I Got This Question About Numbers of Sales It Takes

Now, I have done this post a bunch, mostly on making a living with your short fiction, so thought I would twist it a little just for fun. And to show some extremes.

But everyone should be doing these numbers for themselves at times.

And, of course, there is no right answer to this. Not a one.

Since the 20Booksto50K conference was here and I did that talk which you can see a few posts back, let’s just use $50,000 for goal number.

Novel Price is $5.99 electronic so you get $4 per sale. (You make extra paper and audio and other rights license, not counting Patreon and bundles other things like that, but let’s just make this simple for now.)

The Math…

1 Book Published (electronic)… You make $50,000 when you sell 12,500 copies of that book.

10 Books Published… You make $50,000 when you sell 1,250 copies of each book.

20 Books Published… You make $50,000 when you sell 625 copies of each book.

50 Books Published… You make $50,000 when you sell 250 copies of each book.

100 Books Published… You make $50,000 when you sell 125 copies of each book.

Notice, there is no time involved at all. You just make that much when you sell that many copies total of each book.

So let’s just say five years as a time frame to start. You want to make $50,000 in five years with your writing.

So with 100 books, you need to sell on average just over 2 copies of each book per month for five years. Pretty dormant sales there.

Again, on average.

If you have only one book, to make $50,000 in five years, you have to sell over 208 books per month of that one book for 60 months. That’s tougher by silly factors.

Of course, if your goal is to make $50,000 in ten years, the numbers get head-shaking low.

But if you want to make $50,000 a year, and if you can get to 100 books total, you don’t have to sell many at all on average in one year. About ten-plus books per month on average over all your titles. 9 books sell one copy, one book sells a hundred and you got it over that many titles. Average…

Fewer titles, the more per title you have to sell on average per book to hit $50,000 in a year.

I can tell you one thing on discoverability, unless you are around twenty titles under one author name, you won’t get much traction in discoverability without being very lucky. So focus on the writing.

And does 100 books sounds impossible? You have goal issues and myth issues if that is the case. I wrote over a hundred different kinds of books in the last six years while doing this silly blog streak here.

WMG Publishing Inc. that is Kris and my publishing company has over 800 titles. Some are short fiction, most are main books. You can do the math if you like for fun.

And remember, we have hundreds and hundreds of cash flows because we know magic bakery thinking. This example was only one cash flow, electronic, per book, just for fun.

Again, everyone should do these numbers for themselves. Don’t ask me to do them very often. I do them for WMG regularly.