How much will your self-published book sell? To far too many starry-eyed authors, this question does not enter into the equation, which is why the Ten Home Truths point #1 is the following:
1. You know Amanda Hocking, and Joe Konrath and them?
Yeah, you are going to forget their names and the fact that they’ve had phenomenal successes right now. They exist in a different universe where possibilities and probabilities have been interchanged and where luck smiles down on everyone. That is the universe you’ll find if you take a right turn at the sign that says winners only. But the way is almost always blocked.
The wide-scale brushing aside of this point leads authors into the situation described in How much does self-publishing cost? They get easily roped into expensive schemes because they have a completely unrealistic expectation of their sales.
So, how much will you sell initially (or maybe full stop)?
Well, take the lowest of your personal estimates–or should I call them wishtimates. Take 10% of that (not 10% off–if that’s what you think, go back to point 3 of the Ten Home Truths: learn to write). That’s right, 10% of your estimate. Now divide by two.
Have any sales left? No? Excellent.
It is impossible to underestimate your initial sales. You may be lucky and do better, but most likely you will not. If you work hard and produce fiction with a decent level of competence, your sales will probably increase slowly, but this self-publishing gig is not fast. Don’t outlay huge amounts of money in the assumption that your will see your money back within a year (or at all). Spend only if past sales justify and fund it.