Wednesday, September 7, 2011

ROW80: Ripped from the Routine

Holiday weeks are always busy.  From what I've read, it seems like a lot of writers are creatures of habit.  Thus, holidays are double-edged swords.  The time off, the enjoyment or camaraderie, it's all good.  The ripping from a routine, not so much.  Still, a good writer endeavors, which is what I tried to do.

Here's a look at the goals:
  • Publishing Lesson Learned - Goodreads now allows you to upload and sell your book!  I must have missed the announcement, but there it is.  It's another venue, and I'm a fan of the whole idea of Goodreads.  My first novel is now purchasable through the site.  It's the exact same version as the B&N (since they want an EPUB), so it was really no extra work on my part.  Cool beans.
  • WIP Pages - 5/6.  One short.  I blame the holiday.  We traveled and saw some friends.  It was pretty busy.  I was happy to be able to squeeze in as much as I did, especially since one day swallowed a significant chunk of time with editing.
  • Blogging - 4/3 on the other blog.  3/3 here.  Just barely.  I got the fiction post up late last night.  It was a fun scene and I wanted it up before y'all came through.  Fight scenes are good, clean family fun.  Okay, maybe not so clean.
So while I exceeded my blogging goal, I was a page short on my WIP goal.  The WIP is more important, but I don't really feel like a failure.  Like I said, holidays are rough on the schedule, and it's a whole lot easier to blog in between things.  WIP writing requires a certain amount of concentration that isn't always squeezable.  The important thing is that I kept writing through it.  Writers write. 

I also thought I'd take the chance today to share my August sales figures for those of you that are interested.  We sold 16 total copies for the month, down from a debut of 34.  While I dislike seeing a decline, I'm not overly concerned.  I've read that August is a traditionally poor month for sales, and word of mouth is slow.  Things should start increasing and will hopefully peak around the holidays.  That'd be my guess.

I'm not doing really any promotion.  Instead, I'm focusing hard on getting this second book out ASAP.  It's another reason to not pay so much attention to these early sales.  The book is out there and some people are reading it, that's the important thing. 

The numbers break down with Kindle at 5 sales, B&N 2, Smashwords 1, and CreateSpace with 8.  My CS sales have been 8 for the first two months, which is great.  A lot of friends and family are going for the higher dollar print version.  I'm thankful for the support.  I'd be surprised if my print sales stay up like that, but it's a nice early boost since most of those are through my personal estore (and I make more off each copy there).

So good stuff.  There are lots of authors doing far better than me, but it could also be a lot worse.  I think I would feel frustrated if I were promoting hard, but when you're just focusing on writing, these sales are just sort of icing on the cake.  Ebooks are forever.  When I've got a half-dozen books out there, then I can promote myself a lot more effectively.  That's the plan at least.  The readers that I gather in the mean time I will be eternally grateful for, as they've really gotten in on the ground floor here and supported what I hope ends up being a very fruitful career.

Again, I like to share the numbers for both readers and other writers.  Think of it as sort of a monthly report.  If my writing is worth it, then it is something worth supporting, and we're in this together.  So thank you.

We'll end with a look at the word counts to prove that I'm still working hard :-)...
  • Since last check-in: 6,141
  • Fiction: 2,008
  • 33% New Fiction
  • Grand Total for the challenge: 57,190


Nadja Notariani said...

Matt ~ I don't know if you have a weird ESP gift - or if 'providence' just led you to post exactly what I needed to read. Whatevs....I'll take it. Thanks.
I've been very concerned over promoting. Sure, I want to promote my novel, but I don't want to get so much into promoting it that I lose sight of my original goal - which is to write. Reading that other authors go through the same 'y's' in the road reminded me that the sky won't fall if I don't have a blog tour set up by next month. Ha!
I'm off to sit down and write. (that is..after I go get milk, pack school lunches, ensure that two little boys get showered without soaking my bathroom floor, and pay the cell phone bill.) Is it bedtime yet? lol ~ Nadja

Elizabeth Mitchell said...

Matt, I'm with Nadja--a very timely post. I know I read somewhere in my ROW80 sponsor travels that someone else is facing the same concerns as Nadja, so I'm off to send them to this post.

BTW, I know there's all that talk about reaching non-writer audiences, but I'm one of your August sales. I'm not very far, but I'm hooked; it's on my list of reviews to write when I'm done.

Have a great week!

Elizabeth Mitchell said...

Found it. Cate is dealing with how to promote her novella

There's gotta be some entrepreneurial opening out there for promoting self-published authors, no?

Matt said...

@Nadja - We do seem to be on the same path, don't we? I'd say less providence and more "great minds think alike" :-). In either case, I'll take it.

@Elizabeth - Thank you! I've read the non-writer "rule" too, but most writers were first and foremost readers. I think the best bet is to strike a healthy balance. It's a delicate line to walk, but conversing with writers helps me learn and grow, which, in turn, is good for readers. On the flip side, you don't want to be so abstract that your readers are lost either. So far, I've been pleased with how it's worked out here on my site, and a lot of that is due to ROW80.

I will have to stop over at Cate's later (it is blocked at work, sadly. IT trolls no likey LJ).

I'll look forward to your review and thanks so much for taking a chance on me! :-)

Matt said...

And yes. We'd all love a PR manager... for a reasonable price of course! :-D

Deniz Bevan said...

A page short! I think that's acceptable [g] Congratulations on everything else!

Matt said...

Ha, thanks. I think so too, but I still have to keep myself honest ;-).

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