In a response to an earlier post, Jack Owen asked, "[T]his time last year you wrote a review of the 'REAL' state of sales for journeyman writers as opposed to the 'Stars'. As a pro [...], have there been any significant changes?"
There have been changes, but are they significant?
So let's review. I'm an established writer with almost 1,000 short story sales, author of several books published by small presses, and editor of five crime fiction anthologies. I'm not well known, but neither am I a beginner.
I released my first title for Kindle--a romance novella titled Unbridled Love: A Romance with Horse Sense--in April 2010. Since then I've released 13 additional titles--one novel, two novellas, six short story collections, and four freestanding short stories. The titles have been released under my name and under the pseudonym Rolinda Hay.
My bestselling title is the one I released first. As of the end of April, Unbridled Love has sold 480 copies. Released in April 2011, my second-bestselling title is Sex, Violence & Half a Million Dollars, a collection of erotic crime fiction stories previously published in men's magazines, with 18 copies sold as of the end of April. Sales for other titles range down to a low of two for "Pick," a short story released September 2010. (My newest release, Love in Short Order, has only been available for a few days and stats for this title are not included.)
I'm currently earning more than $100 each month from sales of these titles, though the bulk of that income is from sales of Unbridled Love. (Note: I don't give work away so these sales figures represent actual sales, not freebies.)
I enrolled several of my titles in KDP Select. So far only one title has been checked out. Interestingly, it was a short story and I earned more for that check-out than I would have earned if I'd sold that copy.
I've also released two of these titles--Unbridled Love and Memories Dying--through Smashwords. I don't have actual sales figures handy, but my total earnings from Smashwords, as of the end of April, was $104.58. The bulk of the income was generated by sales of Unbridled Love.
The income I receive from self-published Kindle titles encourages me to continue adding titles as time permits, but does not yet come close to the income I earn from sales to traditional (and non-traditional) short story markets. I have not yet written anything specifically for self-publishing. Everything I've released has been previously published (thus generating additional income) or has, at least, made the rounds of my regular markets (thus generating some income rather than sitting in my filing cabinet and generating none).
The income I receive from Smashwords indicates that I should make an effort to release more titles through Smashwords, and I intend to as time permits.
So, significant changes? No.
But things are definitely looking up.