Wednesday, January 11, 2012


One hundred grand. That's how much I've made on Amazon in the last three weeks.

This is just for my self-pubbed Kindle titles. It doesn't include Shaken and Stirred, which were published by Amazon's imprints. It doesn't include any of my legacy sales, print or ebook. It doesn't include audiobook sales. It doesn't include sales from other platforms.

This is from my self-pubbed books. The ones the Big 6 rejected.

Currently, my novel The List is #71 on the Top 100. It's been in the Top 100 for 66 days. It's the same one all those publishers rejected.

I am soooo glad I had so many books rejected.

Here's a screen shot of a portion of what I've sold since January 1.

This is missing 15 of my titles (some were cut off, some are on my co-writers' KDP accounts). It also doesn't show over 1500 sales I've had in Kindle foreign markets.

So far in January I'm averaging well over $3500 a day.

I'm having a very hard time wrapping my head around these numbers.

I'm also having a hard time trying to figure out what this means for the future. But I'll give it a shot.

In January of 2010 I made $2300 for the month on Kindle.

In January of 2011 I made $34,000.

Let's pretend that The List wasn't in the Top 100 right now and has only sold 1800 copies this month, comparable to Shot of Tequila. I'd still be selling 800 ebooks a day, making over $1600.

That means I'd make about $50,000 in January, just in US sales. Which means my income has increased by about 30% overall. I'm not sure this will last throughout the year, but it seems reasonable.

What intrigues me is the UK market. I may sell over 1000 copies of a single title in the UK this month. I price my novels at 1.49 pounds, which means I make $1.60 per sale. So I'm going to earn more in the UK this January than I earned in the US in 2010.

Remember back in April of 2009 when I first self-published on Kindle? I was giddy to have made $1450 in a month in the US on all of my ebooks combined. Now I can make $1600 in a month in the UK on a single title.

Amazon is continuing to introduce Kindles to more and more countries. The global market is happening. I can't see a limit. I can't see a ceiling.

This is no longer a question of choosing between accepting 17.5% royalties from a legacy publisher or doing it yourself. This has now become the best way in the history of mankind for a writer to earn money. It may be one of the greatest ways to ever make money, period.

We can directly and instantly reach hundreds of millions of consumers in a global marketplace. We can set the list price, and we get to keep the majority of that list price. Readers can buy our work instantly on devices that they love. They don't have to go to the store, the store is in their hands. Once a book is written and formatted it can sell unlimited copies, forever, without any costs to the writer other than the initial time investment and monetary investment (formatting, editing, cover.)

No other industry allows this. There are always continuing production costs and shipping costs. There are always middlemen who take cuts. There is always a limit to distribution. There are always times when something is sold out or unavailable.

Not anymore.

Imagine having instant access to every person's checking account in the world, and stealing one dollar.

Now imagine them willingly giving you that dollar.

We're not there yet. But I've been following the ebook revolution for three years, and I never could have predicted this would get so big so fast. I've consistently been surprised by numbers and sales, and have lost count of the times I've said, "This is unreal."

But it isn't unreal. It's very real. I know, because I just pinched myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. For the fifth time today.