Self publishing Audit: My first year publishing memoir and poetry on Kindle

Hi,

I’ve just done an audit of my first year in independent publishing. My first two non fiction books were published on March 16th 2017 on the Kindle store.

I hope some of this is useful for you. I am writing this for two types of people. Those interested in an example of memoir sales, and as a reality check for those that think you can make bags of money right after self publishing on Kindle.

I am taking the long-term career approach. I am an amateur with four ebooks and low sales.

I have spent over a year learning, practicing and experimenting. I’m content and delightfully surprised at how well my books have been received.

The bulk of my self publishing lessons came from the Self publishing podcast, Joanna Penn, David Gaughran, The self publishing formula, and Chris Fox’s books. If any of you see this Thank you for sharing information so freely 😊

Karletta.

A digital banner montage of images of self-publishing logos and screenshots.

March 2017 – February 28th 2018

How many non-fiction ebooks did I sell?

Ebooks sold: 98
KENP read: 2.5k

KENP is how many pages were read, when someone subscribed to Kindle Unlimited, borrowed my ebooks.

The books
Four ebooks – two poetry, two memoir. All less than 20k words. They are partly categorised as short reads – books you can read quickly.
My first memoir, about Autistic burn out, is the most popular by far.

A digital banner listing five ebooks by Karletta Abianac

Reviews
There were two reviews. One verified purchaser gave a 5 star. One ARC (Advanced reader copy) reader gave a 4 star. I just checked and the ARC reader’s review has been removed.

Platforms
Blog: 55 followers, Autism FB page: 515 likes (still only getting rare/ low engagements), Twitter: 615 followers, email list: 7 subscribers (no magnet/ free ebook to entice potential readers of my writing)

Royalties (approximates)
AU store $69
US store $115 USD. Received $148 AUD
UK store �37
EUR: $4
CAN: $6
Brazil: 0.54

Print books sold
US: 2
UK: 2
EUR: 1
Only one book is also available for print, published in November 2017.

A lady (Karletta Abianac) with dark hair, standingbin front of white slat blinds. She is holding a soft cover book. It is titled

Repurposed content
Blog posts on my book’s topics: 9, views in 2017: 398
Blog posts on self publishing: 4, views: 98.

(Podcast) Audio blog of readings of my blog posts. Started March 2018. 10 episodes, 2 subscribers, 14 listens.

(Podcast) Audiobook. Started March 2018. Four chapters podcasted, 3 subscribed, 9 listens.

Advertising

How much did I spend on advertising my eBooks?

AMS (Amazon Marketing Services)
Memoirs: $34
Poetry chapbooks: $22.39
Most ads were 0.05c a click, with a one to three dollar a day budget.

Facebook boosted posts: $50-80. I can’t access my insights at the moment. Both computers are broken.

Purchases
Scrivener computer program
Office supplies
Two proof copies posted
Advertising
Computer accessories

I had previously bought a laptop and a desktop computer and an audio editing app for my phone.

Author rank
What were my author and eBook rankings on Kindle?

Entered Kindle at 93k
Highest: 64k
Lowest: 447k
Feb 28th 2018: 294k

My most popular memoir’s ranks
Entered: 141k
Highest: 58k
Lowest: 825k
Feb 28th 2018: 639k

I think that’s a wrap for now on how my first year in publishing went. I am very pleased with how well the books have been received. I was hoping to sell 30 copies of my first memoir.

Two of my books need revising. Both of them were rushed in the end. I had very unstable accommodation for most of the year. I lived in five houses.

A piece of paper withva mind map for brainstorming business ideas.

I wrote a business plan during November 2016. In 2018 I wrote goals for up to 2020. This includes… well to start with, a photography session and redo my books covers. I also want a developmental edit done on at least my second memoir and the one I’m writing now.
Anyway. Too much on my business plan to note here.

I hope you found my statistics useful as a rookie and prawny self publisher!

Karletta

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Further reading

Are you running an informal writing or speaking club?

Are you looking for a how-to-guide to plan, set up, and bump down your physical book launch, writers retreat, or other community, sports or arts event?

Are you looking for small event administration templates?

You can read the Fill in the Gaps guide and fill in your project plans yourself. You can purchase a copy here.