The week that I released Castskinner’s Book I sold seventeen copies of the e-book.
The week that I released Cannibal Hearts I sold eight.
What this tells me is that, far from building a following, I’ve lost one. Evidently most of my initial sales of my first novel were to friends and family who felt motivated to support my first novel, but don’t feel so strongly about any subsequent ones.
Sure, I’ve garnered a lot of glowing reviews on the first book, mostly from people who got the book for free. (I have 23 reviews of Catskinner on Amazon–that’s more reviewers than people who actually paid for the book.)
When I compare the amount that I have spent promoting the book versus the sales that I have made, I estimate that I’m about two hundred dollars in the red.
So I’m not going to spend anything promoting Cannibal Hearts. I can’t afford to.
Meanwhile, this year’s Hugo Award has been given to a Star Trek fanfic written by the president of the SFWA–coincidentally the organization that gives out the award.
Over the past year I have tried to follow the advice of successful self-published authors and treat my writing as a business. The net result is that I lost a lot of money and learned to absolutely hate to write. I can’t even stand to read for fun any more.