If you are a self-published author, how many copies should you aim to sell? How to publish a book and remain happy by managing expectations.
When I lived in Germany, trying to get my second book published, I was friends with a German author. I was rather jealous of him: he had written four novels, all published commercially.
But he was not happy.
‘My publishers don’t know how to publish a book,’ he would say. ‘They simply publish them and forget about them. I keep trying different publishers, but they are all the same.’
I asked how many novels he had sold. He told me he had never sold more than 600 copies of a novel.
I thought of my friend when I self-published my first novel, “Blood Summit“. I set a target of selling 600 copies. How did I do?
The first year, I sold 246 copies. The number includes on-line through Amazon, and copies I bought myself from Amazon and sold at readings. But it excludes copies I have given away. The second year, I sold 169 copies. The third year, I sold 143 copies. The total? 558 copies.
This is good news, as it means that I am within striking distance of 600 copies. It also means that I have sold comfortably more copies than I have friends. Whether I should celebrate having well less than 600 friends, I am not so sure.
Does writing make you rich? Not yet, in my case. But the sales do cover the cost of paper, ink and cover design.
I hope to sell my 600th copy of Blood Summit this year. If you want to help, please click on the book cover above to buy at Amazon, or if you live in Vienna, visit the wonderful Shakespeare & Co, who stock Blood Summit together with my books Seven Hotel Stories and Corona Crime.
Happy reading. Feel free to browse this blog for more writing tips or check out the post on this site: Writing tips: seven ways to improve your manuscript and edit your novel.