Terry Goodkind’s First Rule: Self-Publish

Bestselling fantasy author Terry Goodkind released his latest book, The First Confessor (The Legend of Magda Searus) as a self-published book in both Kindle format and print on July 2. Sales skyrocketed on day one with the book coming in at #28 on Amazon’s bestseller list. Today the Kindle version has slipped to #73. Obviously loyal fans were waiting to get their downloads after the pre-publicity that involved a lot of social networking.

Terry Goodkind’s fanatasy novel series that began with Wizard’s First Rule has a huge readership, so the Amazon results are no surprise. But what do these # ratings mean in terms of actual sales?

How to Estimate Sales From Amazon #Ratings

Here’s an estimate of how to work out your sales from your Amazon rating. Obviously these figures are not set in stone but it’s a broad estimate of what to expect in terms of revenue when self-publishing an ebook. Starting from the bottom:

#Rating Sales per month
200,000+ 1
175,000-199,000 2
150,000 to 174,999 4
125,000 to 149,999 8
100,000 to 124,999 10
75,000 to 99,999  25
50,000 to 74,999  35
40,000 to 49,999 55
30,000 to 39,999 75
25,000 to 29,999 100
20,000 to 24,999 200
15,000 to 19,999 300
10,000 to 14,999 400
5,000 to 9,999 650
1,000 to 4999 1500
1 to 499 2500

But there are always exceptions to rules. Currently Jennifer Probst has sold nearly half a million units of her bestseller The Marriage Bargain and sales are still going strong at 5,000-copies-per-day.

Terry Goodkind’s First Rule: Self-Publish

In an earlier post I discussed Terry Goodkind’s decision to self-publish as opposed to taking the traditional publishing option. Presumably the book publishers were getting the largest share of the ebook price.

Note: Unless an author retains the electronic rights when signing with a print publisher, it’s likely that the writer’s share of the ebook profits will be very small.

According to my estimate above, The First Confessor is selling at least 2,500 copies per month. The digital price is currently $8.99 so the take home fee for each book @ 70% or thereabouts is around $6.30. Multiply that by the number of sales and you get a figure close to $15,750 per month. You can see why Terry Goodkind’s First Rule is Self-Publishing.


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