Friday, May 13, 2011

10,000 Books Sold!

Blogger had technical difficulties, and they removed my post from the other day and it has disappeared completely. I am rewriting and this time I will save a copy on my PC. Sorry for the inconvenience of coming here and not seeing a post regarding selling 10,000 books. I'll start over. If my old message is restored, you might see two messages with the same header.

I have a pretty good imagination, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I would sell thousands of books in such a short time! In under 10 weeks I have sold 10,000 books!

Amazon:             8,987
B&N:                   1,003
Smashwords:          13

On Wednesday night I hit the 10,000 books sold mark and I came to celebrate by writing a blog! Yay!

I also mentioned that I had received some emails from other writers who were interested in finding out more about formatting and publishing their book on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. I'm just going to tell you how I went about self-publishing.

1. Write a great book! This is the easy part. Ha!

2. I learned basic HTML so I could make sure my ebooks would have smart quotes and wonderful looking m-dashes. If you hire someone to format your books, you can skip this part. I do think it would be helpful to download some ebooks on your PC or Ereader so you can look at various formats that other authors have used.
3. I learned a lot about self-publishing by reading Joe Konrath’s blog, A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing at and I read a lot of articles on the internet. I also talked to other self-published writers. If you use Konrath's blog, I suggest you buy a few of his books because he is sharing a lot of great info over there.
4. I downloaded Derek Canyon’s, Format Your Ebook for Kindle in One-Hour
If you DO NOT want to spend time formatting, there are lots of people who will do it for you. Here is one place you can go for Kindle and Nook formatting:
Here is another:
Do some research before you choose. Send them an email and get a quote.
5. My husband downloaded HomeSite5 on my PC so I could make changes in HTML and see those changes as I made them. He already had this software, so this did not cost me any money. You don’t need to do this. Many people use Notepad or Word to format their books and save as HTML for Kindle and Nook.
6. While your book is being formatted, I suggest you ready your bio, backcover blurb, pricing, etc.
7. Once my book was formatted and ready to go, I registered at KDP (this is where you go to download your ebook on Amazon):
8. I registered at PubIt (this is where you go to download your ebook on Barnes & Noble):

9. I registered at Smashwords distributes your ebook to the Apple IBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony Reader Store, Kobo and the Diesel eBook Store. I have a lot to learn about Smashwords. Formatting was time consuming, so I hired Bryan Coker to format my latest book (, but I haven’t had time to download it yet. Email Bryan and tell him you would like a quote on having your book formatted for Smashwords.
10. Promotion/Marketing: Use your blog to promote your books! Help other writers! Send out emails to your friends and family. READ Zoe Winters’ Becoming an Indie Author  This book is informative and interesting. I was wrong. There is LOTS of stuff on how to format, and Zoe Winters will also tell you what to expect when you self-publish. I found this to be a fun and informative read! I definitely use this book as my "how to" when it comes to being an indie author.
When you register with KDP, Pubit, and Smashwords, all of these places will provide lots of tips and advice on how to market your book.
11. Print on Demand. If you want to hold a paperback book in your hand, you can set up POD books with Amazon through CreateSpace. I plan to do this with all of my books before the end of the year. It’s FREE! Or you can go with their pro plan for $39. Read all about it right here:

That’s it for now. If you decide to self-publish, I wish you TONS of success!
If you have any questions at all, let me know and I will do my best to answer them.


Carey_Corp said...

Hi Theresa,

Thank you so much for sharing what you are learning. I'm in the formatting stage of my journey. I'm excited and terrified-it's definitely a wild ride. My release date is 5/24.

I do have a question. Which Kindle royalty structure did you go with? The higher of lower one and why?

I'll be downloading your books when I get home today. I can't wait to read!


Carey_Corp said...

Oh - I see you are a GH finalist as well! :)

Carey_Corp said...

Theresa - I just read "How I Got Started" and I'm blow away! Your story is so encouraging. I haven't been at this as long as you have, but our stories are similar in regards to Golden Heart finals (although I finaled the first time I entered - a total fluke!), agents, and near misses. Even geography- although I live in Cincinnati, I'm a Vacaville, CA girl.

I'm so happy we exist in an era where good unpublished stories don't have to gather dust! And I can't wait to read your work.

Theresa Ragan said...

Hi Carey! Yes, I am a six-time GH finalist and I love RWA because I have met so many wonderful writers through RWA and I learned so much.

As for your question about royalties...You are automatically set for 70% royalties if you set your book at $2.99 or higher, which is why, I believe, a lot of authors are choosing to sell their books for $2.99. If the 70% was set at $3.99, that's probably where I would start. I think authors everywhere should make the lion's share of profit on their books. If you price your book less than $2.99...than you automatically get 35% of each book sold. I set one of my time- travels at $.99 because I wanted to reach readers faster and I wanted to test the market. The rest of my books are set at $2.99 because they are 400 pages and they are great reads! :)

Thanks for the comment and please come back on 5/24 so we can celebrate the release of your book! I will go checkout your blog right now.

Caroline said...

Theresa, CONGRATULATIONS on your 10,000 mark! That is outstanding-superfantastic-amazing!!! I am in awe and following your success closely. Also, thanks for being such an open book on how this is done, your sources and $$. Since I read your first two books—and loved them-- I thought I’d give your romantic comedy a try. I love TAMING MAD MAX so far and it kept me up way too late last night. Kudos to YOU!

As they say—onward and upward!




Theresa Ragan said...

Caroline, thank you so much for taking the time to comment...and for the NICE words! You might be my #1 fan now! ha!

Theresa Ragan said...

I have received a few emails from people who have tried to leave a comment and couldn't. If you have Livepress, Wordpress, Google, etc., you need to sign in first. Hopefully that takes care of the problem. It's frustrating when it takes 15 attempts to leave a simple comment!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

CONGRATS on hitting 10,000! That is a FANTASTIC accomplishment and in only 10 weeks! You should be very proud.

And thank you again for being so upfront with your numbers. Plus I appreciate all the info about covers, editing, and formatting. I am approaching the formatting stage and feeling a bit nervous about whether or not I can do it myself. I do think I will try it and if I run into problems, I know where to go to ask for help! ;-)


Caroline said...

Theresa, CONGRATULATIONS on your 10,000 mark! That is outstanding-superfantastic-amazing!!! I am in awe and following your success closely. Also, thanks for being such an open book on how this is done, your sources and $$. Since I read your first two books—and loved them-- I thought I’d give your romantic comedy a try. I'm so loveing TAMING MAD MAX so far and it kept me up way too late last night. Kudos to YOU!

As they say—onward and upward!


Theresa Ragan said...

Thanks for commenting, Caroline. I think you might be my #1 fan. Tied with my mother-in-law. Thanks for your encouraging words and support. I will be posting more sales updates next week. Have a great weekend!

Theresa Ragan said...

Aunt Cindy, whereever you are, thanks for posting the other day. I lost that post but I did see your comment before blogger wiped away my last post. THANK YOU! said...

Congrats, Theresa! That's so incredible! :) Keep up the good work! I'm loving Taming Mad Max!

Theresa Ragan said...

Thanks, Lacy. Your book will be out on 5/24, right? said...

You're welcome! It's pushed back a few weeks :). Thanks for asking!

Katie Cramer said...

Congratulations Theresa! Truly inspirational and completely deserved.

Author R G Porter said...

This is fantastic to read! I read about it through Kindle boards (Amanda the sneaky lady she is ) posted about it. It is so encouraging to read this kind of success. It provides guidance, inspiration and makes us all smile.

Great job!!


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