The first day of every month is a hard one for an independent author. All your sales are wiped clean. However well you did the month before, all those sales disappear, and the counter resets to zero.

This is what the sales report for Kindle looks like when you haven’t sold any books.


No matter how good previous month sales were, this is the bar you see before you sell anything this month. Ugh.

Back in 2010 and early 2011, there were some months when this bar wouldn’t go away until the end of the month. Now it usually goes away pretty quickly.

This is what mine looks like right now for September:


It flipped from the brown bar sometime in the afternoon.

One sale. They’re not exactly flying off the shelves right now.

And yet … I have to say, that single sale is still kind of amazing to me. When I checked my report, I was still surprised, encouraged, and grateful. I haven’t done anything to market The Saints Go Dying since June. There’s no marketing push I can point to where I can say, “This is where that sale came from.” Which means that sometime today someone stumbled onto The Saints Go Dying–maybe through a recommendation from a friend, maybe because it showed up in Amazon’s search algorithms–and took a chance.

That’s just a wonderful feeling.

Between six titles, I have sold more than 14,000 copies of my books. FOURTEEN THOUSAND! It boggles the mind. After that many sales, you would think I would be past the point of caring about a single sale–or maybe being frustrated when I’m not selling hundreds a day. But it’s not the case.

It wasn’t that long ago that “publishing” meant making photocopies of my books, binding them in a 3-ring binder, and giving them to my friends. So much has changed so quickly. That even a single person buys a copy is still very exciting. I hope it always will be.