I Kickstarted my first novel, sold 1,319 books, and made $4,369.14 (so far) — and so can you (maybe) (under fairly specific circumstances)

  • 538 hardcovers for $2,907.96
  • 1,072 paperbacks for $4,076.12
  • And it cost $702.17 to ship the books from the printers
  • TopatoCo: $1,488.75
  • Gumroad: $792.20
  • Amazon: $1,013.96
  • LA County Store: $597
  • Direct retail sales: $308.29
  • Total: $4,200.20
  • E-books: 207
  • Paperbacks: 237
  • Hardcovers: 309
  • Total: 753
  • Hardcover: 30
  • Paperback: 77
  • Total TopatoCo: 107
  • Paperback: 92
  • E-books: 120
  • Total Amazon: 212
  • Direct sales to friends and family:
  • Hardcover: 8
  • Paperback: 7
  • Total direct sales: 15
  • Total: 443
  • Hardcover: 42
  • Paperbacks: 81
  • Total: 123
  • As of this writing, the majority of books I sold — about 58% of total copies — went through the Kickstarter.
  • The breakdown of books by format was a lot more even than I expected — 389 hardcovers (29% of the total), 494 paperbacks (37%), and 436 ebooks (33%).
  • Everywhere I’ve been promoting my novel, I’ve been pointing people to the TopatoCo store (for physical books) and Gumroad (for e-books); I sold 219 copies combined between those two channels. I sold almost as many books — 212 — through Amazon, despite literally never posting those links anywhere. Considering that I’m guessing almost every copy of this book was sold no more than two degrees of separation away from me promoting it directly, this is a testament to the stranglehold Amazon has on the book-buying public’s mind.
  • E-books: cost, $1.14; profit, $6.86
  • Paperbacks: cost, $13.99; profit, $1.01
  • Hardcover: cost, $16.95; profit, $8.05
  • If you buy an e-book via Gumroad, you pay $8, and I receive $7.35.
  • If you buy an e-book via the Amazon Kindle store, you pay $8, and I receive $5.42.
  • If you buy a paperback book via Amazon, you pay $15 (plus shipping, though you can get free shipping if you don’t need it right away) and I receive $4.43.
  • If you buy a paperback book via TopatoCo, you pay $15 (plus shipping), and I receive $11.25.
  • If you buy a hardcover book via TopatoCo, you pay $25 (plus shipping), and I receive $20.75.

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I am the Comics Curmudgeon, among several other things.

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Josh Fruhlinger

Josh Fruhlinger

I am the Comics Curmudgeon, among several other things.