September was a great month. I keep a spreadsheet to track all my sales and tally totals by month and by book, as well as adding up royalties. The last two months have made up almost half of all my sales in the last fifteen months, and in September I made three times more in royalties than I did in all of 2011. Now, while that's not even all that much money, at least compared to a "real job", it is enough money for me to feel at least somewhat legitimized as a writer. Before, when I was making perhaps $10 a month in royalties, writing and self-publishing felt more like an experiment than a second job. Now, making ten or twenty times that in a month, I can say something like "my writing pays my utility bills every month". Someday it might be enough to pay my rent - who knows?
The trends are interesting to see. COMMANDO is easily outselling KILLER INSTINCTS, at a ratio of roughly two to one. COMMANDO is also selling twice as well in the UK as it is in the US, a pattern that started almost as soon as it went on sale and has continued ever since. I'm also seeing more sales in general in the UK, and I'm attributing that to both COMMANDO and my book promotions.
Speaking of which, in September I switched all my titles over to Kindle Select. It means I can't sell the ebooks anywhere other than Amazon, but since I hadn't been doing that anyhow, I didn't really care. Honestly, I think it's worth it to have those free promotion days. Being able to get hundreds of copies of your work into people's hands for free might seem foolish because you don't make any money off of it, but the potential word of mouth, plus the way that those "purchases" populate Amazon's "also bought" algorithms, makes it worthwhile in my book.
The biggest thing I've learned in the last two months is that my next project needs to be a second COMMANDO novel. Not only will this mean that those people who read the first book (and liked it) will hopefully buy the second, but I think it will lend legitimacy to the series to actually have, you know, more than one book, and I think that will help attract new readers. Right now my tentative schedule is to have the second book, Operation Bedlam, out in January. Gotta earn off of all those holiday Kindle reader gifts and Amazon gift cards...