Saturday, January 14, 2012

1 Year ebook Stats - over 30,000 sold!

Well it's been a year since I published Monkey & Croc on Barnes and Noble's Pubit site and just short of a year for Tickle Bugs and Pollywog to Frog. I thought I'd share my stats because I know that a lot of people are trying to decide whether or not to go this route (pros and cons). The following only reflects my sales on Pubit but not on Amazon or itunes where I also sell these ebooks. My Amazon sales are finally taking off with the new Kindle Fire.

Below you can see today's stats - the "Publisher Revenue Due" is my money as I am the publisher. These stats update in real time and I can login and check them anytime I want. Amazon and itunes works the same way. Christmas tablet sales and ebook purchases are definitely up from where they were a few months back. A typical day back in august was only $10 - $20/day but today - over 50 bucks.


Below you'll notice the header "This Month's Sales Activity" about $500. This reflects this months sales from January 1st - 12th. It looks like this month is on track to break $1000.00. This month is actually not included in the 12 months on the right. All of the retail sites keep you a few months behind on payments so while I can see the reports I've actually not been paid for the past two months. Also if you look on the list - March 2011 is the payment date but those sales occurred in January which I wrote in red. This makes more sense when you look at the increase in sales from Jan 2012 - Feb 2012 - These sales happened this past December. I wonder how long these books will continue to sell?


I spent a total of about 2 months on all three books (1 month for Monkey & Croc and 2 weeks for each of the others) so this can give you an idea of the time/money ratio. I think I was actually very lucky in that I was early to market. These books were mostly an experiment into the world of electronic publishing. I didn't want to spend too much time on them because I was worried that they wouldn't earn any royalties. Here's what I've learned and what I'm doing different now-

My books suffer for the following reasons:
1. Poor formating (no SDK issued to individual developers)
2. No interactivity - what consumers are mostly looking for right now.
3. Mediocre writing - I'm still learning this craft and need much more practice!

What I'm doing now-
1. Developing for the iPad - nuts on trying to work with companies that want to favor large publishers - let them roll the dice and miss out on what small companies can create.
2. Interactivity that is integral to the story or activity - I'm not into making -this wiggle or -that squeak - if it needs to move it will - if it needs to make noise let it roar!
3. Collaboration with professional writers and IOS developers - right now I'm working with the amazing Rick Walton and Mike Bohman.

In the end I think you have to create gold - pure and simple. If you want your ebook or app to gain momentum it has to be great. I believe it has to have great writing or a great idea or both. It also needs to have art that is a good fit for the story. And it needs to have good programing - I don't know if interactivity is more popular now and will become less important later or vice versa but for now I get bad ratings for not having moving parts. Basically you need to create the equivalent of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" or "Where The Wild Things Are" - something that people will want to share with their friends and review sites like Kirkus will champion.

24 comments:

  1. Impressive! I am always impressed by your marketing/business ideas on top of your talent. I think this is a challenge to many artists... swithching roles/gears when the real desire is to be creating in the studio.

    I just purchased the latest version of Quark and noticed that one of the deliverables is more ipad and market apps/epubs, so this is certainly worth looking into.

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  2. CONGRATULATIONS WILL!!! This is sooooo incredible. It sounds like your new app is going to be amazing. It's wonderful to know that your other books are doing so well! Thank you for sharing this with us.

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  3. Kari and I have also seen a huge increase in sales over the Christmas holidays.

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  4. This is very encouraging. I really want to do my own ebook and this is very helpful to know. Great work!

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  5. Thanks again for sharing your experience and insights Will!

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  6. This is awesome Will. I like that you included what you've learned also. Good things to know for future endeavors. Congrats!

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  7. Thanks for sharing Will. It's very motivational to see the success of another.

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  8. Thanks for having the balls to put your stats out there for everyone to see.
    You're a good man, Will Terry.
    Congrats and here's to continued success!

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  9. Thanks you guys! Yes Lisa - making these files will get easier over time...which will also make the market more competitive...which is why these little productions have to be high quality...which is why I'm working with Rick and Mike... :)

    Thanks Stacy - I like being transparent so nobody will feel like I'm all hype. This isn't a ton of money but I think these numbers will help others decide where and how they can fit into this new form of publishing. It's scary showing this stuff because you never know what people will think but heck - you only live once right?

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  10. I have been contemplating this very thing. I'm just unsure about the possibility of doing the app myself, as I have no idea how to do the coding part. Interactive kids books are very intriguing though.

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  11. Thank you for your being so willing to help. It's a scarey new world in publishing., and for most of us, uncharted waters. The advice and stats you post in your blogs is so helpful, it is rare today to find someone that is not scared to show real data and info without the sales pitch. I find what you have been doing inspiration and it is encouraging me to push on and just do it!

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  12. Very curious about how one would approach promoting a self published book.

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  13. Thanks Karen and Franklin! He Crystal - I'll be doing a blog post on promoting your ebook in the not to distant future. I have a lot of other things I have to post first but I'll get to it. I'm actually working it up for a few presentations I have scheduled for the SCBWI.

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  14. I'm with Karen. Will your generosity is not only greatly appreciated but touching. I think we make the world we want to live in, and if that is true, you're welcome in any world of mine. Thank you. Agy Wilson

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  15. Hi Will it feels like you are a very good pal. By your example I will be doing my first e-book. It will be very simple. I have done my thumbnails and wrote it and will check in with your brother-in-law to see how he needs it prepared. The promoting I need to learn and how then next to do moving parts but I am moving and growing thanks to you. You are amazing and I am so grateful I found your blog.

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  16. Will, thanks, along with everyone else, for this valuable, timely piece. You are giving so much to everyone. I am inspired by your innate generosity, as well as by what you impart.

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  17. Thanks, Will. This makes me believe children's illustrated ebooks are possible. I'm still struggling with how to convert from an Indesign file (or PDF) to an ePub file though. Can you tell me how you managed that? I'm a bit perplexed by the ebook readers ability to reformat text, and thus completely change the page layout. For an illustrated book this is disaster, no? Thanks for your help.

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  18. Hey Agy, Dayle, and Elizabeth, when I made the decision to play around with ebooks a year ago I looked for any info I could find on how to go about it. I came up empty. There were blog posts about formatting for a novel but nothing for making a word/picture epub file - that I could find. I'm happy to share because we're all in this together right? - so thank you for your kind words.

    Cheryl - I'm hoping to have a guest blogger explain formatting in more detail really soon. This person recently made her own epub file and her information is much more current and helpful so I'm really hoping to get her on here - check back.

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  19. Have you checked out iBooks Author? It looks Apple-centric, but sounds right handy. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ibooks-author/id490152466?mt=12

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  20. I should have up the post on "how to format your ebook picture book" later today. Working on it as you read this. :-)

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  21. Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u

    E-Publishing

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  22. Thanks for sharing, I will bookmark and be back again



    E Publishing

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  23. Will, how much marketing/publicity time did you put into these books, as opposed to creative time? I'm just curious if you marketed and whether you thought it had an impact. Thanks!

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