PDA

View Full Version : My Self Publishing Experience



christwriter
12-28-2012, 12:04 AM
This is gonna be a lil different, and a lot of people are probably gonna call BS on the first part...but it's my story. And I thought I might as well.

I REALLY wanted to be professionally published. Like BAD. But after a ton of rejections, a terrifyingly bad critique by my dream agent I kind of accepted that I just wasn't cut out for the pro game. I decided to self publish. Just...not my novel yet. My goal has been to build up monthly sales until they hit a certain number, and then break out the big guns. That way the novels will have an actual audience, and won't be starting from zero.

I also knew I wouldn't have that many expenses starting out. I am an artist, I knew I could do my own book covers and have them look fair-to-middlingly good. Editing is still the big issue, as I can't afford a real editor and my backup (my mom proofreads for a living, and she's good at pointing out continunity issues and fuzzy story choices. Also spelling, which is not my strong point) doesn't always have the time to keep up with my schedule. Which has been a small book (20-35K words) a month.

The results have been mixed.

I've had books online for just under six months. A whole bunch of little short stories, plus an anthology that put all those little stories into one place. I published this in July and sold a grand total of one book.

This one: http://www.amazon.com/Silver-Bullet-omnibus-ebook/dp/B008M0DACU/ref=la_B008OCFHJ0_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356637937&sr=1-1

I published nothing in August and sold three copies.

In September I published a little sci-fi novelette (it's just barely over 25k) that i had written.

I didn't want to write it because it's basically fan fic with the serial numbers filed off, but I couldn't work on any other projects with that story rattling around in my head, and I couldn't justify working on something that I wasn't going to release later. So please understand I kind of consider it to be the black sheep of the catalogue, and the one story I would have gladly shoved under the rug as my personal guilty pleasure.

Remember this. It makes what happens next kind of funny.

Anyway, I also signed up for KDP and started using the free books to drive sales. I sold 17 books in September, 12 of them were the sci-fi book.

This is the sci-fi book: http://www.amazon.com/Starbleached-ebook/dp/B0098SSMX2/ref=la_B008OCFHJ0_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1356637937&sr=1-2

October: I released a story that ties in to the novel I ultimately want to release, a kind of prequil. Paranormal fantasy involving fairies, a psychadelic gay dwarf and a haunted battleship/museum. It has gotten one three-star review from someone whose primary complaint was that there wasn't enough romance in it. I sold 36 books in October.

14 were the sci-fi book.

6 were the paranormal fantasy book that I actually wanted to sell.

This was the paranormal fantasy book: http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Ghost-Exiles-Ambercross-ebook/dp/B009JXQZ1M/ref=la_B008OCFHJ0_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1356637937&sr=1-5

November: Epic fantasy that ties into ANOTHER novel I plan to release, in the hopes that the audience would be all like YES GIVE ME MORE OF THIS GUY.

Everything went wrong with this book. EVERYTHING. The story IMHO is good but DAMN, I was glad to hit "publish" and know I wouldn't have to touch it again for a long time.

I sold a grand total of two copies of that book, both to family members. However, I sold 27 books in November, and 16 of them were the sci-fi book.

This is the epic fantasy book: http://www.amazon.com/Found-Thing-Tales-Prince-ebook/dp/B00A7MVVDG/ref=la_B008OCFHJ0_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1356637937&sr=1-3

December so far: No book released. I am tired. 24 books sold so far. Eleven copies of the goddamned sci-fi book, four copies of the paranormal fantasy book, two copies of the epic book, and a scattering of sales from short stories. I usually get most of my sales (Of the sci-fi book) when I put the anthology on freebies, or when the anthology sells.

So in total I have sold 107 books in four months. 55 of them were of the sci-fi book that probably shouldn't even be a thing.

And because that's the thing that people want, I'm releasing a sequel to it next month. I'll also probably discontinue the two fantasy series once the current story arcs in both play themselves out, and come up with something new to fill their places (and hopefully come up with a better flagship series than that DAMN sci-fi book. I like it, but I know it shouldn't be there.)

I have no idea what will happen next month. I haven't done much marketing, besides offering books for free and pasting stuff all over my blog, mostly because I have NO IDEA how to market things, and I also have no time. The best sales tool I've found is releasing short stories via KDP and making them free for a few days.

I tried Smashwords and got exactly zero sales from them the two months I focused there. I enrolled in KDP prime in September, and that's when things really took off.

Part of me is very sad about all this, because I still really, REALLY would have liked to be professionally published, and all the reading I've done has basically told me once you self publish the professional industry wouldn't touch you with a twelve foot pole, unless you're an outlier and I have never been outlier material.

The rest of me is sitting over in a corner petting 107 sales and whispering "my precious" over the excel sheet I put together.

So there it is. My experience. Take it or leave it.

Old Hack
12-28-2012, 01:18 AM
Part of me is very sad about all this, because I still really, REALLY would have liked to be professionally published, and all the reading I've done has basically told me once you self publish the professional industry wouldn't touch you with a twelve foot pole, unless you're an outlier and I have never been outlier material.

If you want to write books which are published by trade publishers, then all you have to do is write them.

Most trade publishers are unlikely to be interested in republishing the books you've already self published: but they'll be willing to consider new books from you, so long as they're good enough and have real commercial potential.

christwriter
12-28-2012, 01:32 AM
If you want to write books which are published by trade publishers, then all you have to do is write them.

Most trade publishers are unlikely to be interested in republishing the books you've already self published: but they'll be willing to consider new books from you, so long as they're good enough and have real commercial potential.

The gist of what I read on agency blogs is editors stop being interested once you have a poor sales record. Poor sales being defined (as per the agency blogs I've read) as "under several thousand."

Which is kind of why I've viewed self publishing as the end of the journey. Still, I'd like to believe that there's a good shot, someday.

Old Hack
12-28-2012, 01:37 AM
That's mostly with regard to individual books, though, and not to all the books you're going to write in the future.

If you don't write well, then you're not going to find an agent or a publisher willing to take you on. However, if you do write well then having previously self published a handful of titles is very unlikely to put agents or publishers off your new and brilliant book.

robertbevan
12-28-2012, 05:13 AM
which is the part we were supposed to call BS on?

if you're feeling down about self publishing, maybe you should keep holding out for an agent.

it's been my experience that energy, optimism, and enthusiasm are essential for success in self publishing.

good luck, and thanks for sharing!

BAY
12-28-2012, 06:59 AM
The more you write the better writer you become. Keep up on the agent query process and if the story isn't picked up self publish and move on. I'd say you're doing well.

astonwest
12-28-2012, 07:29 AM
It almost sounds like you're writing all sorts of different stories in various genre...and it sounds like all of your releases "tie in" to other novels that have yet to be written. Do the current releases have an entire story within them, or is it just the start of a story, and the true story will be revealed in the to-be-completed novel?

I've posted several blogs about my sales, including the latest sales update (http://astonwest.blogspot.com/2012/11/sales-update-november-2012.html) a month or so ago, but all of my titles are tied into the same universe, and feature (aside from one book) the same main character. This gives a reader another title to go buy when they finish and enjoy the one they started with. If all of the books are different genre and sets of characters, a reader is going to be hard-pressed to jump around like that...in my opinion.

christwriter
12-28-2012, 08:32 AM
Robert: you're right. I shouldn't have said that

Bay: I may in the future, if I manage to come up with something more commercial. Right now my work isn't something that an agent would want to take a chance on. At least I don't think so. Besides, if I'm trying to do commerical stuff I can't play as much. I'd have to go back into the "Do I think this will attract an agent?" mindset, and that wasn't very fun the first time around.

Aston: Yes, they do have their own stories and they don't actively tie into the main novels yet. Right now, I'm treating them kind of like a Sherlock Holmes story. Self-contained and emotionally satisfying on their own, but with hints that there's a Moriarty hanging around.

There's an endgame arc planned for each series that will wrap up the series and lay minimal groundwork for the respective novels, but if I do it right you'd be able to read the novel without reading the novellas, and you'd be able to finish the novellas and feel satisfied even if you never read the novel...though ideally you'd want to.

Or, to put it this way: You're paying money for the privilege. You deserve a beginning, middle and satisfying ending, and you shouldn't need to read sixteen other stories to understand the one you just bought. But you should then go read those other sixteen stories anyway, because you really, really liked the one you just finished.

The sci-fi book ties into nothing. It is its own thing. It may turn into real novels on its own. IDK. Probably after I finish the current story arc, because the next one's MUCH more complicated.

Old Hack
01-07-2013, 01:30 AM
Use self-pub your way- I'm self pub because I love it. There's nothing wrong with using it to get a fair trade pub deal. Keep going, keep selling, and one day they might be fighting over you.

Just remember that thousands of writers self publish every year but only three or four of them end up with a trade publishing deal as a result.

As you were.

Medievalist
01-07-2013, 02:58 AM
If that author has made a living self-pub for over 15 years then why not you and me?

Because it also means paying FICA and purchasing health insurance, and they're both hefty in the U.S. And I notice that benefits in the UK and the rest of the EU are rapidly shifting.

If you're planning to live off of writing income of any sort, postpone it as long as possible to get your ducks in a row (pay off all debt, your student loans, mortgages, etc.) and get a healthy saving account, unless you have a gainfully employed SO.

I'd suggest having a job that provides retirement and health insurance benefits, and stashing away the extra income.

James D. Macdonald
01-07-2013, 03:34 AM
Just remember that thousands of writers self publish every year....

Just thousands?

merrihiatt
01-07-2013, 03:34 AM
Because it also means paying FICA and purchasing health insurance, and they're both hefty in the U.S. And I notice that benefits in the UK and the rest of the EU are rapidly shifting.

If you're planning to live off of writing income of any sort, postpone it as long as possible to get your ducks in a row (pay off all debt, your student loans, mortgages, etc.) and get a healthy saving account, unless you have a gainfully employed SO.

I'd suggest having a job that provides retirement and health insurance benefits, and stashing away the extra income.

Very wise advice. I'm paying over $500 a month for health insurance alone. That means I have to sell at least 250 e-books a month, for that bill alone.

Unimportant
01-07-2013, 03:50 AM
It's best to go for writing like there's no other option. That's what other professionals do with the goal.
I disagree. It's best to do what is best for you given your individual situation. That's why professionals vary so much: some write full time, some write part time, some have day jobs, some have supportive spouses, some live frugally, some live lavishly, some purchase health insurance, some live in countries that provide health care, some have children, some are childless, some live with their parents, some live with their children, some live alone...

merrihiatt
01-07-2013, 04:01 AM
UK benefits are too generous for some. Healthcare is free except for prescriptions.

I disagree. You never know how much time you have left. I'm not saying she should quit her job, but at least write in her spare time. Paying off debt could take decades. No job is 100% secure, so you can't rely on that to last forever. Her books will be there forever, though, and if they become a hit then she'd clear the debt much sooner.

I'm currently seeking work. I still live at home. No wealthy SO here.

She can do both. Of course she shouldn't quit employment the first time writing pays all the bills, but over time she could. Then it would be foolish to waste valuable writing time on a job she doesn't really want to do. I think it's a bad idea to let writing be an afterthought. Then your day job will always take precedent, and by the time you decide to seriously go for writing, you'll be old, or too scared to quit employment. It's best to go for writing like there's no other option. That's what other professionals do with the goal.

While I appreciate your opinion, I would advise anyone who is considering quitting their job to think long and hard about the financial, emotional, and stability issues that come with self-publishing full-time.

Our self-worth is often tied to what we do for a living. When you no longer have a job that you go to five days a week, there is a transition period that can be thrilling and downright frightening. Suddenly you have hours and hours to write, but unlike a day job, a writer doesn't write for eight hours straight, five days a week. It's a radical change that I don't think most writers even realize will have a profound effect on their self-worth.

What happens when you sell 2,000 books one month and only 200 the next? What happens when you can't get in the writing groove and weeks (or months) pass by with nary one additional word added to your manuscript? Your self-worth takes hit after hit.

Ask authors who write full-time for a living what it's like -- both the joys and concerns. Get a balanced view of what that lifestyle will be like before jumping off a cliff that has no rope to help you climb back up.

Walter B
01-07-2013, 10:22 PM
While I appreciate your opinion, I would advise anyone who is considering quitting their job to think long and hard about the financial, emotional, and stability issues that come with self-publishing full-time...


Ditto to this advice... but extend it to anyone who's considering self-employment or running a business. Poverty usually drives bad decisions for a bunch of reasons, including the fact it encourages a short term view. I've occasionally offered a comparision. It's like dating--desperation isn't pretty.

Sheryl Nantus
01-07-2013, 10:46 PM
I'm currently seeking work. I still live at home. No wealthy SO here.

Your situation is better than most. I wouldn't give advice on something you haven't done or tried.

I'm lucky in that I can write full-time with a hubby who makes good money. But before that I wrote while keeping a full-time security job and supporting my mother.

I managed.

Others do as well.

MMcDonald64
01-08-2013, 12:57 AM
Just remember that thousands of writers self publish every year but only three or four of them end up with a trade publishing deal as a result.

As you were.

You might want to recheck those numbers. Here is a quote from Publisher's Weekly that I found on thepassivevoice.com:

Then Publisher’s Marketplace followed with the lines:


“As everyone knows, originally self-published books made for a number of high-profile crossover deals in 2012–though in total numbers, we recorded 45 such deals in all.”

Of the 300 or so six figure deals that were reported to them in 2012, 45 were from books that started off self-published."



http://www.thepassivevoice.com/01/2013/crossover-deals-from-self-publishing-to-traditional/ (http://www.thepassivevoice.com/01/2013/crossover-deals-from-self-publishing-to-traditional/)

That is just the ones reported and also over 6 figures. I imagine there are some not reported and for less than 6 figures too.

I'm not saying self-publishing is a guaranteed route to trade publishing, but it's not a road block either.

Ann Joyce
01-08-2013, 01:32 AM
Wow! Thanks for sharing these articles. Very interesting.

Old Hack
01-08-2013, 02:22 AM
You might want to recheck those numbers.

The numbers I mentioned were for the UK market, which is much smaller than the American one. It does scale up, though, if you look at the huge number of books which are self published every year and compare that to the relatively small proportion which end up on trade publishers' lists: I don't think the rough figures I gave clash that badly with yours.


I'm not saying self-publishing is a guaranteed route to trade publishing, but it's not a road block either.

It's definitely not a road block: but as you said, it's not a guaranteed route into trade publishing, which is exactly the point I was making. If you look back, I was replying to this comment from SunriseSunset:


I'm self pub because I love it. There's nothing wrong with using it to get a fair trade pub deal. Keep going, keep selling, and one day they might be fighting over you.

You seem to be arguing with me in order to help prove my points. I could get used to that!

christwriter
01-08-2013, 11:57 PM
So. New book has been released for about a week. It is called Planet Bob. Because it is.

it's also over here, if anybody's curious. (http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Bob-Starbleached-ebook/dp/B00AWGD9KU/ref=la_B008OCFHJ0_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1357674233&sr=1-7)

Nobody bought it for most of the week. I was sad.

Then I decided to have another free offer with the previous book (the sci-fi story everybody buys) and by the end of the free period I'd sold six copies. And one person went on to buy the DOA book I'd advertised in the back matter of Plant Bob. That is very encouraging. It also resulted in my first two UK sales in three months.

So now I am no longer sad. Hopefully the freebie day (it was big) will keep the first book floating a while yet, too.

December finished out with 26 sales. 13 were the sci-fi book. 3 were of the first urban fantasy book and 4 were of its sequel.

January has gone well, too. Thanks to the freebie thing and the sales it lead up to, I've sold a book a day so far this month.

I have sold 118 books in total.

I now have to do MASSIVE amounts of writing. I am about three manuscripts ahead--as in the next book "Due" is an urban fantasy I already wrote, and then another epic, and then the third book in the sci-fi series. I know this cycle makes no sense, but to me, it gives me two months off from each universe. It lets each story cool off, I can come back to it with a relatively clean mind, edit the everloving daylights out of it, and then write the next book in the series with the universe fresh in my mind due to the editing binge. It works. Kind of. It wouldn't work for 100K+ books, I don't think, but for now it works fine. Anyhoo, third sci-fi book (the one I really want to write, now that the idea has matured) is, of course, kicking my rear hard.

To me, the greatest miracle was that I got this book out AT ALL. I'm a waitress at a demanding upscale restaurant. The take home money is good, but usually I come home feeling like the coke machine ate me. New Years was the worst. Protip: never break in new shoes on New Year's Eve when you are a waitress. Ever.

*checks thread*

Yeah.

I guess I just naturally assume the worst and plan from there. It's better IMHO to assume that there's no other option when the odds of that other option ever happening are so very, very small. Some people do get breaks and luck out and have a great story to tell at the end of the day. I'm not usually one of them. The handful of times things really worked out exactly the way I wanted them to are when I've had to do all of it, and no other people are involved. I think that's why self publishing appealed to me. If I succeed, it's because I'm good. If I fail...well, at least I know it's not because someone else had to make an arbitrary decision, or spilled their coffee and wasn't in the mood to read the last few manuscripts of the day. I'll know for sure it's because I'm not good enough, and it'll be easier to move on from there. Not easy, exactly, but at least I'll know it's not because I didn't roll the dice often enough.

Edited to add: And while I was typing this up I sold another three books. Two of the sci-fi book and one of the sequel.

I squee with joy and rapture.

stranger
01-09-2013, 01:52 AM
Congrats on the sales, and even more on the work ethic to have so many projects in the pipeline. In that, you seem to be the following the path that has brought success to many self-published authors.

Spell-it-out
01-09-2013, 02:52 PM
Hi Christwriter,

I was reading your thread and I thought, wow, you've put in some effort so far. Great start to the year as well, I admire you for being able to get in so much writing/editing, while still working full-time.

Best of luck.

christwriter
01-09-2013, 07:13 PM
Hi Christwriter,

I was reading your thread and I thought, wow, you've put in some effort so far. Great start to the year as well, I admire you for being able to get in so much writing/editing, while still working full-time.

Best of luck.

I cheat. :D

Waitressing at a restaurant with no lunch service usually means I get until three or four o'clock (Depending on my boss's mood) to work. It really helps that the place is moderately upscale (read as: the customers have lots of money, but get to show up in flip flops and a t-shirt if they want to. It's a weird place) When it's slow (like now), I'll have like three-day work weeks sometimes, and when it's busy I'll make rent in one night.

MMcDonald64
01-09-2013, 07:22 PM
The numbers I mentioned were for the UK market, which is much smaller than the American one. It does scale up, though, if you look at the huge number of books which are self published every year and compare that to the relatively small proportion which end up on trade publishers' lists: I don't think the rough figures I gave clash that badly with yours.


Okay. Fair enough but you didn't mention your source and since the OP is from Texas, it seems that U.S. numbers might be more relevant.

Old Hack
01-09-2013, 09:17 PM
Okay. Fair enough but you didn't mention your source and since the OP is from Texas, it seems that U.S. numbers might be more relevant.

I live in the UK. It didn't occur to me to check where the OP was from: the world doesn't revolve around America, lovely though it is. And as I've already pointed out, the proportions in the numbers you mentioned and the numbers I mentioned are roughly similar, so I'm not sure what your point is.

MMcDonald64
01-09-2013, 09:58 PM
I live in the UK. It didn't occur to me to check where the OP was from: the world doesn't revolve around America, lovely though it is. And as I've already pointed out, the proportions in the numbers you mentioned and the numbers I mentioned are roughly similar, so I'm not sure what your point is.

I never said the world revolved around the U.S. just that the OP lives in Texas. When I posted the link that cited Publisher's Weekly, it stated that 45 of the 300 six figure deals reported were from self-publishers. You said those were from the U.S. and I'm pointing out yes, they are from the U.S. because that is where the OP is from. If she had been from New Zealand or Brazil, my numbers might not have been relevant to him/her. It has nothing to do with whether I think the universe revolves around the U.S.

My point was that your initial numbers were not accurate. You can say they would extrapolate out about the same but there is nothing to back that up. The U.K. is a bit behind in self-publishing mostly because KDP wasn't available there as soon. I expect they will soon have similar numbers. If I had put up numbers without data, I know I would have been called on it.

I don't have numbers on deals given to self-published authors in the U.K, but here is a link that cites their success on the Amazon bestseller lists:

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/self-published-authors-kindle-bestseller-list.html

I think the difference between me and you is that you are looking at all the failed self-published authors and saying "Hardly any make it." I can understand this thinking because maybe out of a 100,000 self-published authors, only a few make significant sales.

Meanwhile I am looking at it from a different perspective and thinking, 15% of the top sellers are self-published. 15% of the 6-figure deals went to self-published authors and I don't consider 15% insignificant and something that is beyond the realm of possibility. I feel that with hard work and good writing, the odds for an individual self-published author increases significantly.

Maybe because day in and day out, I'm in communication with very successful authors who are either still self-published or have accepted deals and are now a mix of self and trade published, I have a more positive outlook.

You, otoh, have a self-publishing review blog, if I understand correctly. You may be seeing the worst of the lot.

Two and a half years ago, I started my self-publishing journey and a bunch of us sent friend requests via FB. At the time, I had one NY Time's Bestseller as my FB friend and he's trade-published. I interviewed him for my blog before I self-published. Since that time, I can count at least 6 who have hit the NY Times BS list. Others have sold in the 100s of thousands of books with their series and might have sold big numbers before NY Times counted self-published books. So, while you are seeing failure everywhere, I'm seeing success. Is it any wonder I'm optimistic?

Old Hack
01-09-2013, 11:55 PM
My point was that your initial numbers were not accurate. You can say they would extrapolate out about the same but there is nothing to back that up.

Well, there's the maths...


The U.K. is a bit behind in self-publishing mostly because KDP wasn't available there as soon. I expect they will soon have similar numbers.

To state that "the U.K. is a bit behind in self-publishing mostly because KDP wasn't available there as soon" isn't exactly accurate. Self publishing does not equal e publishing; there's far more to self publishing than KDP; and people have been self publishing in the UK for over 400 years.


If I had put up numbers without data, I know I would have been called on it. I don't have numbers on deals given to self-published authors in the U.K, but here is a link that cites their success on the Amazon bestseller lists:

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/self-published-authors-kindle-bestseller-list.html

From that article:


Amazon has revealed that 15% of its bestselling Kindle books in the UK last year were written by self-published authors

As I've already pointed out, there's far more to self publishing than KDP. And if you're going to restrict yourself to Amazon-only best seller lists then you're going to ignore many of the better lists.

I realise that wasn't the point you were making: but I think it's really dangerous for us to read articles like that and assume that 15% of ALL best sellers were self publishers, for example. It's misleading, and will lead some of us to make poor decisions for our books and our careers.


I think the difference between me and you is that you are looking at all the failed self-published authors and saying "Hardly any make it." I can understand this thinking because maybe out of a 100,000 self-published authors, only a few make significant sales.

Meanwhile I am looking at it from a different perspective and thinking, 15% of the top sellers are self-published.

See? You've just done exactly what I just warned against: you're assuming that 15% of all best-sellers are self published.

Further, it's not wrong to state that "hardly any [self published writers] make it"; look at the number of books which are self published via KDP and then look at the number which do well. From that same article:


Amazon added that since KDP launched, 61 KDP authors have sold over 50,000 copies of their books. It also revealed that 12 KDP authors have sold in excess of 100,000 copies, with 50 authors earning in excess of £50,000, and 11 of these earning more than £100,000.

My guess is that a few hundred thousand books have been self published via KDP (but you're welcome to provide more accurate figures). And yet the number of KDP books which have sold over 50,000 copies is only 61. That seems like an abysmally small proportion to me, and I suspect that it's a far lower percentage than the percentage of trade published writers who sell similar numbers.


15% of the 6-figure deals went to self-published authors and I don't consider 15% insignificant and something that is beyond the realm of possibility.

My bold. I don't see that statement in the article but it's quite possible that it's my poor reading that's at fault here: can you point me to the paragraph where that claim is made, or are you quoting from a different source?


I feel that with hard work and good writing, the odds for an individual self-published author increases significantly.

Hell, yes.


Maybe because day in and day out, I'm in communication with very successful authors who are either still self-published or have accepted deals and are now a mix of self and trade published, I have a more positive outlook.

I have friends who are purely trade published; I have friends who are purely self published; and I have friends who are published in every which way possible.

I have friends who are hugely successful, and friends who are lucky to sell ten copies a week of all their books combined.

I don't think my outlook is "less positive" than yours: I do think it's more realistic.


You, otoh, have a self-publishing review blog, if I understand correctly. You may be seeing the worst of the lot.

Why would reviewing self published books mean I see the worst of the lot? I don't demand that only writers who aren't very good submit their books to me: and the books I do review are the best of the ones sent to me. I don't review the worst ones, as it seems unfair to do so.


Two and a half years ago, I started my self-publishing journey and a bunch of us sent friend requests via FB. At the time, I had one NY Time's Bestseller as my FB friend and he's trade-published. I interviewed him for my blog before I self-published. Since that time, I can count at least 6 who have hit the NY Times BS list. Others have sold in the 100s of thousands of books with their series and might have sold big numbers before NY Times counted self-published books. So, while you are seeing failure everywhere, I'm seeing success. Is it any wonder I'm optimistic?

I have lost count of the number of writers I've seen go on to great success. This experience is not exclusive to you. I'm glad for your friends.

But I still maintain that only a very small proportion of self published writers go on to achieve great success, and that self publishing is not a good way to go about finding a deal with a trade publisher--which is the point I was making when you started disagreeing with me in this thread.

Which is why I said in my previous to you, "I'm not sure what your point is".

Now. This is meant to be christwriter's self publishing diary thread, I think. We should stop derailling it.

christwriter
01-10-2013, 01:03 AM
Actually I'm finding the conversation kind of educational. I'm just the chick over in the corner eating popcorn. Don't mind me. :D

Though if you want my 2cents...

I think the data pool is too contaminated to draw any conclusions from. There are too many things you can't account for. If you want to count failed self-published books, you can't tell the difference between an author who put out one book and gave up and an author who put out one book and worked their rear off to sell it. Same goes for comparing contracts to self-publishers vs. the unpublished. There's too much data unaccounted for.

What the statistics DO tell you...or rather, tell me, because this is how I read them...is that it's work, either way. If you're going to be successful, it's going to take the same amount of time, probably the same amount of work, and probably roughly similar amounts of money (given that self-publishers sell fewer books but get a bigger piece of the pie). You're going to be rejected by most trade publishers, you're going to have teeny tiny sales as a self-publisher, and if you find success in either you're the outlier, and probably know less about how you got there than the spectators do.

christwriter
01-12-2013, 01:52 AM
And in the WTF category of the day...

I've got an acquaintance who also self publishes. We met because we both wound up involved with the same editor. She liked his methods, I didn't, this was several years ago, I've gone on since then.

Anyway, she found out recently that I've self published my books and, knowing absolutely nothing about how successful I've been beyond a handful of posts on Facebook (none of which mention any numbers) she asked me if I could help her figure out publicity and marketing.

I know nothing about these things, as previously established, beyond posting on Goodreads and mantaining a blog that is interesting in its own right, and making a fuss on facebook whenever I have a new book coming out. So my head goes "Hey, me and she can brainstorm and come up with new, cool ideas and--"

Right about this time she says, "oh, and don't worry. I'll pay you for your time. "


Uh...yeah. No. Thank you. Seriously, I'll meet with you and explain about things like marketing and buying advertising and how (not at all) effective that is, and how twitter feels like a great big author-related circle-jerk, but 100131 sales in six months, nice as it feels, in NO WAY qualifies me as a PAID SELF PUBLISHING CONSULTANT. Jesus.

I'm still going to meet and brainstorm with her, because one, she is local, two, she is cool, and three, her only other source of advice is iUniverse/Author Solutions and given her willingness to throw money at things, I personally feel that's a bad idea. It's just BIZARRELY weirds me out.

(And this week has been UTTERLY AWESOME in terms of sales, at least from my POV, but I'm going to wait until my "six weeks sales report" updates on Sunday before I start babbling about how good things were this week. I just needed to vent. GOD that's a weird feeling...)

Old Hack
01-12-2013, 02:19 AM
Oh dear. She's ripe for plucking.

Tell her that writing another book is the best form of promotion there is. Send her to AW. Warn her against self publishing service providers. Give her a hug. Feed her chocolates. Give her the link to Medie's epic post in Book Promotion.

And give yourself a hug for caring about her, despite all.

AW Admin
01-12-2013, 03:06 AM
If I had put up numbers without data, I know I would have been called on it.

You probably would. And in an exceedingly more professional and courteous manner.

There's a difference between you and Old Hack. To start with, she's not only a member of this community as you are, she's the moderator of this particular forum, as well as a Super Moderator.

You are not a moderator.

Nor, having perused your post history, do you seem at all knowledgeable about publishing of any sort at all.

And having perused your post history, I know that there are quite a lot of differences between you and Old Hack:

1. She's been writing, editing and publishing for a long time (http://howpublishingreallyworks.com/?page_id=4062).
2. She's an exceedingly well-known and respected expert—to the point that people I've worked with on both sides of the Atlantic praise her.
3. She has expertise and experience enough that she has not only been made an Absolute Sage (which I realize you likely don't know because you've not been here very long) and a Super Moderator, as well as the moderator of this forum.
4. She volunteers her time and considerable expertise, and has been exceedingly patient and courteous with you—to the point that another member PM'd me to take a look at this thread.
5. Just in case you're getting things hind-end-to again, I'd like to point out that I first self-published in 1989. And no, it didn't involve Amazon, and yes, it included an ebook.
6. In future should you wish to take issue with a moderator, you can do it courteously, or you can contact the site owner MacAllister Stone.

Either way, I suggest you might want to cultivate a slightly less obnoxious and aggressive attitude.

Old Hack
01-12-2013, 12:02 PM
her only other source of advice is iUniverse/Author Solutions

I just spotted this.

Oh dear.

There are so many things wrong with the stuff that those people tell you. From the books I've seen which have been published through them, their paid-for services are pretty poor and often completely ineffective. They're overpriced, too, for what they are.

Get your friend here. Warn her it might be tough, but that she'll get good advice.

BenPanced
01-12-2013, 12:09 PM
Get your friend here. Warn her it might be tough, but that she'll get good great advice.
Fixed it for you. ;)

christwriter
01-14-2013, 07:54 AM
This month has been amazing so far. Twenty five books as of right now. eighteen copies of the sci-fi series total (seven of the first book, eleven of the second) and a very clear sales pattern has emerged. I sell a copy of the first book, twenty four hours later, I sell a copy of the second. This is encouraging.

What is less encouraging is, all of this happened in a week. I made the first book free for two days starting on Sunday, and it jumpstarted the sales of its sequel. I sold four copies. I gave away almost five hundred. Given how long its taken me to start reading the several free titles I've had on my phone for months, it's really likely most of those copies are going unread. Unfortunately the free periods are the ONLY thing I've found to be reliable re: generating sales. I know it's not good for anybody, except maybe the folks getting free books, but I'm really reluctant to give up the only effective tool in my toolbox so far.

I have also been playing with backmatter to see how that influences sales. Advertising upcoming titles has not appeared to be very effective. Advertising existing titles (and linking directly to them) on the other hand does seem to have an effect. The book advertised in the back of the second sci-fi book is moving as well. The number is small enough that I don't feel comfortable going "This is a success" (two copies) but sales on that title have been pretty non-existent. The same thing happened last month, so the experiment will bear repeating.

I think I have learned several things this month:

1. People really like the sci-fi series, and I'd better keep it until I find something more successful.

2. Ebook buyers of indie titles have the attention span of a over-sugared hyperactive cocker spaniel, and they're not going to remember the books of yours they've already read, let alone the release dates for sequels and/or the not-yet existent titles advertised in the back of the book. If it isn't already there, I shouldn't expect anybody to buy it.

3. Free books are effective in an extremely limited way.

I now have to decide what I'll be doing next month. I already know I can't make my initial release date for the next book project in the queue, so I'm probably going to have to do something to maintain momentum.

135 sales in total.

merrihiatt
01-14-2013, 08:31 AM
2. Ebook buyers of indie titles have the attention span of a over-sugared hyperactive cocker spaniel, and they're not going to remember the books of yours they've already read, let alone the release dates for sequels and/or the not-yet existent titles advertised in the back of the book. If it isn't already there, I shouldn't expect anybody to buy it.

I haven't found this to be true. I receive comments and private messages on Facebook and through my website from readers who know I write trilogies and are waiting for the other books to be released. I've had three people in the last week ask about the second sequel to my first romance trilogy (I had posted on my website that it would be finished by the end of the year, but I didn't make my deadline).

christwriter
01-14-2013, 09:54 AM
I haven't found this to be true. I receive comments and private messages on Facebook and through my website from readers who know I write trilogies and are waiting for the other books to be released. I've had three people in the last week ask about the second sequel to my first romance trilogy (I had posted on my website that it would be finished by the end of the year, but I didn't make my deadline).

I've had people ask about the sequel, but I'm pretty confident none of them have bought a copy. The sales on the first book and sales on the second are following too hard on top of each other, IMHO. I'm pretty sure the people who asked about a sequel have forgotten about it.

It's troubling. I can't blame it all on the writing because this month, people who buy the first book are consistently buying the second. It seems to be fine when it's right in front of them, but they don't remember about sequels a month or two later.

And I don't get a lot of reader interaction. I've had a handful of positive reviews (the one negative review I got was how the book in question didn't have enough romance in it, and it was still rated three stars) but the readers I have that talk to me read my blog before they read my book, and the habit of contacting me was already well established. And none of them have bought the sequel.

It's frustrating, and I haven't figured out why people don't talk back yet. If I were getting nasty reviews, bad feedback or a lot of returns I'd know where the problem was, but that's not happening at all. I have to assume that the writing isn't bad, exactly, but just forgettable. Which is also really depressing. But it seems obvious if I can catch their attention for one book, they'll buy a few of the others.

Unimportant
01-14-2013, 09:59 AM
Good to hear things are looking up for you, cw! As a reader, I'm a bit wary about trying new authors, unless they've been recommended by a friend. But if the first book is $1.99 or less, I'm much more likely to give it a try. And, if you hook me -- yeah, I'll run out and buy the whole series.

christwriter
01-14-2013, 08:58 PM
Right now everything except my short story collection is 1.99 or under. And that's because all the shorts are also available for a buck each, and the collection of all four (plus one extra) is 2.99. It's still cheap and it's all in one place.

Another two sales last night. The average for this month so far is almost two a day. It feels very awesome.

merry_and_silver
01-16-2013, 04:04 PM
I'm just starting out (after having lived a good part of my life) and I don't know what to think of this thread.

I've focused on the self-publishing route as a good way to start, but I do dream of getting a contract some day. Dream being the key word. I know the odds.

Also, my interests are really diverse, ranging from nature to science fiction to experimental, etc., so I don't know what to think about having to focus on one area so that readers don't get confused.

I've thought about trying to self-publish with pseudonyms, so that works are categorized that way, and I avoid the jumping around effect.

Right now I'm working on a collection of 5 short stories, which are conventional man vs. nature stuff. I think the ideas I have are good. We'll see about the treatment. I think if I could sell a couple of hundred books a month, eventually, I could get by.

It's good to read about other people's experiences. I'd be encouraged by selling a few dozen books a month. It would spur me on to continue writing.

Norman D Gutter
01-16-2013, 07:25 PM
Congrats on your sales, c.w. I hope it continues like that for you and grows.

NDG

MMcDonald64
01-16-2013, 07:49 PM
You probably would. And in an exceedingly more professional and courteous manner.

There's a difference between you and Old Hack. To start with, she's not only a member of this community as you are, she's the moderator of this particular forum, as well as a Super Moderator.

You are not a moderator.

Nor, having perused your post history, do you seem at all knowledgeable about publishing of any sort at all.

And having perused your post history, I know that there are quite a lot of differences between you and Old Hack:

1. She's been writing, editing and publishing for a long time (http://howpublishingreallyworks.com/?page_id=4062).
2. She's an exceedingly well-known and respected expert—to the point that people I've worked with on both sides of the Atlantic praise her.
3. She has expertise and experience enough that she has not only been made an Absolute Sage (which I realize you likely don't know because you've not been here very long) and a Super Moderator, as well as the moderator of this forum.
4. She volunteers her time and considerable expertise, and has been exceedingly patient and courteous with you—to the point that another member PM'd me to take a look at this thread.
5. Just in case you're getting things hind-end-to again, I'd like to point out that I first self-published in 1989. And no, it didn't involve Amazon, and yes, it included an ebook.
6. In future should you wish to take issue with a moderator, you can do it courteously, or you can contact the site owner MacAllister Stone.

Either way, I suggest you might want to cultivate a slightly less obnoxious and aggressive attitude.

Wow, I didn't think I was rude at all, but whatever. I'm done with this site. It's a great site for those looking for information on agents and publishers, getting critique for queries and such, but it's a terrible source of information for those looking for current information about self-publishing.

I don't think I've ever knocked trade publishing, or known to the world outside of AW as traditional publishing, because guess what? Even agents use that term. (Saw it on a recent agent blog--Rachelle Gardner maybe?)

All I did was point out that more than a handful of people are succeeding in self-publishing and receiving contracts.

I have no idea who Old Hack is, only what has been said about him/her on this site, but honestly, even if she was Stephen King, that doesn't mean she is right about everything, mod or not.

I'm sure this post will be deleted, as will my account which is no big deal to me. Kindleboards is currently the site with the most relevant information for those looking to self-publish. The best blog for information is thepassiveguy.com.

christwriter
01-16-2013, 08:54 PM
I'm just starting out (after having lived a good part of my life) and I don't know what to think of this thread.

I've focused on the self-publishing route as a good way to start, but I do dream of getting a contract some day. Dream being the key word. I know the odds.

Also, my interests are really diverse, ranging from nature to science fiction to experimental, etc., so I don't know what to think about having to focus on one area so that readers don't get confused.

I've thought about trying to self-publish with pseudonyms, so that works are categorized that way, and I avoid the jumping around effect.

Right now I'm working on a collection of 5 short stories, which are conventional man vs. nature stuff. I think the ideas I have are good. We'll see about the treatment. I think if I could sell a couple of hundred books a month, eventually, I could get by.

It's good to read about other people's experiences. I'd be encouraged by selling a few dozen books a month. It would spur me on to continue writing.

I would suggest you read the experiences of others and draw your own conclusions.

I would suggest you read my experiences with a few grains of salt.

My main motivator behind self-publishing was not an attempt for success. I have issues with depression. Really, really ugly ones. I discovered the hard way that rejection is a trigger for me for reasons that have nothing to do with books. Yes. If trade publication was what I wanted, I should have stuck with it. Yes. I gave up. But I gave up because every time I started querying again, the mental decline got faster.

That's why I said a lot of people would probably call BS on my story. Because my main motive was wanting to get my screwed up psyche back onto safe ground, and at the time I felt it was either self-publish, or stop writing. And it's worked. I'm happy, the pressure is gone, and I can go back to working on my issues, rather than just triggering them.

And I'm working towards success. I just don't expect it. That way I get to be pleasantly surprised when things work.

(...also, did somebody just flounce in my thread? I think somebody flounced in my thread. Do I get e-cookies for that?)

merry_and_silver
01-16-2013, 09:45 PM
And I'm working towards success. I just don't expect it. That way I get to be pleasantly surprised when things work.


Whatever your motives for self-publishing, you are having success. It may not be as much as you want, yet, but it is success! At least it looks that way from where I'm sitting.

My goals are fairly modest. I need to get writing. Best.

Old Hack
01-16-2013, 11:50 PM
I'm just starting out (after having lived a good part of my life) and I don't know what to think of this thread.

I've focused on the self-publishing route as a good way to start, but I do dream of getting a contract some day. Dream being the key word. I know the odds.

The odds are different for each of us, though, as every writer and every book is different. If you write well your odds of getting that contract are far better than the odds someone else without talent would expect.

The best way to get a trade contract is still to submit in the usual way, though. Self publishing isn't a side-door to trade publishing success, as we've already discussed here.


I think if I could sell a couple of hundred books a month, eventually, I could get by.

That's a really ambitious aim, you know. You might achieve that level of sales but most self published writers don't, I'm afraid. Good luck to you, though: I really hope you get there.


My main motivator behind self-publishing was not an attempt for success. I have issues with depression. Really, really ugly ones. I discovered the hard way that rejection is a trigger for me for reasons that have nothing to do with books. Yes. If trade publication was what I wanted, I should have stuck with it. Yes. I gave up. But I gave up because every time I started querying again, the mental decline got faster.

Depression is a complete and utter bastard. I've spent many years of my life battling it, and sympathise. You might want to peep into our Conquering Challenges room, where there is a long-running thread about it and a lot of support and encouragement.


That's why I said a lot of people would probably call BS on my story. Because my main motive was wanting to get my screwed up psyche back onto safe ground, and at the time I felt it was either self-publish, or stop writing. And it's worked. I'm happy, the pressure is gone, and I can go back to working on my issues, rather than just triggering them.

And that, right there, makes you a huge success at self pubilshing. I'm so glad you've found a good place for yourself through self publishing: that's really wonderful. Well done!


(...also, did somebody just flounce in my thread? I think somebody flounced in my thread. Do I get e-cookies for that?)

You deserve a badge, at least. Ha!

Now, give me five minutes to compose my next post.

Old Hack
01-17-2013, 12:00 AM
Wow, I didn't think I was rude at all, but whatever. I'm done with this site. It's a great site for those looking for information on agents and publishers, getting critique for queries and such, but it's a terrible source of information for those looking for current information about self-publishing.

I don't think I've ever knocked trade publishing, or known to the world outside of AW as traditional publishing, because guess what? Even agents use that term. (Saw it on a recent agent blog--Rachelle Gardner maybe?)

All I did was point out that more than a handful of people are succeeding in self-publishing and receiving contracts.

I have no idea who Old Hack is, only what has been said about him/her on this site, but honestly, even if she was Stephen King, that doesn't mean she is right about everything, mod or not.

I'm sure this post will be deleted, as will my account which is no big deal to me. Kindleboards is currently the site with the most relevant information for those looking to self-publish. The best blog for information is thepassiveguy.com.

Oh, bless.

We don't delete posts here unless they're spammy or very rude. Yours is bad-tempered and petulant, but it's neither spammy nor rude so of course it won't be deleted.

We don't delete user accounts either but if you stop logging on then eventually your account will be purged from the system. Your attempt at a flounce wasn't nearly ambitious enough for me to consider banning you for it (you could pick up a few pointers here (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=61043)), so that's probably your best bet.

valeriec80
01-17-2013, 12:19 AM
Oh, bless.
Your attempt at a flounce wasn't nearly ambitious enough for me to consider banning you for it (you could pick up a few pointers here (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=61043)), so that's probably your best bet.

I once saw someone banned on AW by a moderator (can't remember who) for "being an asshat." That's a direct quote.

I tread lightly here.

But I will say that I think that maybe there was some overreaction to Mary's comments?

Ehh...maybe I'm the second flounce.

Sorry for derailing your thread, christwriter. Best of luck with your writing!

christwriter
01-17-2013, 12:38 AM
Sorry for derailing your thread, christwriter. Best of luck with your writing!

NP. I like derailings. They're amusing to watch and they sometimes come with chocolate. :D

sarahdalton
01-17-2013, 12:38 AM
I once saw someone banned on AW by a moderator (can't remember who) for "being an asshat." That's a direct quote.

I tread lightly here.

But I will say that I think that maybe there was some overreaction to Mary's comments?

Ehh...maybe I'm the second flounce.

Sorry for derailing your thread, christwriter. Best of luck with your writing!

Yeah, it's a shame to have lost Mary. She's given me some really great advice whilst on here.

Old Hack
01-17-2013, 12:41 AM
I once saw someone banned on AW by a moderator (can't remember who) for "being an asshat." That's a direct quote.

I tread lightly here.

But I will say that I think that maybe there was some overreaction to Mary's comments?

Ehh...maybe I'm the second flounce.

Sorry for derailing your thread, christwriter. Best of luck with your writing!

We have been known to ban someone for being an incurable tosspot; being an asshat is also a bannable offense. Both tosspottedness and asshattery constitute being rude to our membership. It all comes down to the same thing.

You don't need to tread lightly here: you just need to respect your fellow writers and ignore any urges you might have to make sarcastic or pointed comments to anyone. And if you want to comment on mods' decisions again, take it to PM.

Note that no one forces you to spend time here if you find it an unpleasant place to be.

And what is it with all these weak flounces? I'm sure you could have done better if you'd put your mind to it. I'm very disappointed in you.

merrihiatt
01-17-2013, 12:45 AM
(...also, did somebody just flounce in my thread? I think somebody flounced in my thread. Do I get e-cookies for that?)

** sending you e-cookies **

Old Hack
01-17-2013, 12:51 AM
Yeah, it's a shame to have lost Mary. She's given me some really great advice whilst on here.

She's not gone anywhere. She's not been banned, and she's logged on to AW again since she made her last post in this thread.

If anyone would like to comment about any mod's decisions then PM Mac about it. If not, then I suggest that various members stop trying to stir up trouble, stop sniping, and get back on topic.

christwriter
01-17-2013, 01:17 AM
** sending you e-cookies **

Yay! *breaks out milk*

Oreos and milk=better than popcorn.


She's not gone anywhere. She's not been banned, and she's logged on to AW again since she made her last post in this thread.

...uh, yeah. Well, maybe she just meant the self-publishing forum. Hopefully everybody can take enough time to cool off.


And what is it with all these weak flounces? I'm sure you could have done better if you'd put your mind to it. I'm very disappointed in you.

It's still a first stage flounce. Second stage involves the cursing, incoherence and entitlement. Experienced flouncers know to combine the two stages for best effectiveness.

In other words, they just need to channel their inner Anne Rice.

(Nothing against Ms. Rice. Her internet history is just sometimes...epic.)

MacAllister
01-17-2013, 01:22 AM
Now she's flounced, for real.

I'm happy to hold the door, frankly. We don't keep anyone here against their will, you know. You're not handcuffed to the board.

And if anyone else needs a link to the Kindle boards where they might find the discussion more to their tastes, I'll be happy to send it to you. It's a great big internet.

You should fly and be free, if you're not happy here.

Otherwise, let's just move on, okay?

James D. Macdonald
01-17-2013, 09:13 PM
(Off site): Flouncing Songs (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/013677.html). (And what is blogging if not electronic self-publishing of the purest kind?)

christwriter
01-17-2013, 09:31 PM
...I'm going to love that forever. :D

christwriter
01-18-2013, 04:16 AM
And here I thought I had my stat addiction was at a manageable level. The kdp reports have been down all day.

I am twitching. It's not that I think I've sold a million copies since last night. I just like looking at it.

Old Hack
01-18-2013, 11:17 AM
Instead of checking those statistics a few times a day, go and write some more.

*stern glare*

sarahdalton
01-18-2013, 01:28 PM
And here I thought I had my stat addiction was at a manageable level. The kdp reports have been down all day.

I am twitching. It's not that I think I've sold a million copies since last night. I just like looking at it.

Me too!

The worst is when you see your rank go up, but you don't know how many copies you've sold. Then, when the reports are fixed you see it was only one after all. Pfft!

christwriter
01-18-2013, 09:45 PM
Instead of checking those statistics a few times a day, go and write some more.

*stern glare*

Hey, it helps when it's slow at the day-job (Whoever invented smartphones is right up there with computer Solitare for destruction of workplace efficiency. )

MmeGuillotine
01-19-2013, 12:37 AM
Well, I can see that this is going to be an interesting thread to follow! ;)

Good luck with the rest of the month! :)

christwriter
01-22-2013, 10:29 PM
This week did not do as well as last week, not by a long shot. We are now stagnant at 32 copies for the month. I know why the blip exists, and it's due to a free promotion I did.

I know the free things are bad, but again...so far they are the ONLY thing driving sales for me. And that sucks.

christwriter
01-28-2013, 07:07 AM
And we did a little bit better this week than last. Broke 40 sales for the month (44 as of last count) which means I've also broken 150 sales total (154). Not bad.

So it's time to set my goals for next month. There's several. I have a new book on the 15th (urban fantasy) that is nearly done (Editing counts as part of the writing process IMHO. "Nearly done"=the pages don't look like the editing pen exploded on them anymore). I had a little trouble hitting my release deadline last month but I don't think I'll have the same issues this month.

I'm also trying to shift away from using KDP Select as my primary sales option. I don't think I'm ready to drop it just yet, but I do want to move off from it ASAP. Getting my act together and getting a Pubit account took longer than I thought it would. (Long story short: Fill out their form with your latest tax return right in front of you. It will save phone calls.) but it is there and I think I know what I need to do.

And I'm going to try to break 200 sales total in Feb. As of right now that'll mean 45 sales in 28 days. Hey. It's a goal. I might make it.

And last but certainly not least: publish at least one new short story. My goal would be two. That's the part that might be a pain in the ass. I HATE short stories. I don't think in shorts. Every once in a while there will be an idea strong enough to get a short story done, but most of the time it don't work out.

Ah well. This has been the best month so far. I am still not excited--there's still too much work for this to be anything remotely like momentum--but it feels really good.

So next month will tell me a lot. First and foremost...if I understand the mechanics of what I'm doing well enough to start setting goals and meeting them. If it works, it works, if not...well, we'll see.

christwriter
02-04-2013, 08:20 AM
Well, I had my first sale for the month yesterday. Also my only sale so far. So it brings me to 156 books total, and as my goal is to break 200 this month that means I only have to sell 44 more.

My optimism is shrinking rapidly. But I will keep trying.

The new release will be February 15th. I ought to make it by then. Just need to have my beta reader finish (...or at minimum, start) reading it, final edits, and do cover art. I have to say, sales goal aside, I am stoked about this release. Sales wise, I have no enthusiasm, but artistically? I love these characters. I love getting to play with them the way I did, I REALLY love the conflict I've set up, and I don't think there's enough capslock in the world to express how much I love the romantic triangle I'm building. It's not a healthy thing. Everybody's keeping secrets, one of the male leads is a very bad man, and part of the female lead's character arc involves learning that you cannot fix bad men, no matter how pretty they look. It's not going to be pretty at any stage, and I'm probably going to get a lot of flack for how I play the main characters for a while, but oh holy GOD is it fun to write about manipulative bastards.

I think this, more than anything, is why I feel satisfied. Sales aside, THIS is the story I wanted to tell, and I was so tired of getting hung up on the first part of it. I'd like to go on a big long thing about the craft and readers and mutual enjoyment, but it basically boils down to even if I only have two loyal readers? I get to f*ck with them for a while. I can't do that if all I'm working on is the set up.

I suppose the greatest ambition a writer can have is to tell the great, timeless classics that are upheld as beloved and adored centuries after they die, but I just want to make readers rush to buy the next book and stop to key my car.

christwriter
02-12-2013, 02:03 AM
Sales have been relatively so-so so far this month. 8 total, I think, since the last time I checked in. Including my first sale on B&N! Worth a sort of woot on its own, I think. That's 9 for the month, and that puts us at 164. That's not 200 but who knows? I could still make it.

Are we allowed to show off our covers? Because I'm going to:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Jv1zF71-fVs/URP4BJsS2BI/AAAAAAAAAwg/U2c9c9F-5fI/s1600/grayfox2+small.jpg

Maybe the art isn't THE most polished in the universe, but I think it looks alright...and hey, it was free. :D

I've also noticed that every month, traffic on my blog goes up right before releases are...well, released. For a little while I thought the upsurge wasn't happening, but the release date IS this month and I'm seeing that upswell again. Which shouldn't be there, because I didn't update the blog over the weekend (I...uh..."discuss" terrible books on the blog. Kind of like Mark Reads Twilight only it's not Twilight. People like it, which is why I do it, but I haven't been able to update over the weekend due to work)

The only real promotional work I've done for the new book so far is to give my blog readers a coupon to grab the other copy for free to see if they'd like the new book. Because they're my blog readers, damn it, they're finally talking to me and some of them are awesome people.

*coughit'soverhere (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/241053)andthecouponis(TU68W)cough*

Sorry. Allergies. Anyhoo...Yeah. Just gearing up for the new book, which will be Thursday, which is a terrible idea on my part because Valentines Day and I work at a restuarant and OH HELL but that's what I said a month ago when I wasn't thinking, and I don't break promises to my readers. I don't.

Yep. There's your update for the week.

christwriter
02-15-2013, 10:58 AM
Great! Sounds like it's really coming along for you.

ANYHOO: Hit publish on the next book. Smashwords, of course, went live almost immediately. Will be waiting for Amazon and Barnes and Noble to kick in.

I hate doing formatting. It's like HTML, which is like Algebra, which are both things I know I need to understand, but I hate them both with passion.

Also: Next time I schedule a release, it's on a non holiday monday when work is CLOSED. I scheduled this release to correspond with Valentines day and I work at a restaurant. I know I have mentioned this more than once, but OH HOLY GOD was I out of my mind when I decided to do this Feb. 15th (I worked on the 14th from 3pm to 10:30. Was it busy? Let's put it this way: WE RAN OUT OF CONDIMENTS. There was also going home at 10:30 when somebody has been robbing upscale restaurants at knifepoint lately, and I ride a bike because I can't really afford a car--car itself? Sure. Insurance, gas and "what's that noise" mechanic's bills? NO-- so I locked the door after my last table about three seconds after it closed, and I demanded everybody go out through the side door so I would not have to lock it again. The first thing I did when I got home was a straight shot of vodka. Otherwise I would not have been able to eat for another hour. I am SO GLAD tonight is over)

I do not know what will happen re: the new book, and I do not care. I survived valentines day 2013. I deserve a t-shirt. And another shot of vodka.

I'm going to go curl up in a corner and rock for a few hours play Minecraft. Mindless entertainment fixes everything.

christwriter
03-03-2013, 03:15 AM
February was...interesting. To say the least.

I've figured out that being dramatic to the point of melodrama is actually important during a book release. I have a countdown that initially I got just for my own self esteem (and so that every time I visit my blog I am reminded to get off my ass and go write more. Because I'm starting to have lots of awesome conversations with cool people and it is eating WAY too much of my time). But I've found that when the numbers on the countdown get small, the numbers on the blog visit counter get big. So my rule will now be to throw a big fuss. Not overly much so--as in, still maintain entertaining non-book related blog material, but mention that the book is coming, the book is coming, here's a cover, here's a sample, here's today's whatever, and oh yeah, did I mention that the book is coming?

I sold less of Sci-fi book 2 than I expected (one. copy.) given that Sci fi book one is my bestseller. Right now, I'm blaming it on front matter that I haven't updated in six months. It is now updated. We will see if that works out.

That said...I sold more of the new release than I expected, given that I didn't pull any of my usual tricks (KDP Select giveaways, mostly) when I have a new release. I'm SLOWLY migrating everything over to other platforms as well (as soon as the KDP period runs out). My expectations were four sales. I sold six. Three of which were on either Smashwords or Barnes and Noble.

That said...I did not make my sales goal. :( 24 sales in February brought me to 179 sales total so far. That said, my first sale in March happened before I even woke up properly. No brown bar of shame this month! (seriously. Am I the only person who hates that?)

I fully expect this month to suck. I have no release planned for March because I am tired. Six releases in seven months. Yes. They're only 30K a pop or so, but that still feels like a lot, and my job decided not to have a slow season this year. April will be the third installment of the Sci-fi book and I want to get that right without having to deal with the usual ungodly rush to publication. The only good news is, I will FINALLY get the first sci-fi book off of KDP Select, and also a couple other titles I can pop into Smashwords and use as free giveaways on every platform except Amazon. (Because I can't get a straight answer re: the pricematch thing. So I'm not screwing with it.)

It's kind of funny, though, when you announce to everybody "I'm taking a break this month" and you don't actually take a break. But "I can't meet any goals this month because I gave myself unrealistic deadlines" doesn't have the same saucy ring to it.

merrihiatt
03-03-2013, 04:24 AM
I, too, hate the brown bar of shame. Thankfully, it was gone this mornng. 24 sales in February is almost a sale a day!!!

christwriter
03-29-2013, 10:08 PM
Well, I knew March was going to suck. No new book + attempt to ween myself off KDP as a primary sales platform=slow sales.

That said, I finally got to do what I wanted to do from day one and make this book over here (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/silver-bullet-chelsea-gaither/1112409898?ean=2940044389281)completely free. It just took until the end of the month to do it. Up until then I think I had like, ten sales for the month? Put it up free on the 25th (the day the Select contract expired) and since then I've had about 9 sales. (and nice ratings. WOOT!)

Also the next Sci fi book is coming up, I'm excited, it looks like my readers are also excited because I'm seeing that pre-book-release upswell on my blog. We go live on the 2nd so I am killing myself to try to get it done.

If I've done my math right I've sold 198 books so far.

Also my experiment with Deviantart has had mixed results. No sales THERE, but the advertising campaign I've been running over there shows a little interest and activity (It's cheap. 20 bucks for 500 clicks, and I pointed it at the little chunk of my DA account set aside for my books and my book-related artwork. This part over here. (http://christwriter.deviantart.com/gallery/42579755)) I still do not know how effective it is, but radio silence on DA for the past year didn't help me much.

And finally, in a moment of pure self-indulgance...Cover art. I loves it.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-F5SLn-Zbnpc/UVXYVM7brjI/AAAAAAAAA7E/MnjlZoGZ3GQ/s320/Overseersownsmall.jpg

Yeah. So that's my month. :D

merrihiatt
03-30-2013, 02:48 AM
You may want to double check the Smashwords and Amazon KDP Terms of Service. They both state that a title needs to be the same price at all sales channels. Since the lowest price Amazon KDP allows a title to be listed at is $.99 cents, you may be in breach of your contract. Amazon KDP has not been a stickler for this clause, but they would be within their rights to remove the title and close your account, making all your titles unavailable at Amazon. Many authors take the risk anyway. I just wanted you to be aware.

christwriter
03-30-2013, 03:12 AM
Damn it I thought I'd pulled that title off Amazon already...must not have gone through right. Well It's fixed now. Thanks for catching that.

merrihiatt
03-30-2013, 05:22 AM
No problem.

christwriter
04-08-2013, 07:14 AM
So, it looks like April will be better. Eleven sales so far this month.

Sold three copies of the new book so far, three of the first book in the series and one of the second book. I give up on reading buyer habits. But the happy-making thing is the five star review I got on the new book when it had been out a day and sold one SINGLE copy. Either I got the most loquacious reader in the history of Amazon on my very first go or they really liked the story. I'm stunned.

I usually run a free promo on saturday on my "I don't give a sh*t" titles (There are two short stories that exist because the plot bunnies attacked, and one moderately long short story that exists because it's a part of the we-will-publish-it-someday book. It is its own thing, with its own story arc and its own characters--one of whom has changed just about everything, and to get THE BOOK out I now have to finish getting their story on paper, which has pushed my ultimate goal back about a year. Which is fine. When I plotted everything out I did it so I could stretch this phase out as long as I needed to. So yeah. I love these books, they do stand on their own, but they work better as sacrificial lambs in free promotions than anything else because I honestly and sincerely don't care what happens to them now that they're done. That said, I need to get some fresh blood into that part of the equation...) anyhoo, sales were pretty meh (Fits and starts, one, then nothing, then three, then nothing, then one) and then today it's like everybody lost their mind because of the promo.

As for March...21 copies of various things sold, with the sci-fi series leading the pack yet again. Moving off of Amazon as a primary sales platform has been a success, as I only sold eleven books there last month. Also, because I am lazy, I have gone through Smashwords for everybody who isn't Barnes and Noble, and the reports aren't in yet. So there might be a couple other march sales lurking out there that I don't know about.

Best news is, if I've done my math right. I broke 200 sales on the very last day of March.

Now I'm in planning mode. I'll hit the one year mark in July. Yep, one solid year of self publishing things. I'm going to try a bigger push over the summer, and I'm also going to serialize a YA novel I've had on my harddrive forever, and drop it in three parts. It'll be my celebratory book. We made it a year. The urban fantasy series will wrap up its current arc in May, the sci-fi series will wrap up in June, and both will be on hiatus until the fall, probably september or october.

My new goal is to break 300 by July (It's MY plan. I can shoot for the moon if I want to) and serialize the YA novel.

robertbevan
04-08-2013, 08:08 AM
rock it, dude. that was a fun update to read. congratulations on a strong april start!

FionnJameson
04-08-2013, 08:24 AM
Good luck, christwriter! :) You can definitely break the 300 mark. I'll be rooting for you!

merrihiatt
04-08-2013, 10:06 AM
Good luck! Love reading your updates!

christwriter
04-10-2013, 11:16 AM
Good luck! Love reading your updates!

Thanks!

And just for fun: Today I learned NEVER TELL THE TAX DUDE THAT THE AMAZON W2 IS FOR WRITING ROYALTIES.

EVER.

("It's self published". "Yeah, it's not my actual job because I can't really pay my bills with it. No. Don't change that part of the form." "...it's weird. Sci fi stuff." "...if I agree to read it will you go back to helping me figure out how to get around the fact that I have no w2 from my real job?")

(Yeah, the only reason it even came up was because I never got my day job's w2 form and I had to explain that the one from Amazon wasn't going to help us much.)

In fact, from now on, as far as IRL people go, I am a waitress with cats. And the notebooks are for cats. And when I am not working I am at home feeding cats. I would much rather be the neighborhood crazy cat lady than the neighborhood writer. For some reason that word shuts brains down. I throw words on paper and I call it a day. Some days I can't even manage that part. It's not that exciting.

christwriter
04-15-2013, 08:54 AM
April is now The Month When People Go Insane. Seriously. I think it's tax season or something, but...

Well, let's start with sales. 27 sales. That's sixteen in one week. That's ALMOST two a day. Yeah, it's still piddly numbers, but I'm still sitting here with the month half gone feeling more than a little excited.

Also, remember how last week I said something about "I don't give a sh*t" titles? Part of that was one of them has been languishing under a one star review and the other has been pretty much ignored since release. Both got flamingly positive reviews today.

And then there's a YA fantasy novel that has been languishing on my harddrive for over two years. After blanching at the thought of editing a 100K word book with less than a month's lead time, I've elected to serialize the thing. That's been an effective thing so far--releasing one smaller book a month--and I think I know why. If I'm right, summer will go swimmingly. If I'm wrong...well, I'll be regrouping on the other side of September.

The thing I have to remind myself--continually--is that my plan was not to be successful with the first book, or the second book, or the fifth book, but was to hammer away at this until I felt I had an audience of reasonable size, at which point I drop the books that I really care about. When I started last year, I set the goal of selling 100 books by the end of December (...and then promptly forgot about that goal, because life) and if I couldn't do that, I'd know it wasn't going to work.

I did that. Each new release is doing slightly better than the last one. Not massively better, but the trend exists.

So yeah. Summer goals:
-break 300 by the end of June
-break 400 by the end of September.

merrihiatt
04-15-2013, 10:22 AM
Almost two a day, nice. One of my favorite things to do is check sales stats in the morning and see books have sold while I slept. Love that!

Blenia
04-15-2013, 06:16 PM
Good luck. It looks like you're doing great so far. I hope you reach your goals. :)

Celeste Carrara
04-15-2013, 08:38 PM
I think you are doing great! Congrats! I'm sure you will reach your goals :-)

Barbara R.
04-15-2013, 08:52 PM
The gist of what I read on agency blogs is editors stop being interested once you have a poor sales record. Poor sales being defined (as per the agency blogs I've read) as "under several thousand."

Which is kind of why I've viewed self publishing as the end of the journey. Still, I'd like to believe that there's a good shot, someday.

It's not at all the end of the journey. That's one of many things that's changed in publishing over the past few years. People who self-publish and sell (not give away) large quantities of books have an advantage in gaining an agent's attention for the next book--not, as Old Hack said, the one that's already published. If the numbers aren't impressive, they still haven't hurt themselves, because publishers don't expect big sales from self-publishers. They're far more likely to look askance at published writers whose books sold below expectations. You can read these interviews with Viking editor Tara Singh (http://barbararogan.com/blog/?p=70) and agent Gail Hochman (http://barbararogan.com/blog/?p=81) to hear it from the horse's mouth.

So the OP should cheer up! This is not the end of the road by any means, especially because the more you write, the better your work will be.

Some of the smartest writers I know are combining publishing (new novels) with self-publishing (reissued novels and original stories and novellas.) And one NYT bestselling writer recently told me that she makes more selling her self-pub'd work than she does on the published: an eye-opener for me!

christwriter
04-16-2013, 03:02 AM
It's not at all the end of the journey. That's one of many things that's changed in publishing over the past few years. People who self-publish and sell (not give away) large quantities of books have an advantage in gaining an agent's attention for the next book--not, as Old Hack said, the one that's already published. If the numbers aren't impressive, they still haven't hurt themselves, because publishers don't expect big sales from self-publishers. They're far more likely to look askance at published writers whose books sold below expectations. You can read these interviews with Viking editor Tara Singh (http://barbararogan.com/blog/?p=70) and agent Gail Hochman (http://barbararogan.com/blog/?p=81) to hear it from the horse's mouth.

So the OP should cheer up! This is not the end of the road by any means, especially because the more you write, the better your work will be.

Some of the smartest writers I know are combining publishing (new novels) with self-publishing (reissued novels and original stories and novellas.) And one NYT bestselling writer recently told me that she makes more selling her self-pub'd work than she does on the published: an eye-opener for me!
At this point the OP (that being me) is very cheerful.

I've met every goal I've had, save for the ones I've just set. Sales this month and January were good, feedback so far has been good...and I was depressed for not-book-related-things at the time of my first posting. (Mostly work and being severely sick)

I'm still trying really, really hard to withhold enthusiasm and avoid the fist pumping victory speeches...but for the first time I have enthusiasm to withhold.

christwriter
05-02-2013, 10:02 PM
So. April rocked.

47 sales, some pretty good movement on Smashwords and Barnes and Noble. Of course, every new release of this series does incredibly well.

I've revised my goals upward, in light of this: I will now shoot for 365 total sales by July 17th. That will be a book a day for every day I've had books on sale. That would be awesome.

I've also got a TON of work planned for myself over the summer. I'm wrapping up my two main series. Not permanently, but in a sort of "Season Finale" kind of way. Because I am tired and I need a break from both worlds for a while. So we're moving into a new book that I'll serialize, because that's been WORKING. I also plan on releasing an Omnibus for Exiles (the paranormal fantasy series) and Omnibus for Starbleached (the sci-fi series) and print versions of the Starbleached series. I'll save a print version of the Omnibuss (...Omnibuses...Omnibi? Screw it. Plural form on Omnibus) for when I can afford professional help. Which I can't. Yet.

The rational behind that kind of plan is, I do plan on continuing those series, so releasing something relative to them while I'm taking breaks should keep them from falling off the map completely. I hope.

New book drops in a couple of days, and I am actively getting excited about what might happen next. My goal through all of this has not been jaw dropping sales. It's been momentum. Because momentum is what will lead to jaw dropping sales. I hope. And I'm seeing momentum.

I'm having so much fun.

everywriter
05-02-2013, 10:16 PM
christwriter, I was just wondering what are your strategies for selling more books?

merrihiatt
05-03-2013, 01:05 AM
Love hearing that you're having fun. Sometimes that element seems to get lost in all the work of self-publishing. Thanks for the update.

Tienci
05-03-2013, 01:46 AM
What a great read! Thanks so much for your detailed posts and congrats on your latest positive swing.
Good luck with your upcoming projects--you'll make your goal. :)
I look forward to the rest of your updates.

christwriter
05-03-2013, 06:39 AM
christwriter, I was just wondering what are your strategies for selling more books?

At this point, publish more books. Seriously. I've tried advertising and that didn't work, blog tours seem to be a lot of pomp and circumstance and not a lot of results for the efforts, and I can't find a reviewer willing to review (...at this point I'd be happy if my simi-hate-stalker did a review, though that would really hurt because this person hates my guts). But that first month a book is out increases traffic for all other books. And so far it seems to be working. I did not release a book last month, numbers were down, I released a book this month, my numbers were well over double what they were last month.

KDP Select give-aways help, a little, but in all honesty at this point the best advertisement is a brand new book.

This summer, for example, I plan to release one book next month, two books in June, including one I've been promising since Feb. that I had to skip because I was very tired, a book, an omnibus of one series and a print book in July, and a book, an omnibus of the other series and another print book in August. I *should* be able to manage all that because I've got 90% of it written.

I'm going to regroup at the end of the summer and reassess. For now, I'm satisfied with growth and momentum. Right now I want to break 50 books a month by June, which I don't think is unreasonable, 75 books a month by September, and 100 a month by December. If I can't do that, I'll sit back and regroup.

christwriter
05-16-2013, 01:08 AM
So we're at the halfway mark for May, and I've sold 38 books. Nothing is an outstanding bestseller this month. It seems to be slow and steady across the board.

Which means, fingers crossed, I'm going to break the 300 mark by the end of the month.

I am very happy with this. That's over two books a day, average, though actual sales are clustered more towards the weekend.

I can't wait to see what the rest of the month looks like.

Norman D Gutter
05-16-2013, 04:19 AM
Slow and steady is good, CW. Crossing my fingers with you.

NDG

RLMcKeown
05-16-2013, 06:54 AM
Just caught up on your thread. I hope you reach your goal for the month!

merrihiatt
05-16-2013, 07:01 AM
Good luck!

Spell-it-out
05-16-2013, 02:27 PM
CW, best of luck trying to break the 300 mark. Love following your story here.

Daniel
05-19-2013, 10:59 PM
I went a slightly different way.
I sold 25 of my first essay on lying in six months but I was invited onto radio shows and found it all interesting so I created a digital publisher. Now we have about fifteen books out from several authors and sell though Ingrams using Lightning Source. Not a fan of the only two paper choices but the quality is equal to main stream.

It's all a lot of work.

Ann Joyce
05-19-2013, 11:32 PM
Good job! I will be watching for your, "I broke 300!" post.

christwriter
05-30-2013, 12:13 AM
AND THE THREE HUNDRED MARK IS PAST. Beat it last night while I was sleeping.

Whoo. That was fun. Also have sold 55 books this month as of today. I am EXCITED. I can finally say that.

The new goal is to sell 365+ books by my one year anniversary.

June is going to be fun. I'm going to try to release two 30K books (Sci-fi book and book I've been promising but putting off for a while) and then release a third book by July 4th. That latter one might get delayed about a week. The fourth is psychologically important to me, because it was the day I publicly committed to self publishing, but July 18th is technically the one year anniversary. So we'll see what happens.

The third book is going to be a brand new YA series involving dragons and kidnapped teenagers. It's been sitting on my harddrive for two years. We'll see how it goes.

The momentum. It is here. :D

Ann Joyce
05-30-2013, 12:47 AM
And... *drum roll* a big w00t! on reaching your goal of 300, and 55 sales this month! Congratulations. May it ever continue to go well for you!

PortableHal
05-30-2013, 01:15 AM
And... *drum roll* a big w00t! on reaching your goal of 300, and 55 sales this month! Congratulations. May it ever continue to go well for you!

What Ann said. Happy congratulations to you! :hooray:
A year from now, I want to hear your sales are in the four/five/six digits. Deal?

Judy Koot
05-30-2013, 01:16 AM
Congratulations! I think a bottle of champagne is in order *popping the cork*

christwriter
05-30-2013, 01:52 AM
I've got one better.

(Breaks out the tequila, Gin and St. Germaine)

(Yeah. I'm a bartender in my other life. :D)

@portablehal Sure thing. I have the momentum now. ANYTHING is possible. I am sure.

Ann Joyce
05-30-2013, 01:59 AM
I'll have a buttery nipple then, please!

Celeste Carrara
05-30-2013, 07:17 AM
WooHoo!! Great news! Congrats :)

Tienci
05-30-2013, 07:18 AM
Yay! Knew you'd get there sooner than later. :)
Lemon drop over here! :D

christwriter
05-30-2013, 08:51 AM
Absolutely. Would you like it traditional or with Cupcake Chiffon (AKA lemon flavored) Vodka?

merrihiatt
05-30-2013, 09:05 AM
** Celebrating with you!!! **

Judy Koot
05-30-2013, 12:48 PM
I've got one better.

(Breaks out the tequila, Gin and St. Germaine)

(Yeah. I'm a bartender in my other life. :D)

:D That's better indeed (I don't like champagne anyway)
Fill 'er up!

christwriter
06-02-2013, 02:13 AM
@Judy we can keep the champagne. I'll just spike it with the St. Germaine.

Well, I did it. Close of the month, I sold exactly sixty books. Which was something I thought would be impossible.

I have no idea how I'm going to manage the publishing schedule this summer. I live in a beach town, and to quote a favorite sign our local shopkeepers hide under the counter, "Why call it tourist season if we can't shoot them?"

But that's the challenge now. If I can just keep this up things are going to be good. Already sold two books for June, so I've got my fingers crossed for a good month. If I can meet all my goals everything should work out fine.

...I know. That's a big should. But I am determined.

christwriter
06-11-2013, 10:05 AM
It is May eleventh. I've sold thirty two books so far this month.

I don't think I've ever had THIRTY BOOKS sold by the tenth of the month. And I did. This month.

I am in shock. As in "HOLY SHIT THIS IS TOTALLY DOABLE" shock. As in maybe I can make plans beyond "hey, maybe sell a couple books this month".

I am going to make my goals. All of them.

That's never happened to me before. Like, ever. I've always kind of felt like Charlie Brown with the football, and this time there is no effing football.

This. Is. Awesome.

Ooh, and weird thing for the month:

Let me hedge this by saying that I am, like, crazy religious. I keep it hidden really well because I like cursing a lot, Booze is my friend, and I would totally go to Adam and Steve's wedding, but I'm that kind of "God made the rain stop for me" Christian that tends to annoy the snot out of people. I read C.S. Lewis's theology (Mostly because Lewis and G.K. Chesterton make any two modern theologians look like Laurel and Hardy) and I tend to start bad news off with "Keep these guys in your prayers." Okay? Okay.

I've been promising my blog-readers a "This is why I self published" post for six months, a post that will contain an awful, awful lot of crazy and I already know it ("God told me to do it" isn't an acceptable line of reasoning, and it's probably 60% of what pushed me down the self publishing road.). I started working on it today because I knew it was going to be epic, and that my one year anniversary was the time to do it. I also figured a quick review of the events that happened during my adventures in publishing would be a good idea just for my own mental stability, because having these touchstones give me a sense of perspective that I am usually sorely lacking.

So today, I reviewed all of my rejection letters because who rejected me when is pretty much the only record I've got for anything between 2009 and 2011. (As I was in that mental state most psychologists call "severely F**ked up") and I noticed that my first ever rejection came in on July 19th, 2010. I twisted hotmail's arm until it coughed up my first ever query letter...and it was dated July 17th, 2010.

My one-year self-publishing anniversary is July 17th, 2012.

Which means my self publishing anniversary is also my three year publishing anniversary.

And I didn't know until about twelve hours ago.

That is weird. And cool. And significant. But weird.

Ann Joyce
06-11-2013, 08:09 PM
Cool beans!

merrihiatt
06-11-2013, 11:44 PM
Fabulous news!!!

christwriter
06-26-2013, 02:38 AM
Quick update: 58 sales so far in June. And that brings us to 376 sales.

I have sold over one book a day my first year of self publishing.

Another cool set of numbers are the six month totals. My first six months (July to Dec. 2012) I sold 110 books. My second six months (Jan to June 2013) I sold 266. So basically I doubled my sales numbers in six months.

I also FINALLY got my Smashwords sales reports for April and May, and there were a few sales through Kobo and a couple other places that I did not know about.

Everything right now is totally awesome.

Spell-it-out
06-26-2013, 03:07 AM
That's great news CW, well done.

PortableHal
06-26-2013, 03:28 AM
Another cool set of numbers are the six month totals. My first six months (July to Dec. 2012) I sold 110 books. My second six months (Jan to June 2013) I sold 266. So basically I doubled my sales numbers in six months.

So, if this trend continues and you double your sales numbers every six months for the rest of your writing career...can I come visit your mansion? :)

Happy congratulations!

merrihiatt
06-26-2013, 04:10 AM
Yay!

AgathaChristieFan
06-26-2013, 10:59 PM
Congrats! Your sales are really impressive! Keep up the good work :)

sarahdalton
06-26-2013, 11:05 PM
Awesome! :)