May was an interesting month. Technically, May 2010 is my best sales month, ever. For art, for books, the best, ever. Which is awesome. Before I get to the awesome parts, here’s the normal stuff, the (mostly-) free: In May I sold 1 copy of Dragons’ Truth for kindle, netting $2.28. As I mentioned a couple months ago, I put up a Smashwords coupon code so people can get Cheating, Death for free (instead of direct links to download the eBook files, which I have for all my other free eBooks). In May 2 people took advantage of that. I’ll detail paper book sales later.
Here are the eBook and Podiobook download numbers (including above eBooks estimates), as usual giving the total of eBook downloads, the total of Podiobook downloads, and the more-accurate (re: # of people who dl’d a full book) total downloads of the final episodes of each Podiobook, as: eBook/total-PB/final-PB
- Lost and Not Found: 65 / 1342 / 61
- Dragons’ Truth: 133 / 934 / 102
- Forget What You Can’t Remember: 102 / 3032 / 90
- Untrue Tales… Book One: 91 / 3771 / 332
- Untrue Tales… Book Two: 89 / 3493 / 247
- Untrue Tales… Book Three: 93 / 1841 / 159
- Cheating, Death: 2 / 3176 / 229
- Lost and Not Found – Director’s Cut: 0 / 909 / 89
- Total for all titles: 575 / 17,589 / 1,220
- Total YTD: 2,595 / 109,990 / 7,800
- Total all-time: 11,017 / 290,091 / 18,919
What this looks like, in case you didn’t just look at April’s numbers, is a slight drop in dl rates of most of the Podiobooks and a slight increase in most of the dl rates of the eBooks. The Untrue Tales… Book One & Lost and Not Found – Director’s Cut Podiobooks held steady, and the Lost and Not Found eBook dropped off. I can guess the latter is because the Director’s Cut is quite visible on modernevil.com, and is new on Podiobooks.com. It also looks like I’ve probably (in the last couple days) passed the 30,000 downloads point (across eBooks & “finished” Podiobooks, for 8+ distinct books), which is a nice-looking round number. I’ll probably also pass 300,000 Podiobooks episodes downloaded some time this month. Not anywhere near Scott Sigler’s numbers, or Nathan Lowell’s, but numbers I’m pretty happy with.
I have a new Podiobook launching in a couple of days; the short story collection More Lost Memories, which has been out a year and a half in paperback and all but one story of which has already run on the Modern Evil Podcast. It’ll run for the next couple of months and then I’ll start running the audio version of Time, emiT, and Time Again there. (TeaTA begins on MEPod in 3 weeks.) Each new Podiobook means the “Total all-time” numbers just go up faster and faster, both simply because there are more episodes to be downloaded, but also because (generally) people who try one are likely to try all the others, and the more they like them the more likely they are to share them.
Moving on to actual sales: First, you already know about the great success I had with my first attempt at a Kickstarter fundraiser. The fundraiser ended (and the pledges were transfered to me) on May 15th. The big pledge is $500 and I’m counting it as art sales (since the $500 reward level included ‘everything below’ and a single piece of original art, and the ‘everything below’ reward level was much lower at only $150). I’ve never made $500+ in art sales in a single month. (Even if you want to only count $350 toward art, since the other rewards are all related to the book, I haven’t made $350+ in art sales in a single month since moving back to Phoenix in ’04. (My records for sales in Pine are … effectively non-existent.)) Best art sales month, ever.
My other two backers pledged $15 each for copies of the TeaTA paperback & a chapbook & eBook. That’s $30 for 2 (or six, if you want to count them that way) books.
Also in May (last weekend) was the Phoenix Comicon 2010, at which I was a ‘Small Press’ exhibitor. I had all my books with me, prominently breaking them up into genres (heh) of ‘Science Fiction’, ‘Fantasy’, ‘Horror’, and ‘Poetry’ (in the back corner). I also had the little zombie I’d crocheted, priced at $55, as a sort of mascot to sit next to the stacks of Cheating, Death. The zombie sold Saturday, along with a copy of the book, which was awesome. (The zombie sale counts as art, bring the total art sales for May to $555, by the way.) Here are my total sales (all paperback, except where noted):
- Lost and Not Found: 0 / $0
- Dragons’ Truth: 4 / $49
- Dragons’ Truth MP3 CD: 1 / $13
- Forget What You Can’t Remember: 5 / $70
- More Lost Memories: 0 / $0
- MLM/Pay Attention chapbook: 1 / $2
- Untrue Tales… Book One: 1 / $12
- Untrue Tales… Book Two: 0 / $0
- Untrue Tales… Book Three: 0 / $0
- Untrue Tales… Books 1-3 (combined): 8 / $200
- Cheating, Death: 6 (plus 2 given away, 1 to Wil Wheaton) / $55
- Lost and Not Found – Director’s Cut: 1 / $10
- Total Comicon book sales: 27 / $411
I have never had $411 in book sales in a single month before. Actually, with the sale of another copy of LaNF-DC prior to Comicon, the TeaTA sales, wholesale sales of 3 books (2 Untrue Tales… Books 1-3 (combined) & 1 Cheating, Death; $14.82 total net) and eBook sales, my total book sales for the month were $468.10. Best book sales month, ever, and it compares pretty favorably with the total book sales I reported on this blog for the whole of 2009 ($503.39). I suppose I’d better sign up for a table at the 2011 Phoenix Comicon.
Two very successful projects came to fruition in May, and they pretty fairly secure profitability for Modern Evil Press for the remainder of the year, barring unforeseen expenses (or, if/when I return to the Art Walk this Fall, even worse sales than before). More importantly, they give me hope for the ongoing financial viability of Modern Evil Press. Thirty-four books doesn’t come close to the sales volume most other authors and publishers would consider “successful” for a month’s work. It does exceed the goal I set last time I bothered trying to set a sales goal; that if I could sell at least one thing per day, on average, Modern Evil Press would be financially viable, and more than successful. Since I’m not planning on doing any in-person sales for the next 3-4 months, I expect much lower sales numbers for a while. Still, I believe I’m on the right track, and things are looking good.