If you’re at all active on Twitter and interested in the world of erotic romance epublishing (and if you still are after these past few weeks, you have the strength of a Titan), you’ll have noticed a number of writers stating flat out that they write their own books. Why? Well, because…so many “writers” don’t. They hire ghostwriters, or buy up someone else’s back catalogue and rejig the stories a little, then present them as all-new books. Or the individual author behind the name on a book’s cover is actually an author collective, where a group of friends or colleagues each write a story so it looks as if one author is coming out with a new book every few weeks, but it’s actually a group, each member taking turns.
Phew, that was a long sentence. What can I say? It’s been a long week.
So, that’s why a lot of writers are declaring loudly on social media that they write all their own books – because so many scammers don’t, and they want to distinguish themselves from those people.
Well, I write my own books. Always have, always will. I don’t co-write with anyone, and I don’t write for anyone else (well, not intentionally, but I’ve lived with having my work appropriated by someone else), and I don’t write as anyone else. The Scarlett Parrish name is the only one under which I’m published, in any format, with any publisher, and as a self-publisher.
All that being said, and my declaration of writing integrity now out of the way, what’s it like to live and write and earn money (ha!) as an author trying to do things properly, on her own?
Don’t hold your breath if you’re expecting me to say I’ve unexpectedly hit the big time, is all I can say to that one.
However, a while back there was a bump in the number of people reading my blog post Between the Lines, wherein I spoke of my earnings, and scams on Amazon, and feeling discouraged. And I figured, for fun, and in the interests of being open and honest, I’d post a few screenshots from my publishing dashboards, which show how much I’m raking in.
Oh, if only ‘raking in’ were the truth.
Here are February’s stats. This is what it looks like for me as an author who’s self-published twelve books, four of which are new and eight of which are reissues. I’ve done next to no promo for these as my budget is zero, but every single word of these books is all my own work.
These are my Amazon earnings:
And here are how my book sales were spread out. You’ll note some of my books sold no copies at all:
I cut off the right-hand side of that screenshot as that shows ‘free units downloaded’ and none of my books are set as free. One ebook was returned, a copy of Burn, so the 19 sales should more truthfully read as 18.
Think that’s bad? My Draft 2 Digital stats are even worse. Brace yourself.
I post these screenshots not to discourage anyone else (because, quite frankly, you’d be hard pushed to do any worse than I already am, anyway) but to be realistic.
And maybe, just maybe, there’s another author out there who’s struggling, and wondering why they’re not doing as well as Author X, who brags of making thousands of dollars each month, making more sales than they know what to do with.
Oh, honey. It’s because, nine times out of ten, Author X doesn’t even exist. You do. And no-one else can tell your stories.