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Friday, March 15, 2013

More Honest Talk about Royalties--and the Truth Hurts

I found out earlier this week that my book from last year, Writer for Hire: 101 Secrets to Freelance Success, won ASJA's 2013 Outstanding Book Award in the service/self-help category. What made it especially gratifying is that I've been a judge for the awards before, and the competition is fierce! So I have an extra reason (besides my Irish ancestors) to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this weekend. 

Coincidentally, I just received my latest royalty statement from Writer for Hire. And as a freelancer and author who believes in full disclosure, I'm sharing it here.

However, I have to say the news is pretty disappointing. During the first royalty period, I sold a total of 1,975 copies, including 92 e-books. I made about $0.83/book for the print edition and about $2.37/book for the Kindle edition, for a total of $1,776.43 in royalties. Close to 2,000 copies in the first few months isn't bad for a book like Writer for Hire, and I've been actively promoting the title since then. I expected to sell at least that many copies in the last six months of 2012. 

Well, that's not what happened. Between July 1 and December 31, I sold a total of 652 copies, including 105 e-books. That's not even a third of what I sold in the first royalty period, and it brings my total number of copies sold 2,627 for a book that was released in April, 2012. So far I've produced $2,601.79 in royalties, which still isn't enough to offset my advance--meaning I haven't earned out yet, so I'm not seeing royalty checks yet. 

I wish I had better news to share. I've been promoting the book steadily, but the fact is that no amount of promotion as an author can guarantee that your books will sell, or sell well. I'll continue to market Writer for Hire (and my latest two books, Dollars and Deadlines: Make Money Writing Articles for Print and Online Markets, and Six-Figure Freelancing: The Writer's Guide to Making More Money, Second Edition), because that's what authors do. But sometimes sales figures are downright depressing. 

**Coming next week, an excerpt from Dollars and Deadlines: Make Money Writing Articles for Print and Online Markets, and another giveaway. And if you're a fan of Six-Figure Freelancing, stay tuned--the print version will be published later this month!