Apropos of my last post about ebook sales in 2013, there is one fact I would like to mention since it illustrates the point of my last post so perfectly – in January of 2014, my book THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS (the 4th and final book of my THE TOWER OF ENDLESS WORLDS series) sold its 1,000th copy since I published it in June of 2012.
I would like to thank everyone who bought and enjoyed the book. Additionally, I think that is really remarkable, for reasons I shall explain below.
I wrote THE TOWER OF ENDLESS WORLDS series in its entirety in 2003, and found a publisher for the first book in 2004. Due to a variety of circumstances, the book did not come out until 2008, and did not sell very well. I received just enough in royalties to buy a Big Mac. Needless to say, the publisher was not interested in the subsequent volumes.
So when the Kindle came along, I got the rights to the first book back, and published the entire series in June of 2012. Compared to some of my other books, it has not sold that well – GHOST IN THE SURGE did 1,000 copies in a single month – but I’ve given away thousands of copies of the first book for free, and each of the subsequent books has sold over 1,000 copies.
Think about that. That means over one thousand people read THE TOWER OF ENDLESS WORLDS for free, and liked it enough to spend $9 to buy the remaining three books in the series and read the adventures of Ally Wester and Arran Belphon and Thomas Wycliffe all the way through to the end. Obviously I’ve made a pleasant bit of money from this, but that’s not the main point – a thousand people have read the series, something which would have been literally impossible under traditional publishing. In fact, I know it is literally impossible, because I tried it in 2008, and saw the results.
So, if you are a new writer, you are infinitely better off self-publishing than attempting the madman’s lottery that is traditional publishing. Unless there is a publisher backing a dump truck full of $100 bills up your driveway (which, as one might expect, happens very rarely) you are better off self-publishing.
Which would you rather have? An agent’s “send me the rest of the manuscript” letter, or a complete stranger who paid $9 to read all three books in the series to the end?