in digital publishing, publishing

Digital Publishing Finances: One Month In

publishing.pngThere are days when you just need a different way of looking at things. You know, days when your “real” job resembles an abusive relationship.

This is one of those days for me – but on a much happier note, The Crimson Pact has been out one calendar month. Nine days ago (ish) I talked about the finances one week in.

It wasn’t until I answered some e-mails that I realized what other people were having difficulty seeing. The graph in that post is a good one, even though it slopes down toward a leveling off. I’d gotten so wrapped up in reporting day-by-day values (and per-author) values that I never showed the entire total and the shape of that curve.

So, with the brief note that sales have gone exactly as I expected in the just over a week since, let me show you the shape of the overall earnings curve. (This is in USD, by the way.)


The breakdown of contribution by source are the lower curves, the light blue curve is the total revenue (post-fees). The individual author amounts are smaller due to the number of contributors. But this is a novel-length work, and priced accordingly. Where this becomes interesting is that this pretty dramatically shows:

1) That you don’t pay a percentage for day labor. My cost for converting an eBook, while pricey, would already be paid from the revenues from this book.
2) That income comes slowly. Authors are used to an aggregated payment from publishers, not a drib and a drab. That one to two sales a day at Amazon seriously means something over time… and it looks like it’s still continuing to slowly grow on its own.

Good news indeed.

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  1. Okay, so I can guess what AMZ, B&N, CP#1, and Smash stand for… but what are CD and DL?

    Also, following the recommendations here regarding Webstore software, I checked out the SimpleIPN site. They're now promoting something new called "Upload & Go" instead. It looks legit… have you heard anything about it?

  2. Ah, I should have mentioned (since I left those out of the other graph). DL is download – from the website. CD is when someone buys a physical CD – because there's more overhead. I actually want to talk about the CDs more – because it's a slightly different way of doing things.