The Kindle millionaires are quite willing to tout their sales numbers and earnings, but no one else seems willing to share their data. So, how about a little dose of reality from the bottom end?
But first, some background:
I'm an established writer with nearly 900 short story sales.
My stories have been spread across so many genres that I'm not particularly well known in any specific genre.
I have many titles available from many sources in many formats (Kindle, Nook, etc.) but I'm only sharing numbers from my self-published work, and my self-published work is currently available only from Amazon for Kindle.
I uploaded my first title in April 2010, an original sweet romance titled Unbridled Love: A Romance With Horse Sense. As of the end of April 2011, I had sold 38 copies. Mid-April I changed the cover and this month to date I've sold 17 copies.
In August and September 2010 I uploaded three hardboiled crime short stories ("Glass Houses," "Lesser of Two Evils," and "Pick,") and one mystery novella "Dreams Unborn," all previously published. They are offered individually. As of the end of April 2011, I've sold--all four titles combined--23 copies. This month to date: 0.
In April 2010 I uploaded Microchick, a collection of 24 previously published erotic SF, horror, and fantasy short stories. During April I sold 1 copy. This month to date: 3.
In April 2010 I uploaded Sex, Violence, & Half a Million Dollars, a collection of 23 previously published erotic hardboiled and noir crime fiction stories. In April I sold 8 copies. This month to date: 1.
Earlier this month I uploaded Spicy Confessions, a collection of four confession stories as by Rolinda Hay. Sales this month to date: 1.
I've done little promotion--links on my website, links on my blog, occasional mentions on Facebook, and this post, which might serve some promotional purpose.
Most of what I've made available for the Kindle is previously published work, so any income the stories generate is gravy, but the amount of money I'm earning in any particular month is negligible. (I'll clear $40 for May sales, my best month to date.)
I hope having real sales numbers, with real titles you can study (look at the covers, look at the product descriptions, look at the tags, look at the reviews [or lack of reviews]) will help you decide if self-publishing is worth your effort.
For me? Yes, but...