OK, folks, here it is – the nitty-gritty low-down on exactly what’s been going on since I published my first novel. It’s all here – sales figures, download numbers, expenses and timescales. Why am I posting all this information here? Two reasons: One, I promised I would, and I never, if I can possibly help it, break a promise. And two, because I really think this information might be useful to those of you about to take the plunge yourselves. My results may or may not be typical, it’s impossible for me to know. All I know is what I’ve done and the results I’ve had. I’ve worked very hard, but as a full-time mum and wife and keeper of lovely house, and part-time indexer and person-trying-hard-to-get-fit, my time is limited. Some of the things I’ve done have been in the wrong order, or possibly wasted efforts, and others have produced excellent results. In my opinion, at least 😉

Right, shut up, Jo, and show us the numbers! It’s been exactly seven weeks since I uploaded Can’t Live Without to Kindle, and two weeks since I approved the paperback proof at Lightning Source. Here are the figures as they stand:

Number of copies downloaded from Kindle: 159
Number of paperback copies sold (all by hand so far): 21
Number of paperback copies given away as gifts/reviews/promotions: 10
Number of paperback copies taken for stock as sale or return by bookshops: 3

Income
Kindle: £201
Paperback: £160

Expenses
Proofreading: £325
ISBN: £18
Printed and bound proof copy: £21
Photo for cover: £9
First batch of 50 books, including shipping: £169
I was lucky that I got my cover designed for free by my excellent friend Chris Howard, and I also made use of a special offer by Lightning Source which refunded me the set-up fee (this would have been an extra £50).

Overall profit/loss on Can’t Live Without: –£181 (yes, this is still a minus figure!)

So, has it been worth it? Yes! One hundred percent yes. I’m a little way off breaking even, and as you can see if I hadn’t paid for professional proofreading then I would be well into the black by now. But I don’t doubt that I will be into profit soon, and if I’ve learned one thing on my journey so far it’s this: It’s not about the money, it’s about reaching readers.

At this stage in my career as an author, I’m all about building a readership. I’m about producing a great book which readers enjoy (and the reviews have been so encouraging, thanks to everyone for those), and then following up with another great book, and another. And so on. My target is to break even on Can’t Live Without, and to notice how long it takes, and then to try and better that next time.

I hope you find these figures useful – feel free to share your own. Or not 🙂

PS: The paperback is still filtering through the system on Amazon, with their listing changing quite bizarrely every day! If you are after a paperback copy then please contact me directly and I’ll send you one for the list price of £7.99 with free P&P. I’ll even sign it for you 🙂