Advice For Writers

Revenue Growth for Authors

Rather than post another monthly summary, I’m offering a two-year revenue chart to kickstart your writing in 2021. I’ve included key releases on the chart to give you an idea of where my growth came from.
 
I write serial killer thrillers and psychological suspense in the vein of Lisa Gardner, Christopher Greyson, Lisa Regan, etc. In December 2018, I released the first in a ten-novella series to little fanfare. I rapid released the next two novellas over two weeks. No buyers. I was devastated. But I kept writing and started a few ads on AMS and Facebook.
 
By late 2019, I’d released all ten novellas in the series (Series 1 on the chart) and built a small following through advertising. The series started making real money, and I increased my revenue by about 50% over this time.
 
Book one of series 2 released at the end of 2019. I only sold 40 pre-orders over two months. It felt like I’d failed again. But I kept pushing the book in AMS and Facebook as I wrote book two, which garnered 96 pre-orders. Series popularity kept growing.
 
May 2020 is an important date on the graph. I created two box sets out of my ten-novella series and advertised the first box set through AMS. The ads were hugely successful from week one with great conversion rates. Not only was I gaining readers and followers, I was pushing readers from box set #2 to series #2, book 1. Word to the wise – always end your book with a link to your next book.
 
Book six of series #2 released in October 2020. This book had 209 pre-orders in 39 days, a new personal record. Remember when book one only had 40 pre-orders over two months?
 
In nine months, I’d grown my revenue from $1500 to over $9000. My mailing list and followers grew steadily too. And when my new series (series #3) hit in December 2020, readers were ready. Now that I’d become “a player” in the thriller/suspense realm, big indie names in the genre wanted to work with me. One newsletter swap earned me over 200 downloads in one day on a $0.99 deal. For all but those two promo days, I kept the price at $4.99 and made bank. I shattered the $12k revenue mark in December 2020 and kept $9k in real profit after costs. That’s life changing. And January is kicking December’s butt so far as the post-holiday buying/reading binge hits its stride.
 
I’m writing this because none of my success seemed possible 24 months ago. Or even 12 months ago. You can do this too.
 
There are no secrets here. I publish every 45 to 60 days in a genre readers hunger for, I pay for quality covers that hold their own with the thriller and suspense top-50, and I advertise just enough (about $2500 per month) to get my name out there.
 
Wherever you are on your journey, imagine your revenue growing by 5x, 10x, or more this year. This is doable. I’m a small fish compared to many of my friends on the 20Booksto50k Facebook group. But you need to write more books and learn enough about advertising to kickstart your success. Read everything Chris Fox writes. Pour through the 20Books threads and watch the videos. Then set your goals and make them happen.

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