One year and one week ago, I published The Nutcracker King, which marked the start of my self-publishing journey! To be honest, I had intended to write this on the exact date, but I forgot when I started self-publishing. I definitely haven't "made it" (whatever "made it" means), but I do want to write a short post so that when I check back next year, I can see if I've made any improvements or not.
In one year, I managed to publish 3 books - The Nutcracker King, Beauty's Daughter and The School of Anime Characters. In total, I sold 57 books and the breakdown is:
The Nutcracker King: 25 Copies
Beauty's Daughter: 9 Copies
The School of Anime Characters: 23 Characters
Apart from this, I also gave away 582 copies The Nutcracker King, in the hopes that people who read it will like it and go on to buy Beauty's Daughter. And to build up my mailing list.
Even though Beauty's Daughter is the sequel to The Nutcracker King, it hasn't really been selling. I suppose because the stories can sort of standalone, the hook isn't strong enough. I'll have to see what I can do about that, though I'm still waiting for the results for the giveaway (so far, I've had one December sale for Beauty's Daughter, which might be the result of it). In addition, I only started my mailing list recently, which means that I couldn't tell people who enjoyed The Nutcracker King when Beauty's Daughter was out.
Across stores, the breakdown is:
42 books on Amazon (about 74%)
9 on Kobo (about 15%)
6 through Draft2Digital (about 11%)
At this point in time, it might be better to stick only to Amazon, for the KDPS benefits, but I still want to stay wide, purely because I'm from Singapore and I want Singaporeans to be able to buy my books without having to go through extremely complicated methods. (Although it would help if the Apple store in Singapore would sell my books! I don't know why it doesn't even though I distribute to Apple)
Since I'm still a student, I haven't really been able to spend money on marketing. I did manage to try a BKnights promotion, but it moved 0 books. Hopefully, after I start working next year, I'll be able to save up and start investing in marketing and doing regular promotions.
Do I have any regrets self-publishing?
Not at all. I still think this was the right path for me to go on, even if I haven't achieved immediate success. After all, as long as Amazon, Kobo, Apple and the other online stores exist, I still have a platform to sell my books. Time is not really of my concern (although I guess I should start caring more about ranking during the Hot New Releases time period).