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2023 Midyear Sales Review | Author Mike Mollman
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July 4th will mark the two year bookday of my Becoming A Druid. Last year I made a Facebook post about the realities of being a debut author. Well, as I finish my second year, I have three books now and a lot of experience, both good and bad. I’ll get right to the point and show the numbers.

First up is books.

I’m still at the point where nearly nine in ten (89.3%) books are given away free. That’s an average of 521 books going into people’s hands every month.

This table is a little skewed, as most of my comic cons have come and gone for the year. Still, I should easily beat out last year’s numbers, which should be expected, having three books for the entire calendar year (To Speak With Elders came out in June and Sins and Sorrows came out in December of last year). In 2022, I advertised heavily on Amazon, so the bulk of the sales were ebooks. I make very little on ebook sales. This year, I used my advertising money to deliver physical copies to book reviewers, even international ones. I have multiple booktubers who have reviewed my books and I’ve slowly been joining their discord communities. I’ve also adopted a comic con heavy strategy for 2023. I don’t know if I’ll end up with more book sales this year, but the money earned will be much better.

Show me the money . . .

As you can see from this table, I am finally at a net positive* (with a big ol’ notable asterisk). These numbers reflect the recurring costs and sales, but not the fixed costs. Throw in the just over $6000 I spent on audiobooks and a similar number for all the editing, formatting, proofreading and cover design and, well, I don’t want to think about that. The bottom line is that I have a job that can supplement my writing hobby. I’ve taken some lumps from costly mistakes, but if I could go back in time, I’d not only do it all over again, I’d start writing sooner.

Finally, I’ve raised my presence in 2023. Specifically, I’ve entered three writing competitions this year. The biggest buzz by far is for SPFBO 9 (Self Published Fantasy Blog Off). SPFBO 9 Phase 1

I’m also in BBNYA 2023 (Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award) BBNYA 2023

and the Indie Author Project (no spiffy acronym). Indie Author Project

As of writing this, I’m still alive in each. I don’t expect to win any of these competitions, but the networking opportunities are phenomenal. Since the middle of May I’ve had three print interviews, two web chats, an online book reading and a podcast appearance. I have another print interview coming! In July of this year, The Wizardly Duo Discord will be hosting a “buddy read” of my first book. At least ten people that I know of, most being booktubers, will be reading my book and joining one another in the chat to discuss it. This boggles my mind.

If you would like to join the madness, or to see what a thriving online book community looks like, use this link: Be warned, your fantasy TBR (To Be Read) list will grow exponentially.

Never could I have imagined all of this happening when I embarked on my first fantasy novel in August of 2019. I’ve joined Twitter (which I swore I’d never do), passed 500 subscribers to my newsletter and started a Youtube channel with a fellow author: Bald&Balding.

It would be nice if I actually made money at this, but I’m pushing myself to do and learn new things everyday as well as to make new friends (people over fifty don’t generally embrace this). I’m having the time of my life, and you can’t put a number on that!