Brenna Aubrey

One Year: No Regrets

One year ago I made two very risky decisions. First, I decided to turn down multiple offers on my manuscript from traditional publishers and publish it myself instead. Second, I openly blogged about that decision and the subsequent short-term results.

To say my life has changed in the past year is an understatement. I’m now considering what I thought would be out of my reach for many years—becoming a full time writer and supporting my family on that income alone. Had I chosen to traditionally publish this trilogy, this would not be true, not this year, at least. Perhaps in the long term.

It seems like a dream—an overnight sensation decades in the making. For years and years I wrote only for my own enjoyment, to explore worlds, characters and stories and share those with my friends. It took me a long time to realize that people outside of my inner circle might enjoy the stories too. And they have. All gratitude to my readers. Without them, none of this would be possible.

Below is a screenshot from an email of one of the offers from a Big 5 publisher. There is no identifying information here, but I thought it would be interesting to include this, especially the bonus structure based on the sales they expected the book to make in its first year.

Book one would have been published last month sometime. Books two and three would have been published in 2015, so I would still be waiting on this money below. And it’s unsure how close I could have come to this bonus structure had I gone the traditional route.

 

And as a way to compare, here are my actual sales numbers for the first year, across three books, the same trilogy I would have sold to a Big 5 publisher in other circumstances.

My Stats For The First Year As A Self-Published Author:

Date I hit the gross $120,000 advance amount: October 29 (3rd day of sales for Book 3)

Total Number of Books sold from 12/5/13 to 12/4/14: 80,313

Total Number of copies of At Any Price (released officially 12/9/13) sold: 50,011

Total Number of copies of At Any Turn (released 4/30/14) sold: 19,871

Total Number of copies of At Any Moment (released 10/27/14) sold: 10,431

**Note: These numbers are for individual ebook sales only and do not include boxed sets or print copies.

 

Some Things I’ve learned About The Biz

It’s been an amazing, life-changing year and I’ve learned so much. The most important thing I’ve learned is how quickly things change and how much I need to keep on learning. Given this “hindsight is 20/20” look at the decision I’ve made, it’s clear that it was the right one for me. Thanks to all of those of you who believed in me and in this decision. You’ve been a wonderful support throughout this journey! And without the help of the indie community, I could never have had this amount of success.

To celebrate this achievement, At Any Price will be free for the first time ever, for a short time starting on December 9, exactly one year from its official release date.

Edit: The book is now free everywhere!

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