for a very long time (June 2011 to December 2013) and even went a solid year where I sold only 36 copies (May of 2012 to May of 2013). Take it from me, having one book out (part of a supposed series no less!) will get you nowhere fast. But, over the years, sales came through various promotions and I crossed the 1000 paid sales mark in June of 2013. When I finally released that book’s sequel last December, I had high hopes of moving more books. Well, it’s been 9 months, a few more releases, and with a little… ok, a lot of help from a BookBub ad, I can say I’ve made some headway.
It’s important to set goals for yourself and celebrate when you reach them. You don’t have to throw a party. Just pat yourself on the back and recognize that you’ve accomplished something, whether it’s a daily writing goal or a yearly sales milestone. Share it among your friends, family, and interested colleagues. It’s not boasting. It’s about sharing the journey. It’s about letting others out there, who might be at the starting line, know that this is a path where even no-name authors (like myself) can find a level of success.
With the help of the recent ad, I crossed the 2750 paid sales mark (over 3 novels and 1 novella and two author names). Yay me! It might be a pittance to some, but I remember when it seemed an unthinkable goal. It’s not. If I can do it, so can you. Am I successful? I haven’t reached that point. The day I can sit back and watch my books sell themselves with little to no marketing necessary, then I’ll consider myself a success. But, I’m certainly pleased with where I now am. I look forward to writing more stories and sharing my continuing journey in this great adventure. I hope you all may find a level of success you can be proud of and celebrate in everything that you do.
Did you reach a milestone lately?! Share it in the comments! 😀
7 thoughts on “Author Milestones”
This makes me feel so much better. As an indie/self-published author and sit and fret constantly about sales and marketing. I nearly have book two done (final few chapters left to write before editing), but I worry no one will read it. This gives me a glimmer of hope, and it is wonderful to see an indie author doing well. Congrats, sir!
Thanks! You’ll be fine. Tell good stories and produce the best quality book you can. The readers are out there, trust me. Thanks for stopping by!
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Scott – so have sales been holding up since the Book Bub ad? I was going to run one (if they have me!) but I’ve decided to wait until I can at least put my second book up for preorder, which should be in a month or so.
This weekend I’m doing 4x Free Days on Kindle, and I’ll save my 5th for when I do the BookBub ad and put Book 2 up for preorder.
Do you reckon that sounds like a fairly okay plan?
Hi Caroline! Sales of book 1 (the one I gave away for free) have leveled out at 2-4 copies per day for the past week (now 16 days after the ad). Book 2 is still averaging 19-25 copies a day, which is nice. They are both in Select, so I’ve seen a lot of borrows in addition to sales. The best part is that I went from having 21 reviews to 63! 😀
I would definitely recommend having book #2 out (or available for preorder) before any of your free days. You also want to make sure that you include a link to the pre-order in your back matter of book #1. Good luck!
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ps. wasn’t ignoring your sage advice – if I had a second book ready to sell, or even preadvertise, I would. But I’d already scheduled it and I just want to get #Forfeit out there. It worked for my friend, Natalie Martin (currently #64 in Kindle Paid!!)
Love your advice and openness about BookBub results – I just read that post.
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Oh, I have no doubt you’ll do well. 😀
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