I’ve been an indie writer going on five-plus years now and on a whim I decided to try and calculate the number of books I have sold throughout my career. Results were a bit unexpected. Combining my eleven published ebooks with my print versions (when they still existed) I have sold more than 100,000 books. Another 120,000 books have been given away as free promotions. That’s nearly a quarter million copies of my stories circulating the world.
So why aren’t I rich and my name world famous? With those kinds of numbers you’d figure I wouldn’t have to work a conventional job. Excluding that I like having health benefits and a nice retirement portfolio, why aren’t I living off my royalties?
The same technology and global reach provided by the internet also has a few pitfalls. The major one being, my books are electronic. They can be shared. They can be copied. They aren’t tangible materiality. They exist merely in cyberspace. In other words, readers aren’t willing to pay the price for a paperback or hardcopy that they will for an ebook. It’s an ethereal commodity.
I accept these facts and the loss of income from a low royalty rate. I don’t write because I believed it would answer my monetary aspirations and bring me fame, I write because I have too. The inner voice never goes away; never quiets its incessant ranting.
Thousands upon thousands of readers have discovered my stories and the reviews have been overwhelmingly flattering. Yeah, a $3 - $5 dollar royalty per book would be nice, but would readers have purchased my stuff hardbound in a brick and mortar bookstore if the internet and Amazon didn’t exist? It’s a trade-off I’m happy to live with.