With the recent bouts of chest pains, I have found myself in the position of realization. Realization that I may not live long enough to accomplish all that I would like, because my time may be far more limited, than I thought. One thing that helped me realize this(besides the chest pains) was the lack of sales of my most recently published book. Looking at all the numbers made me realize the facts.
Originally when I conceived of writing this, I thought “Let’s not point any fingers” but then I thought why should I protect those who have done nothing for me. They are not supporting me, frankly most of them have never RT’ed a single thing I have posted and almost all of them never RT a link to my book. I owe them nothing. In fact, 80% of my tweets are RTs of my followers, so maybe a few might owe me. So I will not be protecting them.
I also knew when I wrote this article I would have to share some secrets such as how I went from 200 followers to over 7k followers on Twitter in less than 6 months. How I average 50 new followers a day and things of this nature. I knew I would have reveal them in order to back up this statement, I am about to make.
People do not want to pay for ebooks anymore and people do not want to do reviews, even for a FREE book. Any newbie, wanna-be writers out there need to learn, that there is NO money to be made in being an Indie Author.
So let me explain, how I know this for fact and expose one of the biggest lies running around the industry today.
To this day I have made less than $10.00 from Shadow Shifters. Yep, that is all and that is from every site it is sold at. That is while having a minimum of 5500 followers at Twitter(currently at 7700) and followers/fans/subs that total nearly 2k. Every follower at Twitter is a targeted follower. That’s right, every person I followed, I followed because they read and because they read the same genres that I write and read. So nearly 90% of my followers on Twitter should be interested in reading my books. They were already following authors who write the same stuff as me. You see, that is how I found each and every one of them.
So let’s run the numbers with just our targeted audience because we know exactly how many Twitter fans I have. When the book Shadow Shifters went on sale at just 99¢ I had approx. 5500 followers. Now if only 10% of them would have purchased the book, that would have been 550 sold books(keep in mind this audience is targeted) and if only 1% had bought the book I would have sold 55 copies. So even at 1% of a targeted audience, we still are not low enough to reflect my actual sales. In the 2 months and 3 times I have had they book on sale I have sold less than 20 copies to a targeted audience of readers, now totaling over 7700 now. That is somewhere around a .1 to .2% conversion rate. Using that rate, you would have to have an audience of targeted readers of at least 40k followers to make $50.
If you cannot sell your item for next to nothing to audience who likes to buy items exactly like yours, than can mean only one thing, they do not want to pay for your product. Since this product is a book we have to exclude any excuses like, they don’t like it, it does not fit me, or that’s not my thing, since this is a targeted audience.(Keep in mind I am only counting Twitter followers. The percentages would be even lower if every fan, friend, and sub was included)
These numbers are REAL numbers and real numbers do not lie. Thus part of my above statement has been proven to be true. Readers do not want to pay for ebooks.
Over a month ago (aug 21st) I announced a new ARC program for readers. The program is simple, you get the book for free provided you post an honest review when you have finished reading it. To this day(a month and a half later) I have only had 3 people become part of the ARC program. This proves the other part of the above statement, that people do not want to do reviews, not even for a FREE book.
Upon finding myself in this state of realization and having chest pains, I had to come to terms with reality, the truth of the entire situation. I will not live long enough to ever make any kind of living, off something I apparently wasted collage and 35 yrs. doing. I cannot depend on people to actually care enough about my artistic endeavors, to support me. This left me in a extremely uncomfortable position.
You see, knowing that I am most likely going to die before ever making a living, doing what I was born to do, forced me into making some hard decisions. The first of those being, no more book sales. I cannot put a book on sale when I do not know if there is going to be anything positive to come from it and possibly die leaving the book priced that low. It is one thing for me to have to accept this truth. It is another for my wife to be screwed over after my death by having my book on sale. The second decision is that I have to price my books as if I were going to die any minute. The reason for this is simple. My wife should never have to pay for my mistakes and if she has no idea how to change the prices, then the prices must be set, to where she does not have to worry about how many of my books are being given away at some lower price.
It should be noted that while my chest pains woke me up to the situation, it was the lack of fan support from targeted followers that made me realize just how much I needed to change things.
Now on to the myth, that anyone can make a living off of writing and selling to a targeted audience on Twitter. That is a lie! The only indie authors making any real money are those who had an audience before books went digital or the rare freak accidents that occasionally happen in life.
The truth is often painful. These truths just leave me feeling extremely depressed. But I hope someone out there, actually reads this and decides on a different career path. Then at least one good thing will have come, from all this information shared.