Legwarmers, Walkmans, & a Highlander?

Highland warrior meets 1981 career-driven feminist. What could possibly go wrong?

Choosing the Highlander - Ebook

The latest installment in my Highland Wishes series is almost here!

Release day is June 23rd

But pre-ordering is available here:

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | Goodreads

Reserve your e-copy now and it’ll magically appear on your e-reader on release day. No hag stone or ancient stone formation required.

Or, if you prefer print, make sure you’r subscribed to my newsletter, and you’ll get an email on release day. Print copies will be available through CreateSpace, Amazon, & B&N.

This one’s going to be a ton of fun. Connie is a career-focused mechanical engineer from 1981 Chicago. She drives a  Mercedes, listens to Billy Joel, and has no patience for fluffy emotions like love. Her twin sister, Leslie, is the complete opposite, a free-spirited, Wicca-practicing sweetheart whose deepest wish is to see Connie happy.

To celebrate the summer solstice, Leslie takes Connie to an ancient druid site near Inverness, where they are vacationing together. Leslie makes a wish for Connie to find true love and happiness. Next thing Connie knows, she’s transported to a freezing cold winter’s night five hundred years in the past.

Find out how Wilhelm, the strapping Highland warrior, rescues her from a corrupt baron. I’ll give you a hint, it involves fire, swordplay, and a bit of berserker rage.

But that’s just the beginning. Wilhelm rescues Connie, but can he show her that love is stronger than logic and that giving in to passion can prove more satisfying than fulfilling all her modern-day career goals?

This Highlander has his work cut out for him. Fortunately, he’s up to the task. Fall in love with Wilhelm right along with Connie in this 3rd Highland Wishes novel.

Now for some 1980’s fun! Post your favorite 1980’s product, fashion, or memory in the comments to enter for a chance at a free pre-release e-copy of Choosing the Highlander.

My favorite 1980’s fashion is corduroy.

1982girlsclothes

A winner will be picked using a random number generator. Prize will be awarded the week before release (June 15-22).

Share the love using the links below!

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Here, Have an E-book

Highland Wishes Series Gets a Face Lift

Wishing for a Highlander - EbookFree e-books for newsletter subscribers!

Some people celebrate with champagne, some with balloons and confetti. Others go streaking through the quad. I’m celebrating with a face lift and a giveaway. Why?

Because I made the USA Today Bestseller list!

My Passionate Kisses 2 Love in Bloom co-authors and I hit the list in February with our $0.99 boxed set, and we did it in large part thanks to my newsletter subscribers.

Passionate Kisses2 CoverTo show my appreciation for these tried and true super fans, every person subscribed to my newsletter as of the end of the day on April 30th, 2015 gets a free e-book from my Highland Wishes series.

I’ve got shiny new covers for Wishing for a Highlander (Highland Wishes #1) and The Wolf and the Highlander (Highland Wishes #2). I want all of my newsletter subscribers to be able to enjoy an e-book version with a new cover. So… Commence Giveaway!

The Wolf and the Highlander - EbookIf you are a current newsletter subscriber, you should have already received the update I sent out today with the secret deets on how you can get your free e-copy with an updated cover.

If you are not a newsletter subscriber, go ahead and subscribe. If you meet the deadline, I’ll forward you today’s newsletter. But you have to subscribe TODAY (April 30th, 2015) to get your free e-copy.

If you miss the deadline, never fear. My e-books go for about the same as a latte at your favorite coffee house: $3.99. Sometimes I run a sale. The best way to hear about sales and new releases is…you guessed it, subscribing to my newsletter!

I only send a few updates per year, so don’t worry about a deluge of Jessi Gage propaganda.

Once again, THANK YOU! to everyone who bough a $0.99 e-copy of Passionate Kisses 2 Love in Bloom. You all are the best fans a girl could ask for!

Look for a third new cover in June as I get ready for a summer release of book #3 Choosing the Highlander. I can’t wait to introduce you all to younger (and lustier) versions of Wilhelm and Constance, the couple who help Melanie and Darcy when they’re on the run from Steafan.

Thanks for reading! And don’t forget to share using the nifty buttons below!

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BookReport is the Icing on the Cupcake

KDP Analysis For DummiesBRLogo

Don’t get me wrong, I love Excel. Like, I really love Excel. I have difficulty making it through a day without entering something in a spreadsheet (This might require an intervention, but that’s a topic for another post). But it’s nice to have an easy-to-use tool available to help me analyze KDP sales data at a glance. BookReport does just that. Here’s my review after 48 hours of using this analysis tool:

In a nutshell: It’s cool. Is it $10 a month cool? The jury is still out.

In more detail:

You all know I’m a chronic over-sharer. I’ve gotten a record number of blog hits by posting my earnings for my indie Highlander books. Analyzing sales data and making comparisons is vital to writing such posts. Because every retailer reports sales and earnings differently, those of us who like to track these things with anal retentive obsessiveness generally use some kind of spreadsheet system to pool data from various retailers. Some retailers present the information in a more useful way than others.

One of my favorite retailers for reporting sales data is Nook Press. While their sales dashboard doesn’t offer many tools for customization, it does present the data I’m interested in seeing. Here’s a screenshot of what I see when I log onto Nook Press to check on sales:

NookPressSales

At a glance, I get an idea of what’s selling currently, what sales trends look like over time and what my projected royalty will be for the given month. For more detailed data, I just click the “Monthly Sales Reports” button, and voila! I get a spreadsheet I can save in my royalty statements folder and analyze to my heart’s content. Nook press gets an B+ as far as attractiveness and usefulness of their sales dashboard.

Google Play, in my opinion, is the worst. Here’s what I see when I log into GP:

GP1

GP2

First, notice, I had to do two print-screen shots. As a rule of thumb for presenting dashboard information, it’s nice if you can present everything in the area of one screen. Scrolling equals increased work for the author.

Second, notice that total waste-of-space pie chart (or is it a donut chart?) taking up half of the top screen? Why do I need a pie chart to show me which of my books are live or not? Would I be interested in sales data for books I’ve uploaded to GP but not officially put on sale? No. I would not. Because those books wouldn’t be selling. In fact, I can’t imagine the rationale of uploading a book and then just letting it sit there and not earn royalties. I totally don’t get this chart, and therefore it pisses me off. Why is 50% of the dashboard space taken up by it?

Third, the graphics are so basic that I couldn’t even build something this ugly in Excel if I tried. What analysis software are they using, Analytics Steam Age? Come on, Google, you have an amazing search engine. Your e-store is nice looking. Why is the author dashboard tri-chromatic and completely uncreative?

Fourth, to see anything other than what’s shown on this pitiful excuse for a dashboard, I have to make like 8 different selections using drop down menus, including start and end dates, what kind of report I want (all the descriptions are long and convoluted and none include the word “royalties”) and country of sale. Then there’s this write-in “book identifiers” field with no explanation whatsoever. Is this for ISBNs? Titles? Genre? There’s not even a little info-bubble to give me a hint. I have never used this field.

Google Play gets a D-.

Amazon KDP presents a great deal of information. It’s not as pretty as Nook Press’s layout, but the sheer amount of information available results in my giving them an A-. Here’s what I see when I log onto KDP and look at my sales dashboard, which they call “reports”:

KDP3

First, the layout is attractive and easy to navigate. Here’s what you see at the top of the “Reports” tab. You’ve got eight options of screens you can view, each presenting attractive, useful information. I find two of these screens most useful.

1. Sales Dashboard:

KDP1

I like charts and graphs. This line graph shows my daily sales over time so I can see trends. I can use drop-down menus to view sales by individual book or by all books. This is for all books. I can change the x-axis using pretty much any range I want. With an easy click, I can look at a week or two weeks or six months or a year. If I want to do a few more clicks, I can enter a custom range (custom range is all that’s available on Google Play, and it’s a PITA to use).

One problem with this view is that I can’t get a line for each book. That would be very cool. I also can’t compare groups of books. I sell Highlander time-travel romances and I sell contemporary romances. It would be neat to compare trends for these two groups.

2. Month to Date Unit Sales

KDP2

This is the other view I use a lot on KDP. At a glance, I can see what I’ve sold in a given month.

While there is a lot of clicking around on KDP to gather sundry information, it’s nice to have so much data at my fingertips. I mentioned a couple problems with KDP’s reporting, and that’s where the real meat of this post comes in.

My Passionate Kisses 2 Love in Bloom co-author Allie Boniface let me know about some cool software she saw on the Indie Romance Ink author’s chat loop (Yahoo group for info exchange). It’s this script you run from your Amazon KDP reports dashboard that presents your KDP sales data in a more user-friendly way.

I was a little skeptical about it (a) because I don’t really speak “computer” and the phrase “script you run” sounded complicated and (b) because KDP is already one of the better data reporters. I wasn’t sure how it would be improved upon.

But since there’s a 2-week free trial, I decided to give it a shot. I am a data freak, after all.

First, let me say, it was super easy to install. I just went here and followed the four-step instructions. It was actually so easy, I laughed. Seriously. Anyone can do this.

Here’s how it transformed my KDP reports dashboard:

BR2

First, notice I included my bookmark bar in this screen shot. See the little “Book Report” button? That’s what I installed. To use it, you go to your KDP reports page and click that button on your bookmark bar. (Note: if you don’t have a bookmark bar, don’t despair. There are instructions for you too. Also, this software works for Mac, PC, tablet, whatever you have.)

Next, It’s pretty. BookReport (BR) understands that authors are egomaniacs, so they put the covers of your bestselling titles right there at the top. Just for that, I give them an easy A. It also combines info from several KDP screens in one place. I can see not only my daily number of sales on this screen, but I can also see how much I’m making that day.

Similar to KDP, where you can click around to various screens, BR has screens accessible by tabs. Here’s the History tab:

BR3

BR4

It’s two screen’s worth of information, but I forgive BR for making me scroll because they present useful information in an attractive way. Using the nifty drop-down menus, you can view your sales history by an assortment of pre-programmed time frames, including a fortnight (bonus points for cuteness).

Also, PRETTY COLORS!

Now for my favorite BR feature. Here’s what I see when I click the “Compare” tab:

BR5

So, what in the world is Group 1 & Group 2? Group 1 represents my Highlander romances. Group 2 represents my contemporary romances.

None of the retailers make it easy to compare sales for book against book or for groups of books. To do that, you have to dig into the downloadable reports and do some fancy finger work. That’s why the “Compare” tab is where I find the most value in BR.

Now, I did have a little SNAFU. I have two KDP publishing accounts, one for my books and one for the boxed set I’m part of, for which I do the accounting. It’s important to keep the boxed set separate from my personal publishing account, because retailers don’t distinguish between books when they pay you. They just send you the lump sum of what you earned for each marketplace/store. I get between nine and twelve payments from Amazon each month PER publisher account. If I didn’t keep my accounts separate, I would have to open around 20 files each month and dissect out what royalty I need to distribute to my boxed set co-authors. I have enough trouble getting it right each month without twenty added complications (ask my very patient co-authors, they will confirm this!).

So… I wanted to use BR for each account just for kicks. Mostly, I wanted to use it for my personal account, since on the boxed set account, I only sell one book at a time. Well, my kicks cost me. I totally confused the software. Poor BR was giving me the daily dashboard report for my personal account and the history/comparison tabs for the boxed set account.

This resulted in my emailing BR help. I got a same-day reply from Liam, who suggested a fix that worked. He even answered a follow-up question I had about possible discounting of the $10/month price for yearly subscribers. He mentioned there would, in fact, be a discount annual plan made available in the near future.

Am I glad I made use of the free trial of BookReport? Yep. It’s attractive, fun, and easy to use.

Could it be better. Sure. It would be extra neat if it worked on every retailer’s sales dashboard, but even a programmer idiot like me knows that would be a huge headache to develop. As a single-retailer dashboard analysis, though, it’s pretty kick ass.

Will I continue to use it for $10 a month? Probably. I’m waiting for that annual plan. The only thing holding me back is that I CAN create this information with a little hard work, and it’s not like I NEED this information to get by. But it is nice to be able to see all this at a glance, especially the comparison of groups of books. For over-sharers like me, it will make blogging about sales and earnings even more fun!

Have fun checking out BR for yourself. The BookReport free trial is for 2-weeks. If you have any reason to email help, be sure to say hi to Liam for me.

Be sure to let me know what you think of it or if you’ve tried something better/worse/completely different for sales analysis.

Don’t forget to SHARE, SHARE, SHARE using the nifty buttons below!

Thanks for reading!

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Free Publicity Fridays with Magda Alexander

Storm ConqueredStorm Conquered by Magda Alexander

A Rebellious Spitfire . . .

When Brianna Storm discovers her illegitimacy, she abandons everything dear to her. Where she once took pride in her work, she now turns a blind eye to the thefts and destruction at the Brazilian project she manages and spends her time erotic dancing at the local bar. In reality her antics are a diversion to a threat against her family. A threat which may claim the life of an innocent soul.

An Honorable Man . . .

Jake Cooper, her former bodyguard, arrives in Brazil to fix whatever’s wrong with Brianna and get the project back on track. To do that he must take on a new role—that of her lover. Something he’s reluctant to do. He’s carried a torch for her since the day they met and refuses to be her plaything. But when forces beyond their control threaten not only their safety but the life of someone closely related to her, they must face their enemy together, even if to do so would destroy them both.

STORM DAMAGES SERIES
Storm Damages (Book 1)
Storm Ravaged (Book 2)
Storm Redemption (Book 3)
Storm Conquered (Book 4)

Jessi’s Review

In a nutshell: Fast paced, steamy, and tense from beginning to end.

I was hooked on Magda’s Storm Damages series since book 1. Book 4, Storm Conquered, is the first in the series to focus on Brianna Storm, the sister of the hero who stole the show in books 1-3. I was looking forward to the romance between the party girl aristocrat and the man who got fired from being her bodyguard. This book does not disappoint.

The romantic tension between Jake and Brianna is spot on. The romance and plot are woven together seamlessly. From the tropical jungle setting to the growth the characters experience through having to work together to thwart a plot against Storm industries, I was swept away into an action-packed world every time I sat down to read.

My favorite aspect of Magda’s writing is her dialog. Her characters sound like who they are, and I hang on their every bratty, sullen, or  lusty word. If you haven’t checked out Magda’s books before, start with Storm Damages. Prepare to be hooked on a new series!

In related news, I was SUPER excited when I found out Magda’s books are being made into audiobooks. Book 1 Storm Damages is out already with Audible, and I plan to snatch it up with next month’s credit.

About the Author

Magda-Alexander_Closeup_Pink_SmallMagda Alexander loves piña coladas and walks in the rain. Okay, enough of that. Rewind.

Magda loves reading steamy romances which she’s been doing since she was ten. Ummm, that’s not quite true. Steamy romances did not exist when she was ten, and if they had, she’s pretty sure her mother would not have allowed her to read them. She did read the hand-holding, longing-glances kind, along with her catechism, which got her into trouble more than once. Let’s just say Mother Superior was not amused.

As soon as sexy romances came into existence, thank you Rosemary Rogers, she’s been lapping them up. So when it came time to write one, guess what she wrote. A no-brainer, right?

Magda, a lifelong learner, graduated from the University of Maryland where she majored in Business Administration (because her family had to eat) and minored in English (because she needed to dream). She’s lived in Maryland most of her life and now resides close to the Catoctin Mountains in a city whose history dates back to colonial times.

To learn more about Magda and her books, visit her beautiful website and don’t forget to check out her Storm Damages series!

 

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One Author’s Debut Year: Indie Income versus Expenses

 

one million dollarsThe Rest of the Story

Yesterday, I blogged about my sales and income as a traditionally published author versus an indie author for the SAME book in two different years. In 2013, my time-travel romance Wishing for a Highlander was for sale through a small traditional press. In 2014, I got my rights back and published it myself.

Go here for some pretty charts that show my 2013 & 2014 sales and royalties for Wishing.

The take-away message is that as an independently-published book, Wishing earned me a higher royalty per unit sold than it did as a traditionally-published book. Another benefit of indie publishing was that I was able to lower the price of the book for readers. This is probably the biggest fctor contributing to my selling more copies of Wishing in 2014 than in 2013.

Yesterday I reported my sales and income for Wishing as follows:
Total units sold in 2013 (traditional pub): 3,699
Total units sold in 2014 (self pub): 13,929

Total royalty earned in 2013: $5,139.69
Total royalty earned in 2014: $21,827.29

BUT…

That’s only part of the story. Today, I’ll discuss taxes and writing expenses as well as my earnings on the other 5 releases I celebrated in 2014.

Total Writing Income for 2014

Yesterday, I posted what my bestselling book, Wishing for a Highlander made me in 2014, but that’s just one of several releases I had last year. Here’s the list of what I released and when:

Wishing for a Highlander (Feb 2014)
Reckless (March 2014)
The Wolf and the Highlander (April 2014)
Passionate Kisses Boxed Set (Reckless, June 2014)
Jade’s Spirit (August 2014)
Cole in My Stocking (October 2014)

Whew! I’m tired just looking at that. This production schedule was possible because I had four books already written at the start of 2014. Two had already been published with the small press I was with. The other two were contracted for release with that press when they changed hands and offered authors the chance to take their rights back.

When I got my rights back on Wishing, I got them back for all four books. Therefore, publishing them all was simply a matter of planning out the release schedule and promo, plus edits on the two contracted-but-not-previously-published books.

In the midst of all that, I managed to write one book, my holiday contemporary romance Cole in My Stocking.

There’s no way I can be a wife, mom, and writer and manage to release 5 full length novels plus a boxed set every year. I’m hoping for two books a year, at least while my kids are small.

So, what did 5 books plus a boxed set earn me in 2014?

$27,487.18

Obviously, Wishing for a Highlander was by FAR my biggest source of income. It brought in 79% of my total writing income for the year.

It would be cool to look at a pie chart of how much of that income came from the other books, but it would take me a full week to tease that information out of my retailer statements. (It took about a day to do just Wishing!) I would much rather be writing my third Highland Wishes novel!

An easier chart to compile is one that shows units sold. This first one is kind of like my Units Sold chart from yesterday, except it shows units of all my books, including the boxed set. The different colors within each column represent different books.

2014 Units Sold_Column

Clearly, the boxed set was my biggest seller in terms of units. This doesn’t translate into royalties for a couple reasons. First, the boxed set of 10 novels (all contemporary romance) sold for $0.99. Split 10 ways, that’s $0.09 per sale… IF the retailer doesn’t get paid. But they do, and that cut varies by retailer.

Second is the royalty rate per retailer. Amazon is by far the biggest seller of the Passionate Kisses Boxed Set. If you sell any ebook on Amazon for under $2.99, your royalty is only 35% (Pricing your ebook between $2.99 and $9.99 will get you a royalty rate of 70%).

In other words, before the royalty is split 10 ways, Amazon takes their 65% cut. The result is a whopping royalty per author of $0.03. Compare that to the roughly $2.68 per sale I get for Wishing, and you can see why 80,000 boxed set sales netted me a mere fraction of what Wishing netted.

You can’t really infer percentage income from this chart, but it gives you an idea of the kind of exposure a boxed set can give an author. The point of a boxed set is exposure, not to get rich. :-)

For those of you who like a good pie chart, here’s what those sales look like:

2014 Units Sold_Pie

I wonder how many calories those nearly invisible slices are? LOL!

Yeah, so my contemporaries don’t do nearly as well as the Highlander books. This kind of info helps me prioritize my writing. I have lots of contemporary ideas, but until I release at least two more Highlander books, I’m focusing on kilts and time-travel.

All right, so now we have a more complete financial picture of my debut indie year. But we’re still missing two big things.

Up next…

Taxes

For those of you who have been around the writing industry, it comes as no surprise that you have to pay taxes on what you earn. Publishers don’t typically withold for taxes. Mine didn’t, when I was with a small press.

For writers coming at this industry from other fields (like me), it might be a shock that first year you have to pay the tax man. Intellectually, I knew I would have to pay taxes, but I was so used to not seeing that happen or not paying attention to it that the size of that number the first year was a bit hard to swallow.

When I first started publishing books, I heard an easy (& depressing) rule of thumb: Put aside a third of what you make for taxes.

Thanks to deductions I made in 2013 for writing expenses, I paid Uncle Sam closer to a fifth of my earnings. What will the percentage be this year? Don’t know yet. Haven’t done my taxes yet. I’m hoping that because of writing expense deductions, it won’t be too painful. I doubt I’ll pay a full third of what I earned in taxes. But just to be safe, I’ve designated a full third toward that end, which brings my roughly $27 k in writing earnings down to 18 k. That’s sobering, no?

On to the topic I had several commenters ask about yesterday…

Expenses

It gets worse. That 18 k left over after taxes is not all profit. Oh, no. A significant portion went right back into writing expenses.

I begin a new spreadsheet at the start of each year specifically to track writing expenses. This not only makes it easy to do up a chart like the nifty one below, but it also provides a certain amount of comfort going into tax season. In addition to my spreadsheet, I have a folder in my email program for receipts and other documentation of expenses paid. If I get audited, I just open that folder and print everything out.

My total writing expenses for 2014: $5,881.93

Here’s a chart to show the breakdown by category:

2014 Writing Expenses_PieThe largest expense was advertising and marketing. Included in this category: internet ads, ad design, print ads, FB boosts, FB ads, BookBub, and other similar promotions (ebook Soda, ENT, etc.).

Next is cover design. Then editing. Then ISBNs & business license expenses. This category isn’t mandatory. For me, it was what I wanted to do. Then giveaways, copyrights, & website/supplies.

In 2013, I had to purchase a new laptop. A big purchase like that would drastically change a chart like this. From year to year, it’s going to look different.

For example, I’ve learned that print ads don’t have much of an immediate effect. That’s my nice way of putting what happened to me. I won’t mention the magazine here, but I paid $1300 for a print ad in a review publication, and they ran the ad directly below a one-star review for my holiday romance, Cole in My Stocking. A side note, Cole has nothing but 5-star reviews on Amazon. So the reviewer does not seem to have a finger on the pulse of what readers want. ‘Nuff said.

Another thing I learned: In comparison to paid ads, giveaways are an economical way to get your name out there and maybe find some new readers.

I’m glad I’ve spent a good chunk on covers. If you can do covers yourself, awesome. My talents lie elsewhere. Thank you Kim Killion for your beautiful cover art!

The Big Picture

When you take into account taxes & expenses, my $27 k writing income translates to the following take-home amount:

Total earnings: $27,487.18
Minus up to 1/3 for taxes (safe estimate): $27,487.18 – $9,162.39 = $18,324.79
Minus writing expenses: $18,324.79 – $5881.93 = $12,442.86

What Does This Mean for Other Authors?

Hopefully, you find some encouragement/guidance/validation here. Have I done everything the smartest way possible? Probably not. Have I had fun? Yeah.

All in all, I’ve had a good debut year, but I hope this is just the beginning of a profitable writing career. Taking home $12 k doesn’t exactly translate to a liveable wage. Writer earnings is the most discouraging aspect of this business to me. I’ve worked super hard this year, but if I had worked full time at a fast-food restaurant, I would have made more, plus I could have gotten benefits!

But I would have missed out on like 90% of the cute things my little guy at home said while I fetch him snacks, potty train him, and drive all over town looking for ways to entertain him. It’s all about trade-off. Could I make more doing what I went to school for? Heck yeah. But writing is better. For so many reasons, it’s better.

One of the take-home messages I hope to leave you with is: it takes time to build up an audience. Jessi Gage has only been around for 2 years. What will my sales look like after 5? 10? 30? I’m looking forward to finding out!

PK2_cover_full sizeWhat about you? If you’re an indie author, is your experience similar in some respects? Do you think I’m a moron for spending so much on advertising? Did anything in this post surprise you? I love comments!

Thank you for reading! And don’t forget to SHARE using the buttons below!

Also, don’t miss your chance to preorder Passionate Kisses 2 Boxed Set: Love in Bloom for just $0.99! Preorders are open right now! Release date will be Feb 17th!

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | KoboGoodreads

 

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One Indie Author’s Debut Year Income

The Numbers Are In!

About a year ago, I compared royalties for traditional versus indie publishing in a blog post. I had a unique perspective to offer since I did this comparison for the SAME book and close to the same month of different years, an opportunity afforded to me when the traditional small-press publisher I was with changed hands and gave authors the chance to ask for their rights back.

View the post here to see what I made in January 2013 as a traditionally published author versus what I made on the same book in February 2014 as an indie author (both were debut months). At the end of the post, I suggest I might do a similar comparison for a full year of traditional publishing versus indie publishing.

Well, here I am to do just that! Thanks for stopping by to peek! If you’re new to my blog, sign up for my newsletter over there on the right, and you’ll never miss any big Jessi Gage news.

Wishing for a HighlanderI’ll keep it brief (stop laughing).

This comparison is for Wishing for a Highlander, which debuted the first time in February 2013 with a small press at a price of $5.99. It was also available in print for around $12 to $14 depending on the retailer.

Here’s the cover. I rather liked it.

Wishing was for sale from January through December for a total of 12 months of 2013.

JessiGage_WishingForAHighlander_800px (2)In February 2014, Wishing enjoyed a second debut, this time as an indie published title. It sold at all the same e-retailers for a reduced price of $3.99. The print price did not change.

Here’s Wishing’s indie cover, created by the fabulous Kim Killion of The Killion Group. (Update 4/6/15): Now I have an updated cover for 2015 done by the amazing Damonza, but this is the lovely cover Wishing had for the sales period in this post.)

It was for sale from February through December for a total of 11 moths of 2014.

The Data

Here’s Wishing’s monthly sales for 2013 vs 2014. The blue bars represent units sold through traditional publishing (2013). The red bars represent units sold through indie publishing (2014).

Wishing Comparison_Units Sold

The spike in September 2014 coincides with a BookBub promotion that ran for three days that month.

Total units sold in 2013: 3,699
Total units sold in 2014: 13,929

Here’s what Wishing brought home in royalties for 2013 vs 2014. The blue bars represent royalties paid to me by my traditional publisher (2013). The red bars represent royalties earned through indie publishing (2014).

Wishing Comparison_Royalties Earned

Note that my highest earning month did not coincide with my highest selling month. This is a result of the BookBub promotion,during which I sold like gangbusters but at a lower price and a lower royalty rate on Amazon.

(Caveat: I did not take the time to calculate USD from foreign sales for the retailers that don’t make that conversion for me on the royalty statements. Amazon is one of these. In other words, the 2014 numbers are incomplete, but the numbers won’t be off by a whole lot since the vast majority of my sales are domestic.)

Total royalty earned in 2013: $5,139.69
Total royalty earned in 2014: $21,827.29

The Analysis

I sold 277% more units of Wishing for a Highlander in 2014 compared to 2013, and my earnings were 325% higher.

It’s that difference in percentages I want to call attention to more than the higher indie sales. As a traditionally published author, I received a smaller “slice of the pie” because more people had to get paid. It’s a simple fact of the industry that the fewer hands that touch your book, the larger the slice you get to keep.

In the case of Wishing, I was able to price it lower as an indie book and make about twice the royalty per unit moved. If you look at the charts again, you’ll notice the DIFFERENCE between the blue bars and red bars is much bigger for the earnings chart compared to the units sold chart (with the exception of my BookBub month, September). This demonstrates that “slice of pie” effect. I got to keep more of the pie, and readers paid less for the product.

This isn’t necessarily a plug for self publishing. See my post on my decision to go indie for reasons why traditional publishing is a perfectly valid and profitable option for many authors. But for some authors, indie can be a more profitable option if they are willing to put the work in.

The Conclusion

Self Publishing has been good to me.

Feel free to share this blog post. It’s good info for those considering which publishing track they want to take. In this post, I blog about the pros and cons of traditional versus indie publishing, and I reveal why I decided to go indie.

Are you an author with an indie or traditional-publishing story? Are these numbers surprising to you? Encouraging? Disappointing? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to SHARE, SHARE, SHARE using the nifty buttons below!

 

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Wishing for a Highlander Now in Audiobook!

My Latest Release is Making Waves, Audio Waves!

Wishing For a Highlander gets a new format! Let’s give it up for Audiobook!

Wishing audiobook coverWith my background in broadcasting and audiology, it was just a matter of time before I combined my two loves: books and sound. I had a blast collaborating with amazing narrator Marian Hussey and Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) to bring Melanie and Darcy to vibrant life.

If you haven’t listened to audiobooks before, I’ll warn you…It’s addicting. I love hearing stories brought to life by talented narrators. Even listening to books I’ve read before is fun. I get to experience my favorites in a whole new way.

I’ve started listening in my car and let’s just say I wish I had a longer drive to get my daughter to school. In fact, audiobooks are turning me into a better driver since I’m not in such a hurry to get where I’m going.

Help me celebrate Wishing for a Highlander’s new format by signing up for your free Audible account and get credits to use on a free audiobook or two. Make Wishing for a Highlander your first audiobook, and my narrator and I get to split a bonus! Click the link below to get started with audible.

Audible Logo

Wishing for a Highlander will be available in audiobook on Amazon and iTunes any day now. Keep an eye on my books page and my website for purchase links.

 

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