Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Some Authors Do In Fact Need A Publisher


Reading my posts over the past few months, you might come to the conclusion I think self-publishing and going it alone is the right -- and only -- way to go.

Not so.

Leaving aside issues of ego and desire, where some authors will only feel validated and complete when they see their physical books on physical shelves in their hometowns, let's examine the business side of traditional vs self publishing, and why going traditional is still a viable option -- for some. Interestingly, it wasn't that long ago when this examination would have been between print publishers and digital-only publishers. Consider for a moment how the very definition of "traditional" has changed in a few short years.

The publishing models today are varied:

  • The Big 6 with (potentially) aggressive print and digital distribution
  • The mid-size publishers (think Harlequin) with equally (potentially) aggressive print and digital distribution that caters in general to a more niche audience
  • Small print-first publishers that concentrate on print distribution and supplement (often heavily) with digital
  • Small digital-first publishers that concentrate on digital distribution and supplement with print-on-demand for select titles
  • Small digital-only publishers that operate virtually
  • Publisher coalitions that assist members primarily with digital publishing, which includes many of the recent agent/publisher models
  • Self-publishers with a primary concentration in digital
  • Vanity publishers that pretend to be author-friendly coalitions but aren't (and we'll be leaving these folk out of the discussion)

So which way is best? For argument's sake, let's assume you have a genre book that's marketable across all models, so it has the potential to be picked up and published across the spectrum. Which way to go from a business perspective?

Traditionally published authors tend to be secretive about their advances and earn-outs (sometimes out of contractual obligation, sometimes not), so anecdotal and often anonymous data is all we have to go by. One of the most comprehensive polls I've seen is for the Romance genre, conducted and maintained for several years by Brenda Hiatt. The data cited here will be referred from those results. All the caveats of the poll results being self-selective, yadda yadda apply.

Big 6 and Mid-Size Publishers

Obviously a powerhouse company has the potential to put your book in front of many readers and rocket it to bestsellerdom. And yes, it happens. There's also the potential they midlist your debut novel, give it little to no promotion, and it fades quietly and quickly away from the public eye.

For many, a contract with one of the Big 6 or with Harlequin is still the Holy Grail. The reality, though, is that unless you have a contract that guarantees in writing your book will get lead-title treatment in terms of promotion and placement, your title could end up performing little better than it would at a smaller house.

Advances do tend to be larger from the bigger houses. How much larger depends on how lucrative they think your book will be and, if your debut book is a lead title, odds are you'll make more through a Big 6 publisher than through any other models. Plus, if you don't earn out and/or don't get picked up for a second book, you can always pursue any of the other publishing options later.

On the flip side, only a small percentage of aspiring authors get picked up by a Big 6 or mid-size publisher, and the time between when you first start submitting to agents (because most require submission through agents) to when your book hits the shelf could easily be 3 years.

Average advances for first books tend to run $10,000 - 20,000.

Average royalties continue to be pretty dismal, at 8-10% for print and 17.5% for digital.

Small Print-First Publishers

These are the true Indies of the publishing world; start-ups that compete in the same arenas as the larger guys. Scaled-down versions of the majors that often cater to more niche audiences.

Competition to get in with these publishers is often as fierce as with the Big 6, with agents again providing much of the gatekeeping. They usually offer smaller advances but more personalized promotion. Their reach isn't as great as the larger pubs, but they're often more forgiving when a single book doesn't perform to expectation.

Advances of $1000-5000 isn't much to get excited over, however. And if advances are in any way a realistic expectation of how a book will perform in the marketplace, then $5K is a pretty small return on the investment of time you have in your book.

Small Digital-First and Digital-Only Publishers

With advances of $0-1000, these publishers operate on thin per-book margins. The successful ones (and there have been a lot of start-ups and failures in the last 5 years) make money on the quantity of titles in their inventory, not necessarily by optimizing profit on any given book.

Competition doesn't feel quite as fierce with the smaller digital publishers because there are so many that have cropped up in the last couple of years. While your chances of being picked up by any one individual small publisher might be only marginally better than being picked up by a print-first publisher, your chances of being picked up by one of them at all are much higher (assuming a marketable book).

It's at this level, especially, where decisions about how best to publish your book become more complicated. More about that below.

Publisher Coalitions

In direct competition with the small digital-first publishers are the increasing number of not-really-quite-publisher models that have been springing up. These are generally boutique groups that cater to a small number of authors and that provide publishing support that ranges from editing, covering and formatting to possible marketing either for a flat fee acquired up front or deducted from earned royalties, or for a percentage of royalties for a set time (optimal) or in perpetuity (run away).

A number of agents are moving to this type of model; I consider Steel Magnolia Press to fall under this definition as well.

Like with digital-first publishers, the coalition model has its appeal, but only for a certain population of authors.

Which Model Is Right For You?

Keep in mind this is an editorial post and the opinions are my own.

If you're a new and unproven author determined to see your book on the shelf of your local bookstore, by all means go the agent query route and/or submit directly to the limited few major and mid-size pubs who accept unsolicited material. If, however, you're offered a contract, make sure the terms are worthy of the size of the publisher. A small advance (under $10K) and no contractual guarantee that your book will be treated as a lead title should give you pause. I fully understand that heart will often win out over head for your first book, but I'm only talking the business realities here.

If you're a savvy business person with the time and inclination to keep up with the fast-changing digital and print markets and you're willing to be aggressive with your career as a writer, I would strongly suggest that you eschew any model that doesn't offer solid, guaranteed advances coupled with a strong marketing plan agreed to in the contract. (Anecdotally, the most heart-rending pub stories I've heard are of authors who were verbally promised lead-title status when they signed their contracts only to have enthusiasm for their book wane and be launched with little to no publisher-supported promotion.)

This means if you, the savvy author, can't get a lead-title deal through a major or mid-size publisher, skip the small publishers completely and self-publish. Why? Take a look at the average advances (many offer no advances) and average earn-outs authors with small publishers make and compare against average earn-outs for self-publishing (there are several threads at the Kindleboards forum where authors candidly discuss their earnings). Do keep in mind production costs (cover, editing, formatting) have to be deducted from the self-publishers' totals before the earn-out figures can really be considered profit.

In my opinion there is little a small publisher can offer a savvy author with the time to produce and market their own book that the savvy author can't provide on their own for a higher return on their investments.

So all small publishers are predatory vermin and should be shut down, right?

Of course not. There are a lot of savvy authors who simply don't have the time to study the market to the extent needed to make the studied decisions necessary to capitalize on rapid changes in the marketplace. And there are authors who are understandably overwhelmed by all those changes and find it difficult to decide what their best course of action is. For these authors, an astute partner in the publishing business will likely earn them more than they could earn on their own. In fact, I daresay many authors who jumped without looking into self-publishing and have been met with poor to modest sales despite having a marketable book would be better served with a smart digital-first publisher or publisher coalition.

And there-in lies the proverbial rub. Which small publishers are the smart ones who can maximize the profit on your book at a fair cost of doing business with them? I'll detail some of what I think a smart publisher has to bring to the partnership table in my next post.

In general, though, smart publishers will work with their clients, they will absolutely know how to work best for their clients, and they will be ready and willing to provide real-world examples of what they've already done to make their clients successful.
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Please note that Steel Magnolia Press is not currently seeking new clients and these posts are not endorsements for our imprint.

Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Patrick's Day 99c Blowout! 30 Books/26 Authors


Cross-posted with the Steel Magnolia Press blog, Where Imagination Blooms.

Also, if you're an indie author, be sure to browse the rest of David Gaughran's site while you're there picking out books. Lots of great advice and observations, from him as well as several guest authors discussing their experiences with the whole self-publishing process.

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Steel Magnolia Press has teamed with some of our favorite Kindle authors in a St. Patrick's Day Blowout! Where else will you find 30 books by 26 authors reduced from $1.99-$4.95 to just 99 cents each?

And not just romance either! Mystery, thrillers, fantasy, YA, non-fiction -- this sale runs the gamut. Click on over to David's site where the sale is being hosted to discover your next new read. You'll purchase your 99c books direct from Amazon, so no need to worry about how you'll get them onto your Kindle.

St. Patrick's Day Blowout! 30 Great Books by 26 Authors, Reduced to 99c

We hope you'll see what else is on offer there, but if you'd rather just check out the Steel Magnolia Press titles on sale, here they are. Click on the book covers to go directly to their page on Amazon.

Note that the sale ends Sunday, March 18. Monday, all books will be back to their regular price.

Enjoy!

The Rent-A-Groom by Jennifer Blake
(Novella, Reg. $2.99)

Even though Gina cancels her wedding mere days before the ceremony, she’s determined to keep her reservation for a famous honeymoon suite in Dallas.

Enter Race, a Texas cowboy who cleans up rather well, and who declares himself her substitute groom for the week.

Thinking her best friend hired Race, Gina goes along with the fun – at first. But is Race really who he seems? Why is Gina’s ex-fiance staying at the same hotel? And just how far is Gina prepared to go with Race and that model-worthy face of his on their "honeymoon"?



Catering to the Italian Playboy by Tamelia Tumlin
(Category Length, Reg. $1.99)

It was humiliating! How could caterer Sophie Westbrook ever face the sexy Italian hotel tycoon again after the way she’d practically thrown herself at him six years earlier…and ended up in his bed? Yet here she was back in his hotel wearing only a G-string and a smile.

Maximus Rinaldi is not pleased to find a half-naked exotic dancer in the middle of his business meeting…until he discovers she’s the mystery woman he shared one unbelievable night with years ago. Max is determined to win her back into his bed, but Sophie has a secret that might just turn the sexy Italian playboy’s life upside down!




Spoil of War by Phoenix Sullivan
(Novel, Reg. $1.99)

Elsbeth of Olmsbury desires nothing beyond helping her father run his dukedom -- until his forces are overwhelmed, his castle torched and Elsbeth seized for the invading king’s personal spoil.

Leodegrance desires only to make Elsbeth his consort in Cameliard even as he marches to unite the wild isle of Britain under Roman rule.

Together, they are destined to create history. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Also Boughts (aka Alsobots): When They Matter, When They Don't

You've seen them. The titles under a book that show you what "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought." Let's take a look at what they are and why they're important.


What They Are

Limited to 100 titles, the alsobots are a representative sample of just what it says: other titles customers have bought who have bought the book on the product page. They are one of Amazon's recommendation tools that help filter products for the customer. By pointing customers to other like books, alsobots help validate readers' choices. While their purpose is pretty clear, it's what "representative sample" might mean that causes the headaches.

Much of what Amazon presents a customer is based on that customer's recent viewing habits, searches, and buys, creating a tailored and unique shopping experience for each customer.

The alsobots are, however, not tailored to the customer, so what one person sees associated with a book, all customers see. In the ideal scenarios alsobots are closely associated with the book on the product page in terms of genre, rank and price. 

The alsobots on the first pages are most representative of recent purchases. Amazon recalculates alsobots every 3 or 4 days keeping track of trends and, theoretically, ensuring your book tracks with like books.

What They Aren't

Alsobots are not mutually listed. Just because you have a certain title in your alsobot list does not mean that title has your book in its list. In fact, as your book is first building its list of alsobots, it may well not be listed in any other book's alsobots. 

In general, don't expect a book typically ranking in the 80,000s to be in the alsobots of a book ranked in the 2000s. However, a book with a ranking in the 2000s might well be in the alsobots of a book ranked in the the 80,000s if there are no other close matches for it.

If you're looking for gatekeeping mechanisms on Amazon, the alsobot list is one of them. Unless your book is doing well to begin with, alsobots will not help launch your book into the stratosphere. Being an alsobot on page 16 of a handful of books that sell only a copy or two a month isn't going to bring in the business. 

How You Get Them

If you publish a book the same day the alsobot algorithms are recrunched then you'll have to wait till they crunch again before alsobots will start to appear on your page or, more importantly, before your book starts to appear on others' alsobots. You, of course, have to sell a couple of books before they start appearing and even then, unless you have a runaway hit out the gate (and using free you possibly can have just such a hit), your alsobot list will only slowly fill in. 

Trying to game the alsobot algorithms by having a lot of people purchase the #1 bestseller in your genre along with your book won't actually work. As discussed, the algorithms take into consideration price point and rank, and while your book may be in the same genre and similarly priced to the #1 BS, if it's not somewhere close to its rank, it won't be listed. What the gaming WILL do is give more visibility to the bestseller by adding it to your book's alsobot list, which in turn, makes the BS more attractive to buyers who will buy it and push its rank even farther away from your book's.

The alsobot system is publisher-blind, so it's democratic in that every book has the same theoretical chance of getting good placement. Just like every citizen of the US has the same theoretical chance of becoming president. Yeah, not going to happen without some boosting being done on the author's part first. 

What Happens To Them When Your Book Goes Free

In the world of alsobots, free downloads count. Within a day or 3 of setting your book free, you'll notice a lot, if not all, of your alsobots now contain books that were free at the same time as yours. Where once the alsobots for your $4.99 dark urban fantasy were $2.99-6.99 fantasies with a handful of horror and thrillers thrown in, now you'll have 99c-$12.99 recipes, romantic comedies and books with cute kittens on the cover populating the first pages of your list.

Is this a bad thing?

Depends on who you talk to and what types of books you're selling. Remember, the alsobots on YOUR book are there to help guide readers to OTHER books. As a stepping stone along that path, it doesn't matter WHAT books are in YOUR list -- UNLESS you write series and the first alsobots in the list are your own books in the series. 

With a stand-alone, your biggest concern shouldn't be what alsobots you're "stuck with" after going free; it should be how many of the books that are good matches to your book are going free and losing your book from their alsobot lists. The problem, of course, is discovering what books your book is associated with. There's a clever tool out there now that lots of people are using to try to find out. (Now that I'm looking for the link, I can't find it. Will update with the link when I run across it again.) I've tried it and, if it's an accurate picture and my books really do have so few associations on other books, then alsobots must have a lot less impact on buying behavior than what general wisdom and polls would have us believe. I'm betting on wisdom and polls in this case. 

I haven't seen deep research yet into whether a book going free for a day or two causes it to lose place on other books' lists (books that don't go free). What I do have is anecdotal evidence that says they don't. This is important for authors putting up stand-alone books to know. The risk of going free seems to be less -- perhaps to the point of negligibility -- with stand-alone books than for books that are part of a series where Book 2 will no longer show up as an alsobot of Book 1 if Book 1 goes free.

Anecdotally, many books that go the free route and lose their closely associated alsobots still wind up with a better sticky ranking than they had before going free. That suggests that perhaps any concern over alsobots is unfounded for stand-alone books that go free and possibly even for series books that go free.

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I'd love to hear others' results, whether after a free run in Select or for books not in Select that have had their sales affected because the titles they're associated with have gone free limiting their visibility and discoverability.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Understanding The Tools Of The Amazon Trade

A recent discussion on the Kindleboards forum along with some recent comments here indicate there continues to be misunderstanding around Amazon's category tags as well as its "also bought" lists (aka alsobots). This week I'll not only try to demystify how these tags and lists work in general but explore how their behavior changes when a book is listed as free and how those changes may or may not have an impact on the paid side. Even if you understand the basics, there may still be a surprise or two lurking in their behaviors.

Today we'll look at category tagging and talk alsobots on Saturday.

Books And Kindle Catalogs: There Is A Difference

Amazon gives Kindle books greater visibility than print books by pushing Kindle books through two separate catalogs: the Kindle catalog and the Books catalog.

The Kindle catalog excludes books that are only available in print and displays the Kindle version as the default for any title that gets clicked on.

The Books catalog includes books that are only available in print and displays the print version as the default for any title that gets clicked on.

While there's a lot of commonality between the two catalogs in how they work to display bestsellers and most popular books, there are also some important differences in how a book might behave in each catalog. These differences, some of which we'll discuss below, are at the heart of many of the misunderstandings around category tagging. If you didn't realize until now there are two separate but equal catalogs your Kindle book could be displayed in, don't feel bad -- you're not alone.

Another thing to realize is that even if your book is ranked in the Top 100 of more than 1 genre or in more than 1 catalog, it's very possible for only 1 of those Top 100 rankings to be displayed. DON'T PANIC. Your book will display in the appropriate bestseller lists, which is what matters.

Number Of Categories

Perhaps the biggest misunderstanding is around how many categories Amazon allows a book to be in. Do you know? I bet many of you answered 2. That, however, isn't the full answer (and has nothing to do with the change in number of categories allowed that took place over a year ago).

Amazon allows a book to be in only 2 categories in the KINDLE catalog. KDP Customer Service will work with you to place a book in additional categories in the BOOKS catalog. I won't debate the ins and outs of whether 2 or 3 or 4 or 16 is the appropriate number that should be allowed as Amazon limited the number to 2 last year for a reason. Something wasn't working for them either from the customer satisfaction side or the technical side, and Amazon has been pretty adamant about the restriction since. I also won't debate the fact that some larger publishers are allowed 1 or 2 more categories than the rest of us (however, see the exception at the end of this post). I can't very well cry that it's unfair that publishers are offered that perk when the ability to pulse my book free is a perk that those same publishers either don't have, don't want or don't exploit.

The main difference in visibility between the Kindle categories and the Books categories is that a customer browsing from their Kindle or app will see only the Kindle catalog and be able to find your book in only those 2 categories. That means if you want the maximum amount of exposure, the Kindle categories you choose need to be dead on. Treat the Book categories as nice-to-haves but not essential. I made this very mistake and talk about it here (under the "Category Tagging" head).

Conversely, get on as many Books categories as the KDP Customer Support team will let you have. Just don't request more than 2 Kindle categories and they will likely be quite accommodating -- up to a point.

Exploiting The Categories

Of course you want your book in categories that make sense for it. Of course I'm going to use one of my books as an example ;o).

SECTOR C is a near-future medical thriller. Although the categories I've selected for it are arguably not the most appropriate, they are the best on offer. Why the Books categories differ from the Kindle ones, I haven't a clue and am as frustrated by it as you.


You'll note the book has the maximum 2 Kindle categories plus 4 Books categories. When you choose the categories, drill down as far as possible across the genres. Why? Because everywhere you see a blue link is a potential Bestseller or Popularity list where your book could show up. The more granular you go, the wider your exposure.

Note that on your product page, Amazon will only ever list the entire category line/breadcrumb/ thread/chain/whatever. For instance, while my book may be #2 in Medical Thrillers and #10 in Thrillers, someone coming to your product will never see that it's #10 in Thrillers. They will always see:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,352 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

This isn't a bad thing. While it might be convenient for you to know the book is #10 without having to visit the Thriller Bestseller to find out, the reader is already on your page, sees the #2 ranking and makes their decision to buy or not. It doesn't matter that the #10 ranking doesn't show on your page; it only matters that your book shows up in the #10 spot on the Thriller Bestseller list -- which it will.

*Note: SECTOR C was the #2 Medical Thriller for much of January. 

Diversify

If it makes sense for your book to straddle two genres, be sure to put it in both of those genres in the Kindle catalog so readers using their Kindles can browse to it from either genre.

There's an exponential increase in visibility when you exploit more than one genre category. For instance, I could have chosen to put my book into 2 science fiction categories:

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction > High Tech
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction > Adventure

That, however, would mean my book might rank #3 in High Tech and #5 in Adventure but one step up from each of those subcategories is the same Science Fiction Bestseller list where it's #10. It wouldn't matter whether there was only 1 subcategory or 50, the book would appear on the overall Science Fiction list regardless.

With both a Science Fiction path and a Thriller path covered in its Kindle categories, SECTOR C has the potential to be listed in the both "Tech" subcategories, the major Science Fiction and Thriller categories, the even more major Mystery & Thriller category and on the overall eBooks lists.

Now, Amazon will helpfully add your book to the same Books catalog categories if there's a direct match available. If there isn't, bots will scan your title and blurb and see if they can figure out the closest match. Sometimes the match is right, sometimes it isn't. If it isn't right, don't be afraid to email KDP and ask that they change that path to one that's more appropriate. Remember, they won't change it to a third Kindle category but they will usually make accommodations for a third Books one.

For instance, Amazon kindly added SECTOR C to Medical Thrillers in Books when I asked them to:

Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers > Medical

Unhelpfully, there is no corresponding Medical Thriller category for the Kindle catalog.

So what do you do if you find a Kindle category you'd like you're book in but you can't choose that category from your Dashboard? First, if you have it in 2 Kindle categories, you need to remove one of the category tags from your book. Next, choose "Unclassifiable" and then email KDP Support, providing them the exact path you'd like for your book, such as:

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction > High Tech

Your book should be moved to the revised category within a couple of days. Note that KDP Support will not remove a category for you that you can remove yourself.

What Changes When A Book Is On A Free Run

Something you may not have realized is that when your book goes free, it no longer shows up in the Books catalog.

Carried further, it means your book will not have a ranking on its product page for its Books categories.

Taking that one step further, a free book can have at most only the 2 Kindle category breadcrumbs/chains associated with it. Don't bother looking for any more.

And Of Course...

There are always exceptions. I never asked for additional categories for Vet Tech Tales, yet the Amazon bots automatically added a similar and additional Kindle category to the book, breaking its own rules.


Why? I suppose if I knew the answer to that I'd be working for Amazon ;o).

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Sales Voyeur: February In Review

Steel Magnolia Press passed a few milestones in February, so I'll be sharing those with you this post as well as my own results.

First, though, I'm happy to share that the Extinct Doesn't Mean Forever anthology has earned out its advances and will be paying royalties soon. In an earlier post, I mentioned we had put it into the Select program in January and it had over 2000 downloads when it went free the first time on Jan. 31. While its second free run was rather unremarkable, cumulatively the anthology sold 72 copies and had 4 borrows in February.

Speaking of borrows, Amazon just announced that the per-borrow royalty for February will be $2.01, up from both the $1.60 amount in January and $1.70 in December. That figures, as both my Select books had more borrows in those other months :o). Still, not complaining at all, since that amount is comparable to the 70% royalty for a $2.99 book and the Steel Magnolia authors had a fair number of borrows overall.


Preliminary Reports: My Titles

SECTOR C had a phenomenal January, and February just couldn't come close to matching it. Still, it more than tripled the number of copies sold from what it did in December when it was available in 7 different stores. Dollar-wise, it made somewhere in the middle of December's $85.40 and January's $4444.76.
740 sold
5000 free downloads
87 borrows
$2025 royalties


Vet Tech Tales actually gained ground in February over January. It's seemed to settle in to consistently selling 5-10 copies a month despite little promotion and my dragging a bit on getting new Volume 2 Tales posted to my Animal Junkie blog. By Christmas, I'll have all 4 volumes out and then I'll repackage them into a single omnibus edition next year. 
281 sold
580 free downloads
15 borrows
$128.50


Spoil of War continues to be available through iTunes, BN, OmniLit and Amazon. Since nearly half its sales are currently coming from Apple, it'll likely stay out of Select for a bit longer. As always, iTunes sales will be forthcoming in the next 2-4 weeks. Based on its rankings there, I'm guessing it'll be somewhere around 100 copies for an added $100 or so.
111 sold (+ Apple)
68.60 (+ Apple)


So my titles altogether (with Apple estimated in):

1230 copies sold
5580 free downloads
102 borrows
$2322 royalties

Steel Magnolia Press Feb Report 

Apart from my books, February saw the successful launches of two new contemporary romances as well as the successful second free run of a regency romance.

The Rent-A-Groom by Jennifer Blake launched on Feb 8 with a 2-day free run, winding up at #5 in the overall free store. Readers rallied around this solid backlist title, and when the dust settled it had:
27,000+ free downloads
2604 sales
205 borrows
$3000 royalties


It's on a 1-day free run as I write this early in the evening on Mar 2, and it's #35 overall with another 7800 free downloads.


Catering to the Italian Playboy by Tamelia Tumlin also launched on Feb 8 with a 2-day free run where it reached #47 in the US overall free store and #7 in the UK. On the paid side, it was #3 Hot New Contemporary Romance (The Rent-A-Groom was #4) and had:
12,900+ free downloads
2190 sales
76 borrows
$1100 royalties


Gypsy Bond by Lindy Corbin launched in January to respectable sales at 99c, but a mention from Pixel of Ink on its second free run in late January and a third free run on Feb 21 pushed it from 242 sales in January to a total of over 1000 by the end of February:
10,500 free downloads
850 sales
38 borrows
$375 royalties
  
Steel Magnolia Milestones

We began uploading titles under the Steel Magnolia Press imprint around November 1 and retroactively assimilated my titles into the mix. The Extinct anthology is associated with but separate from the SMP imprint and is not included in the following milestone figures. 

After just 4 months in operation, across 9 titles and 4 authors, Steel Magnolia Press has:
  • Given away over 100,000 books (114,000)
  • Sold over 10,000 books (10,750)
  • Had over 750 books borrowed (777)
  • Made its authors over $10,000 in royalties ($11,250)


Thank you to all our wonderful readers!