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Friday, September 21, 2012

First Anniversary

I joined the Indie Romance Ink a year ago, mostly out of curiosity, to verify the rumor that well-known authors were now self-publishing. I read every email, checked every link, and took notes. A month later I was convinced indie publishing was worth trying.

Gathering my courage, I asked my publisher to revert my author’s rights for one of my books that didn’t do too well in sales but received great reviews and was a finalist in the Eppy contest.

I re-titled it NO MORE LIES, and then created the book cover, and spent days formatting for Smashwords and Amazon. A price $0.99 seemed adequate for my first trial at indie publishing. Uploaded on October 2012, the book sold 54 copies on Amazon and 3 on Smashwords. In November, I uploaded a new book that was never published, RIGHT NAME, WRONG MAN, and sold 96 copies in November and 76 in December for both books.

When Amazon started the KDP select program I signed in both books and withdrew them from Smashwords. On January 19—my birthday— I put NO MORE LIES in the Free Promotion. Pixel of Ink picked it up. I couldn’t believe my eyes when the downloads multiply themselves up to 45,000 in three days. Would there be enough readers to buy the book!

NO MORE LIES hit #1 in Contemporary Romance. Encouraged by this result, I entered RIGHT NAME, WRONG MAN in the KDP Select, and published BABIES IN THE BARGAIN in January, then SAILING WITH YOU in March, and more recently NEIGHBORS AND MORE in August 2012.
In one year, I sold a total of 54,000 ebooks. I never reached a NY or USA bestselling status, but I can’t complain. Self-publishing exceeded my expectation.

Jan: 7,819;
Feb: 15,198;
Mar: 10,460;
Apr: 6,768
May: 4,299;
Jun: 3,241;
Jul: 2,912;
Aug: 3,053

As you can see sales soared during the winter months, slowly decreased over the spring and were pathetic during the summer.

Here are the statistics by title:
NO MORE LIES: 14,239

Being a shy person, I hesitated a lot before going public with my statistics, but maybe my journey, efforts, and results can help other writers.


  1. That's fantastic, Mona. I just finished reading 'Neighbors and More' and I can see why you're so successful.

    'Her Greek Romance' and 'No More Lies' are on my TRB pile.

  2. Very, very helpful blog, Mona. Thanks so much for sharing. I'm not a bit surprised by your success.

  3. Congratulations, Mona! This is an amazing success story. You took the plunge and now you're in the 50K club. Yay!!!

  4. Wonderful numbers, Mona. Thanks for sharing. I'm so pleased you've had such a successful first year as an indie published author. I'm not surprised your books have done so well. I've enjoyed reading every one of them.

  5. Congratulations! Just listed one of my books in the Select program. Hopefully I'll be able to see numbers like yours!

  6. Mona, these are awesome numbers Congratulations!!! And thanks for sharing.

  7. Hi Mona!
    Thank you for sharing your very specific numbers. I hope you provide them to the Show Me the Money lady who wants indie numbers too.
    Here's my question. You said you put your book in the free promotional thing and that's when your numbers soared. Okay - so how many of the numbers you've shown are books that sold for 99C and how many are the free ones? This is the part that I am not grasping.
    It's fabulous that so many people have read your books now! Congratulations.

  8. Hi Roxy, so glad to hear you're enjoying Neighbors and More. Please don't forget to write a review. It's our bread and butter-- or at least it's the butter on the bread.

  9. Hi Josie, I'm glad you find this report useful.

  10. Ho Kristine. I didn'tknow there was a 50K club, but YES! I want to be part of it!

  11. Hi Helen, thank you for the continuous help and support. I'm so glad the hard work brought good results.

  12. JM wishing you a lot of success in the KDP program.

  13. Mona--you definitely got my attention! Wow, that is fantastic. And it sure does pay off to have multiple books. That's what we're always told, isn't it? Write a book, publish it, and before the day is out, begin another book. You have proved that true. I'm proud of you--now...to work up my courage to possibly try one. At least I know who to call on for advice.

  14. Thank you Donnell. Things have slowed down in summer. I hope they will pick up now that the kids are in school and the mothers have more time to read.

  15. Lynn, the numbers I show are all sales for 99 cents, with a few at $2.99. The free downloads are not mentioned here, except the first time for No More Lies that brought about 45,000 downloads. After that I did about eight KDP promotions that brought between 7,000 and 15,000 free downloads for each title.

    In spite of providing a fabulous visibility, the free downloads are not so important on their own. It's the shower of sales that follows that really counts. Even if the sales have decreased now, they are still better than my previous situation with my publishers.

    1. Thank you for clarifying this, Mona. Wow, this is great news, and I'm glad you've had such great success. All of your hard work has paid off. :)

  16. Celia, you did very well with your Dimes novels. I'm sure you'll be successful with an indie adventure.

  17. Congratulations, Mona! Those are wonderful numbers for some wonderful books! Thank you for sharing. What a difference a year can make, huh? :)

  18. Very helpful...and inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Norah, I owe you many thanks for helping me with the uploads. A good deed is never lost.

  20. Hi Mara, I was about to give up on publishing as my books seem to garner good reviews but were stagnating in term of sales. Indie publishing was my last hope. I am glad I didn't give up.

  21. Congrats on your Indie Journey and thanks for sharing your numbers with us!

    Makes me re-think KDP Select which I never did.
    My sales are decent - 11,000 ( 2 books in Oct/Nov then 1 novella released in June) in a year. Maybe with my next title...

  22. Hi Liz, the good thing is that we can always shift back and forth,upload, then correct, and upload again. I love the flexibility at amazon.com

  23. Congrats, Mona! (We met back with TWRP) I love your numbers! I've been indie for a year in July and I haven't taken the time to add my numbers. I should do that. :)

  24. Thank you, Stacey. I remember you well. Yes add your numbers and share, please.

  25. Mona - this is very encouraging! thanks for posting.

  26. Congratulations, Mona! And thanks for posting your experience with Indie publishing.
    Debbie Andrews

  27. Thank you for sharing and inspiring those of us considering self-publication. Very much appreciated Mona!!

  28. Thanks for sharing, Mona. Not many authors would do that!

    Morgan Mandel