I self-published my first title, Dark Steps in August 2011. Since then, I have sold some books. Here's a graph to prove it.
You'll note that I have removed the scale from the Y-axis, but essentially this equates to just over 300 sales across five titles. In the same time period, I have given away, completely free, over 9,000 copies through various channels, nearly all Amazon Kindle Select promotions.
Giving books away for free is fine, I guess, and, barring miracles, writing is never going to enable me to give up the day job. That's fine, I accept that. Fortunately, that's not why I write. But, you know, <plug class="shameless">if you wanted to buy a book sometime, well, that would be fine too...</plug>
Footnote: wondering where the title of this post comes from? Wonder no more. And yes, Euro Itchy & Scratchy Land is a perfect metaphor for sales of my books.