Numbers for 2009 (and 2008)

I’ve spent the last few days gathering numbers and putting them into a spreadsheet. Now I’m going to take a few of them and try to communicate them to you here. The numbers come from several places, representing podcast downloads, eBook downloads, and sales of books and of art. Since I didn’t make a post about it for 2008’s numbers, I’ll probably include some of them as well, for comparison. I’ll try not to turn this post into a spreadsheet, just numbers, but will try to make it more like my usual rambles.

To begin, a snapshot of right now. As of 1/1/2010, I have 13 titles in some form of publication or other. 5 standalone novels, 2 poetry journals, 2 short story collections, 3 books in the Untrue Tales… series and a single edition containing those 3 books. One of the novels (the Lost and Not Found – Director’s Cut) is currently only available as an eBook. One of the short story collections (Time, emiT, and Time Again) isn’t yet finished, but I’ve released one of the short stories that will be contained in it as a standalone chapbook.  The 3 individual Untrue Tales… books aren’t technically “in print”, though I have a few copies, printed by Cafepress & sans ISBN. I am not counting The Vintage Collection, though it is another book I’ve put together, had printed, and sold at one time. (I plan to edit and re-release it at a later date.) Seven of my books are available as podcast audiobooks, and all but the poetry is available as eBooks.

Now. What would you like first, sales numbers, or free download numbers?  Sales numbers you say? Alright, free downloads it is! Early in 2008 I began putting my books online as free PDFs & txt files, and in April of 2008 (shortly after I returned to life as a full-time creative) I put all my novels (Lost and Not Found, Dragons’ Truth, and Untrue Tales… Book One, Book Two, and Book Three) as free eBooks in 7 different formats (PDF, galley-style PDF, txt, rtf, html, mobi, & epub) on modernevil.com, and made them available for sale on Amazon’s kindle. Here are 2008‘s download numbers:

  • Lost and Not Found – 1079 downloads, including 1 paid copy
  • Dragons’ Truth – 961 downloads, including 3 paid copies
  • Untrue Tales… Book 1 – 948 downloads, including 2 paid copies
  • Untrue Tales… Book 2 – 964 downloads, including 1 paid copy
  • Untrue Tales… Book 3 – 897 downloads, including 1 paid copy
  • Total eBook downloads in 2008: 4849
  • Total paid eBook downloads in 2008: 8
  • Total direct revenue from eBooks in 2008: $22.71

Also in 2008, I began podcasting audio versions of my books. In June 2008 I released Dragons’ Truth all at once, and starting in September 2008 I began podcasting Lost and Not Found (finishing in December 2008). Tracking the # of people who have downloaded the podcast audiobooks is more tricky than eBooks, since each book is broken into many files. I’ve gathered data about how many people have downloaded the first episode of each book, as well as the number who have downloaded the last episode of each book. I figure counting downloads of the final episode is a fairly conservative estimate of downloads. Here are the numbers for all of 2008:

  • Dragons’ Truth – 2334 downloads of first, 1271 downloads of last, $9.99 donated
  • Lost and Not Found – 434 downloads of first, 80 downloads of last
  • Total “finished” downloads of audiobooks in 2008: 1351
  • Total direct income from podcast audiobooks (after Podiobooks’ cut) for 2008: $7.49

On 1/1/2009, I published two new books, Forget What You Can’t Remember and More Lost Memories. I began podcasting Forget What You Can’t Remember on the same day. It was complete by April, and I started Untrue Tales… Book One the next week. Book One was complete in June, Book Two ran from July to September, and Book Three ran from September to November. In September/October I wrote a new novel, Cheating, Death, publishing it as an eBook for sale while I was still writing it. Cheating, Death was in print by 10/31 and began podcasting on Friday, 11/13/09 (finishing 12/25/09). For the eBooks, I decided to treat Forget What You Can’t Remember like my other novels, and made it available as a free eBook in 9 formats (I added .lrf & .pdb) and for sale on Amazon’s kindle. Starting in January I also began putting my eBooks up for sale on Smashwords.com, beginning with Forget What You Can’t Remember. Then I decided to make More Lost Memories free only by direct request, and for sale (as a whole & with 7 of its 9 stories available individually for $0.99 each) on kindle and at Smashwords. When Cheating, Death came out, I put it up for sale and again said I’d give a free copy of the eBook to anyone who asked. (So far, only book bloggers have asked, and I sent quite a few of them free paper copies as well.) At the end of November I threw together the Lost and Not Found – Director’s Cut and put it up for sale as an eBook on the kindle and at Smashwords. Here are the numbers for all of 2009‘s eBook downloads, with for-pay-only titles in italics:

  • Lost and Not Found – 506 downloads, 5 of them paid
  • Dragons’ Truth – 609 downloads, 7 of them paid
  • Forget What You Can’t Remember – 735 downloads, 13 of them paid
  • Untrue Tales… Book One – 587 downloads, 4 of them paid
  • Untrue Tales… Book Two – 562 downloads, 3 of them paid
  • Untrue Tales… Book Three – 553 downloads, 1 of them paid
  • Cheating, Death – 8 downloads
  • More Lost Memories – 13 downloads, 7 of them the individual stories
  • Lost and Not Found – Director’s Cut – 0 downloads
  • Total eBook downloads in 2009: 3573
  • Total paid eBook downloads in 2009: 54
  • Total direct revenue from eBooks in 2009: $65.17

And here are 2009‘s podcast/audiobook download numbers:

  • Dragons’ Truth – 3231 downloads of first, 1616 downloads of last
  • Lost and Not Found – 1523 downloads of first, 926 downloads of last
  • Forget What You Can’t Remember – 2711 downloads of first, 1150 downloads of last
  • Untrue Tales… Book One – 5006 downloads of first, 2865 downloads of last, $10 donated
  • Untrue Tales… Book Two – 5173 downloads of first, 1843 downloads of last, $10 donated
  • Untrue Tales… Book Three – 1890 downloads of first, 1002 downloads of last
  • Cheating, Death – 1786 downloads of first, 366 downloads of last
  • Total “finished” downloads of audiobooks in 2009: 9768
  • Total direct income from podcast audiobooks (after Podiobooks’ cut) for 2009: $15

Of note, the 366 downloads of the final episode of Cheating, Death actually occurred in a period of 4 days (I put it on my feed on Christmas, but it wasn’t on Podiobooks.com until the 28th). Speaking of my feed… I don’t have nearly as good of statistics for the Modern Evil Podcast as I do for the Podiobooks.com versions of my books. PodPress gives me total downloads of each file I put in the feed, and tracks how many are dl’d via the feed, direct from the site, and played through the flash-based player embedded in each post, but unless I’d been copying them out at the end of each month/year… I don’t know any way to get good breakdowns. Not to mention the number of downloads of each episode of MEPod vary wildly from one to the next. I’ve been putting all my novels into the feed, as well as quite a bit of poetry and some short fiction. Yet even when I put an entire novel up, one chapter after another uninterrupted, the numbers don’t make sense; most of my novels show more people downloaded the final chapter/episode than any other in the book. There are patterns like … the first few and last couple chapters of each book get downloaded several times more times than the others, even in the “feed” – which would mean someone (a lot of someones, actually – hundreds in some cases) had subscribed to the podcast & then selectively downloaded only a few parts of each book.

As far as numbers go, the Modern Evil Podcast seems to run at around …. 30 regular subscribers (ie: consistent & immediate feed downloads) but individual episodes tend to get downloaded… around one to two hundred times each… over time. With wild variations, as stated. Overall I might estimate that the Modern Evil Podcast has contributed an additional … perhaps 1000 finished podcast audiobook downloads to my total… including both 2008 & 2009 numbers together, since PodPress doesn’t break them out. But enough of the free download counts, let us move on to the money:

Beginning, again, with 2008, when I had 2 standalone novels, 2 poetry collections, and the 3 Untrue Tales… books plus the collected edition, for all of 2008 I sold:

  • Lost and Not Found – 10 paperbacks by hand, 1 eBook: 11 copies for $143.11
  • Dragons’ Truth – 3 paperbacks by hand, 3 eBooks, 1 giveaway: 7 copies for $47.74
  • Untrue Tales Books 1-3 combined – 2 paperbacks by hand: 2 copies for $49.99
  • Untrue Tales… Book One – 2 paperbacks by hand, 2 eBooks, 1 giveaway: 5 copies for $27.40
  • Untrue Tales… Book Two – 1 paperback by hand, 1 eBook: 2 copies for $14.70
  • Untrue Tales… Book Three – 1 eBook: 1 copy for $2.70
  • Worth 1k — Volume 1 – 1 paperback by hand: 1 copy for $9.99
  • Worth 1k — Volume 2 – 2 paperbacks by hand: 2 copies for $19.99
  • Total copies sold of all titles: 31
  • Total income from book sales in 2008: $315.62
  • Paintings sold in 2008: 13 paintings & 5 mini-paintings: 18 original works of art for $1384
  • Total from sales of books + art combined in 2008: $1699.62

In 2009 I added 2 novels, a short story collection, and some chapbooks; for all of 2009 I sold:

  • Lost and Not Found – 4 paperbacks by hand, 3 paperbacks wholesale, 2 eBooks, 3 giveaways: 12 copies for $72.43
  • Dragons’ Truth – 1 paperback by hand, 1 audiobook on CD by hand, 4 eBooks, 4 giveaways: 10 copies for $42.60
  • Forget What You Can’t Remember – 9 paperbacks by hand, 8 paperbacks wholesale, 9 eBooks, 18 giveaways: 44 copies for $153.98
  • Untrue Tales Books 1-3 combines – 0 copies for $0
  • Untrue Tales… Book One – 4 eBooks: 4 copies for $5.86
  • Untrue Tales… Book Two – 3 eBooks: 3 copies for 3.23
  • Untrue Tales… Book Three – 1 eBook: 1 copy for $0.53
  • Cheating, Death – 6 paperbacks by hand, 6 paperbacks wholesale, 4 eBooks, 15 giveaways: 31 copies for $83.40
  • More Lost Memories (full) – 8 paperbacks by hand, 5 paperbacks wholesale, 3 eBooks, 8 giveaways: 24 copies for $110.82
  • More Lost Memories (individual stories) – 5 chapbooks by hand, 6 eBooks: 11 copies for $12.54
  • Time, emiT, and Time Again (individual stories) – 4 chapbooks by hand: 4 copies for $8.00
  • Lost and Not Found – Director’s Cut – 0 copies for $0
  • Worth 1k — Volume 1 – 1 paperback by hand: 1 copy for $10.00
  • Worth 1k — Volume 2 – 0 copies for $0
  • Total copies sold of all titles in 2009: 145
  • Total income from book sales in 2009: $503.39
  • Paintings sold in 2009: 10 paintings & 19 mini-paintings: 29 original works of art for $1074
  • Total from sales of books + art combined in 2009: $1577.39

Not very much, is it?  I also sold a few hand-screen-printed T-Shirts in 2009… but… yeah. So, a few notes: This summer for almost 3 months I reduced the prices of all my eBooks below $2 retail, to see whether volume would increase. Volume of sales did NOT increase. But that’s why, for example, I only earned $0.53 from Untrue Tales… Book Three in 2009; I earned 35% of $1.50. Also, I’ve included giveaway copies here because they’re copies that should have earned money.  I actually have another set of figures that examines the profitability of each individual title (mostly not, so far), but I’ve already put too many numbers into this post. Suffice it to say that for my in-print titles it costs me $200-$375 to get a book set up & to make an initial order of paperback copies (not counting the value of my time at all) and my highest-grossing book to date (Lost and Not Found) has only earned $218.36.  That examination is for another post, at another time.

In fact, I think I’ll save any thoughts/conclusions/analyses of these numbers for a possible future post, as well.  For right now, this is it.

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Teel

Author, artist, romantic, insomniac, exorcist, creative visionary, lover, and all-around-crazy-person.