Six Months of POD Sales: An In-Depth Look

This post, by Kelly James-Enger, originally appeared on her Dollars and Deadlines blog on 4/24/11.

Last year I made the leap from a traditionally published girl to POD. I had strong reasons for doing so, but had no idea of what to expect in terms of actual sales. (For point of comparison, I sold about 4,600 copies of Six-Figure Freelancing the first six months after it was published–not bad at all. However, sales after that first six-month period slackened, and I have yet to earn out–though I think I will in the next three years or so.)

After considering a number of possible POD options, I chose CreateSpace for several reasons, including the overall cost, the services it provides, and its ability to turn my book around on an expedited schedule. I spent about $650 upfront (not including the cost of a proofreader, who I hired on my own) for layout, cover and interior design, and limited distribution of Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks: The Writer’s Guide to Making Money Ghostwriting and Coauthoring Books. Obviously I want to recoup my investment, make a profit on the book, and eventually attract more ghostwriting clients as well.

And how do I do that? By selling the book to readers. But I admit that the first six months fell a bit short of my expectations. In the first six months since the book was published in October, 2010, I’ve sold the following:

October, 2010 24 print copies/5 Kindle editions (including one at 35%)
November, 2010 12 print copies/3 Kindle editions
December, 2010 12 print copies/3 Kindle editions
January, 2011 1 print copy/5 Kindle editions
February, 2011 15 print copies (including 3 expanded distribution)/4 Kindle editions
March, 2011 19 print copies (including 4 expanded edition)/6 Kindle editions

That makes 83 print copies (including those sold through expanded distribution) and 26 Kindle editions, for a total of 109 copies in the first six months. Not quite the numbers I was hoping for, but considering that most POD books average this number of total sales, I’m considering it just the beginning.


Read the rest of the post, which goes on to talk dollars and cents, on Kelly James-Enger’s Dollars and Deadlines blog.