I have returned from a four-day book-signing journey that took place in Edmonton. It was while I was there talking with various managers of Indigo and Chapters stores that I came to realise that I am a best-selling author on the Canadian prairies. Now just to determine what makes an author a best-selling author, one needs to know the parameters. I was placed on the best-selling author list at a weekly a McNally-Robinson Bookstore for selling the most books by a local author during a certain week-period last year. This year I am easily pulling in top selling prairie author at various cities for various weeks, and even months. So, what does that mean?
Typically as I learned this past weekend, a local, prairie author sells about three to five books. Usually, as in this past weekend, I average between 40 to 50 books sold on a weekend. In June, a three-day total was more than 60 books sold in Calgary. It doesn’t sound like much, but when it is taken in comparison to other prairie authors, it is quite impressive. I got confirmation of that in each store where I have sold books this year with the exception of two stores where “I” made the mistake of booking an event on a summer holiday. Still, even on those days, I sold more than the average prairie author. All of that said, I won’t be making a living selling books.
I have sold more than 800 paperback copies of my books over the past two and a half years at such events. I likely have sold less than a hundred paperbacks via other means. As for eBooks, I haven’t been tracking them though I do receive monthly payments from Amazon, and occasionally from Smashwords for my books. To be honest, I don’t put any energy into online sales at all. When I am not out selling books at book-signing events, I prefer to be writing books, poems, and stories – as well as writing up blog posts.
Yet, it isn’t all about writing. I have a home and yard that demands some of my time as well. I will be trimming hedges and bushes, raking up leaves, winterising my camping trailer and other home-owner tasks that are necessary to get ready for another Canadian prairie winter.