The Life Cycle of Indie Books

Mark Coker, owner of Smashwords, says that indie books’ sales rise and peak for a 3 to 6 months period, reaches a tableau and then climbs down rapidly. He uses this as a very convincing ‘pro’ argument to publish as an independent writer. That’s a lot of bull…

Common knowledge, among indie writers, says that a indie book’s sales expectancy is about 100 copies sold and, well, that’s about it. Baloney.

From my personal experience, I would say that the life cycle of my books is TWO days and perhaps 7 or 8 copies sold… all to the same people who bought the previous release (online friends and the two or three fans I seem to have gleaned during the past five years or so)

That’s what just happened to my latest book, Hector’s Tale: 7 copies sold.

Aftermath: Episode 2: 10 copies sold.

Aftermath and Other Z-shorts: 20 copies sold

The Karaoke Duo: 12 copies sold.

Does a pattern seem to emerge here? In appearance, the more I write, the less I sell.

In other words, I’m busting my chops for six months to write, edit, do the covers, edit some more, write the blurbs, edit again (until I start hallucinating about little green dwarves that urinate gasoline in the corners of my room… ooopsie! Did I write that aloud?… I guess I just did!) and then walk 15 miles to the nearest cybercafé and upload the book to Amazon and Smashword… just to earn two measly bucks?!?! (in the case of the 99 cents e-books; maybe 16 bucks with the $2.99 ones).

Sometimes, I just wonder about this writing thing. Is it worth it?

Please, spare me the encouraging comments… I don’t feel like hearing them…

Edwin Stark

Signing Off


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