Writing Life: Sales Expectations
If you decide to go independent, don’t expect to get rich overnight. It takes on average 5-10 years to make a living and that is if you do everything right. Again, there is a lot of advice out there, but it boils down to this: Produce a professional, well-written, enjoyable, well-presented product.
- Short fiction does not sell as well as long fiction. My sales figures reflect this, except in the case of one particularly quirky short story that I can’t explain.
- Poetry does not sell as well as short fiction. My sales figures reflect this, too.
- Collections and Anthologies sell better than individual shorts, but not as well as long fiction.
- Novels sell better than short fiction, collections and poetry. Sales figures say yes to this, too.
- The romance genre sells better than the science fiction or fantasy genres… or so it is said. Sales figures also give this the nod—I sell fantasy and romance, and will soon add science fiction to that.
- Regular releases build your readership more than putting your finished work out in bursts. I recently conducted an experiment on this by releasing a short story a fortnight. Why a short story? Because that was the only way to get a fortnightly schedule up and running quickly, and build in time to finish longer work to add into the schedule later. As that longer work is completed, I expect my schedule to look a lot more balanced between short and long fiction, collections and novels, and between genres and my various pen names. The main point here is: regular releases, for some reason, result in sales across the spectrum of your work regardless of similarities or differences in genre or length… or so say my sales figures.