Monday, June 4, 2012

Celebrating a Milestone: 50,000 Kindle Books Sold

(My assistant Trim [lower right] taking a break.)

Two years ago when I decided to stop pursuing the traditional route of publication and independently publish, I had hopes of selling a few hundred books. Sure, every writer wants to be a bestselling author, but I figured I'd be happy if someone other than friends and family simply knew my work existed.

I'd long ago lost count of the number of rejections I've received, at first from agents and eventually from editors. When I initially put my debut book on Kindle, there were days I clicked on my KDP sales report page and didn't get a single sale. Sometimes that went on for most of a week. Great big goose eggs. Oh well, I tried.

Yet something kept me going: supportive family, a champion agent and fellow writers. Along the way, I had crit partners who were persistent in their encouragement, even when I didn't have confidence in myself, and who made suggestions in a helpful, positive way that made my writing better. I remember the phone call from a successful agent (OMGosh, someone was actually interested in my books!) that had me so excited I almost burst. I can't neglect to mention my two children who allowed me to ignore them so I could write and the husband who made sure that dinner was on the table when I was absorbed in my work.

And one day, along came my first fan mail. It was January of 2011. I'd been self-published for seven months. I thought surely this was just some kind soul taking pity on me and spreading random kindness. Now, I can glance up at the wall behind my desk (above) and see it papered with e-mails and FB posts and tweets from readers. Yes, real readers. I sure as heck don't know that many people! I'm still amazed that anyone would take the time to write to an author, least of all me.

Yesterday, my KDP sales report page ticked over with my 50,000th Kindle sale on Amazon. Honestly, it feels more than a little surreal.

Just in case you think that's something spectacular, here's a list of indie authors and their sales figures for April 2012: Top 100 Indie Authors. It's not a comprehensive list, as some indie authors are more public with their numbers than others, but Holy Smokes! It's amazing how well some self-published authors are doing. Here's another thread on Kindleboards listing authors with over 50,000 sales.

I'm taking a moment out to celebrate and say THANK YOU! to all the readers who made this milestone possible, as well those who provided moral support and shared their knowledge along the way. I am humbled and eternally grateful.

Success, however small or large, never happens without a little help from others. Whatever your dreams, wherever you're starting from, however far you have yet to go, remember - one step at a time, stay the path and (as Oprah used to say) surround yourself with angels. They're there if you look for them. I've been lucky enough to find more than a few along the way.

Until later,
Gemi

18 comments:

Genevieve Graham said...

Wow. Congratulations, Gemi. Entirely deserved.

historywriter said...

Congrats Gemi. Hard work and the support of the writerly community is surely one thing, but I've always been impressed about how you have gone about not only researching and writing great reads, but creating books that look good and then getting the word out. One of these days...

N. Gemini Sasson said...

Thanks, Janet and Genevieve.

Hazel West said...

Congratulations! I think this is a very inspiring thing for any self-published writers to read. It's so amazing that you can go from writing because you want to to actually having fans who want you to continue =)

Allison Macias said...

Thank you for writing awesome books!!! And congrats on your success!

Kristen Taber said...

This is amazing, Gemi, and well-deserved. You're a hug inspiration for me and one of the reasons I finally decided to give Indie pubbing a try myself. Thank you for being who you are and a toast to the 100K, 500K, and then the 1 million mark! I have no doubt you'll get there :).

N. Gemini Sasson said...

Hazel and Kristen - I'm normally a private person, but one of the reasons I decided to share my experience along the way was to hopefully pay forward a little. So many paved the way before me and patiently answered questions (Ali Cooper and Lisa Hinsley, just to name a couple.)

And Allison - a great big THANK YOU! Book bloggers are such generous, thoughtful people.

I hope we all get a chance to meet some day!

Shayne Parkinson said...

Congratulations, Gemi, on your thoroughly well-deserved success. I'm not in the least surprised, but I'm very, very happy for you.

I'll raise a virtual glass with you!

N. Gemini Sasson said...

Shayne, you have always been a huge, huge inspiration to me.

Beverly Diehl said...

So very excited on your behalf. Truly a milestone, congratulations!

Anna Elliott said...

Congratulations, Gemi! That's awesome.

N. Gemini Sasson said...

Thanks, Beverly and Anna!

:: joni :: said...

I am so proud of you for hanging in there, and also proud to have been involved in a small way in the beginning!

N. Gemini Sasson said...

You were a big part, Joni. And I may need to commission your map-making skills in the future.

Michelle Muckley said...

Dear Gemi,
As somebody who has just self published after the same two years of depressing rejections from off and on efforts in the traditional route, I have the exact same hopes as you had....that somebody would read the book other than those who feel obliged! To hear that you were once where I am now, and that you have done so well is a true inspiration, and I just want to thank you for sharing your story. Well done, I hope you enjoyed a glass of that bubbly!! You deserved it.
All the very best
Michelle

N. Gemini Sasson said...

Many thanks, Michelle. I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and at just the right time. I wish you much success on your own publishing journey.

Martin Lake said...

Wow, this is fantastic, congratulations. Was this as good as or better than your very first sale?

Martin Lake

N. Gemini Sasson said...

Hi Martin. This was definitely a much bigger deal than my first sale, because it was probably about 49,950 purchases from people who didn't know me personally. ;-) I still find it hard to grasp, but I also feel very grateful.