If you're new to the blog, welcome to my quarterly stats post. When I first published (July 2021) I committed to being transparent about my own authorship journey for a couple reasons:
As a newer author I find the different journeys and approaches really interesting, but most folks don't like sharing their stats. Which is totally fine, by the way. But I always wished I had had more real data from actual authors so I could set expectations for myself, and...
I'm still new at this thing. I've been at this just over a year–in fact I celebrated my one year authorversary in July of 2022.
I've definitely tried things that didn't pan out, and learned some things the hard way. My goal is to share what I've learned with you.
You can check out my prior stats posts here:
But let's start off with some celebrating:
I finished the Alpha Compound series in March, so I was happy riding the high from that. There was a lot of love on social media, and readers being sad to see the series end. That really cemented my decision to write the spinoff series: Rock Hard Rejects. This series follows Stone, who we met in both Sleepwalk and Awake At Last. You can preorder it here!
I wrote my first book in a new series, the Temple Maze series. The book came out in July (so just after Q2), but that was super fun for me to dive into a darker world. I freaking love it!
I released a short story in the Alpha Compound world called Alpha Ranger. Initially it was written for Alexa Riley's Read Me Romance podcast, and you can still listen to the super spicy audio there! It was incredibly fun to hear my filthy words live, but also a little nerve wracking. Thankfully Lea was an absolute dream to work with.
Let's get right into the stats, shall we? You'll remember at the end of last year, I didn't have a ton of data to go on, so I extrapolated what I guessed my sales etc would be based on what happened so far. Suffice to say, that did not pan out. Let's take a look.
I didn't do any book giveaways at all during Q2 like I did in Q1, but I likely will when book one of the spinoff series releases. That way I can get folks into the series and reading all the way through to the new series.
The purple spike you see below is the release of Alpha Ranger, but overall, book sales were relatively steady despite no big releases. Alpha Ranger is super short, only 10K words.
Page reads were down in comparison to Q1 (5MM during that timeframe). I should have expected this. I had no new releases and page reads drop off pretty naturally after a release. You can see below that they dropped and then leveled out for a bit, which is actually a really good thing, because it means people are still reading through the series (hopefully people who got book one for free and are making their way through the rest!)
With no new release, revenue was down a bit too. Jan-March I was just under 27K, so about half of that when no new books came out. This proves a couple of things to me: Releasing consistently every few months is ideal when you're new, and taking time off between releases probably hurt me a little bit. In addition, I ended a series and was unable to even do ads because of the word 'alpha' in my title. Apart from TikTok, there wasn't really a great way for me to reach a wider readership. I'm getting smarter with my new series (more on that below).
The good news is that I've made almost 50K this year so far! While it's not enough to comfortably allow me to quit my day job, it's a super solid start and I'm really freaking proud. It's more success than I ever thought I'd see at this author thing, although to be honest I really need to just manifest the hell out of it haha. I have big dreams LOL.
Alright, so what didn't pan out for me in Q2? Well....here's what I thought would happen to my royalties at the end of Q1:
EXPECTED 2022 Royalties
JAN 9K (actual 10.5K)
FEB 9K (actual 5.5K)
MARCH 11K (actual 11.5K)
TOTAL ESTIMATED ROYALTIES 160K gross
I thought I'd have royalties in the range of 35K during Q2, and I was at about 1/3 of that. Truthfully I only estimated these royalties because I didn't have a full year of data to work from, and I had to plan SOMETHING. It was helpful to learn that not having a new release did significantly decrease my income, so this is something I'll plan around in the future.
So what's next?
For the rest of 2022 I'll be focusing on two series: the Compound spinoff which is called Northern Rejects. The second is my Temple Maze series, a darker romance. I'm curious to see what writing in two slightly different sub-genres does for my sales.
I got smarter about naming conventions, so I can advertise both new series on Facebook AND Amazon. I think this will be really key to the latter half of 2022.
I'm digging hard into TikTok. I hate it but it's free advertising and I'm all about that. I'll probably take a step back from Facebook and Instagram to a degree, in order to focus on TikTok a little more fully
The Compound series is currently being translated into French, although I'll rapid release that at the end of 2023 when all the books are done.
The Compound series is also currently being produced into audio, which is super exciting!
Rock Hard Reject (Northern Rejects book one) will be coreleased with audio, meaning the audio will come out the same time as the ebook and paperback. Getting ahead like that cost me time in the middle of this year, but it'll be worth it long term. I'm now writing and finalizing releases for September, October AND November!
I've got a few tricks up my sleeve for the Alpha Compound series (new merch to coincide with the spicy audio, and a boxset, AND A SURPRISE!)
All in all, I took a step back in Q2 in order to leap forward toward the end of this year. I'm expecting Q3 to be similarly slow as I won't release again until September. But once that release comes out, I should be pretty busy through Q4 of this year!
As always, holler if you have questions or thoughts, and I hope this is helpful!