Another month, another sales report!
As I predicted in last month’s report, January saw a big drop off in sales compared to December and November.
2013, eh? Damn. Where did that come from? All of a sudden it’s time to make plans for a new year to come, but not before taking a moment to review the one just passed.
Happy New Year everyone!
The advent of 2013 also marks the end of my second full month as a published author. It’s time to check on how sales went during the month, and make some predictions for the future. Also–graphs!
Lindsay has a great post on her blog where she gives her views on how indie author-publishers might want to price their books.
Her rationale for pricing a novel happens to be exactly the same as mine, though I’ve never quite managed to express it this succinctly:
“I personally think about $5 per full-length novel is a fair price all around. It gives you far higher per-book earnings than traditionally published authors are receiving (even those whose ebooks are selling for $10+), it gives the readers a deal when compared to most traditionally published ebooks, and it’s often considered a fair price by those who feel that digital books should cost less than the dead-tree variety since paper, ink, and shipping aren’t a part of the equation.
“Lastly, it separates you from the legions of indie authors charging $0.99, $1.99, and $2.99 for their novels (often on the belief that they won’t be able to sell at a higher price because they’re not established names — I started out at $2.99 for just that reason). A lot of readers still walk warily around self-published books, so it can only help if you’re not giving obvious clues that your book was never vetted by a gatekeeper.”
I don’t always agree with the advice DWS gives on his blog. And that’s fine–he wouldn’t want me to. He wants writers to think for themselves, make informed decisions, and take control of their careers.
Today’s advice, though, I think is absolutely spot-on. It’s ‘an article on the good stuff and the bad stuff you face in getting to a solid career as a fiction writer‘.
Here are some snippets.
‘Examples (not all by a long ways) of some major myths in 2013 are:
And the paragraph that really resonated with me, because it perfectly chimes with how I feel about writing:
‘The solution to [being in a hurry] is take a deep breath, focus on the writing and learning to write better stories and put the books out either indie or to editors or both and leave them alone. If you get a few buyers, great. If not, no big deal. Trust the audience and the editors to decide when you have graduated to professional-level storytelling.‘
I know ASCENSION POINT is a good book. I wouldn’t have published it otherwise. I had a professional editor tell me what was wrong with it–and there were a lot of things wrong with it. We fixed them.
Is it ‘professional-level storytelling’? Maybe. My readers so far have really enjoyed it. And I’ve got a few buyers, which is great.
Is it the best thing I’ll ever write? Not by a long way. And that’s fine. I want the last thing I ever write–at the age of ninety-two while living in a bubble city on Mars–to be that best thing.
But I’m getting there.
December has rolled around, which means I’ve reached the end of my first month as a published author. As many of you who follow this blog are writers as well as readers, and might be considering taking the self-publishing route yourselves in the future, I thought it might be interesting, and maybe useful, if I shared my sales numbers along with info on what promotion I did to get there.
So, without further ado…
Sales and Earnings
(* How much I’ve earned back so far of the cost of producing the book.)
Now for some caveats:
Not a huge amount, to be honest. Here’s a breakdown:
So all told, a decent start to my writing career. I’m very happy, and I’m looking forward to seeing what December brings!
I got an email earlier from my editor, Misti, telling me that’s she’s almost finished her edit of ASCENSION POINT.
Ahem. We’re going to have a chat on Wednesday, and shortly thereafter I’ll be able to start carving up my MS into a leaner, meaner form, with an eye on publishing before the end of October.
As this milestone nears, I just wanted to post on something I’ve been thinking about, what I consider the two different approaches a writer can take to self-publishing. In essence, one’s free, and one’s not. But there’s only one which I think is doing it ‘properly’. Can you guess which? Read more…
I completely agree with the Atlantic’s conclusion:
“Policing reviews could take time and alienate some customers, both self-published authors and reviewers, but to let reviews continue unregulated might alienate far more of them.”
Both authors and readers–but especially readers, of course–need to have faith in the honesty of the review system, for the simple fact that it’s often the prime driver behind making a purchase.
And to offer a non-literary equivalent, how happy would you be to find out that, say, Samsung had paid ten thousand people $15 each to write a five-star review of a new TV they’d brought out?
Not happy, I’d imagine.
I missed this post when it came out on the 6th as we were on holiday, but it’s more solid argument from David refuting the ‘self-pub is dying/non-viable/killing writing’ noise that keeps popping up.
Oh, Penguin. How could you. After all those books I enjoyed so much when I was a child.