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.