Wednesday, October 5, 2011

#ROW80 - Rock the ROW

There's a party going down on Twitter, right now, at the #ROW80 hashtag.  Seriously.  Lot of crazy ROWers.  Sadly, I'm at work, so my Twitter abilities are somewhat limited.  Still, I did see ACDC mentioned.  And there are pictures.  Pictures can be fun.  Just keep 'em classy.  (I'm looking at you, random politicians and/or professional athletes.  Nah, jk.  But srsly: classy.)

Anyway, today is the first check in of the new round.  I threw my goals out there on Monday, so let's take a quick look at how I'm starting off:
  • Lesson Learned - Sometimes, you just need to draw the setting.  I was writing a fight scene in a prison... yep, needed a floor plan.  Made the scene so much easier to write.
  • WIP Pages - 2/2.  Did 'em Monday and Tuesday.  Good start.  'Course, I'm coming down with something, so could get rougher as the week goes on.  Side note: I also sent a little side project off to an editor-friend.  It's a contest entry for some fan fic that goes with my gaming stuff.  I write the fan fic for fun anyway, so why not.
  • Blogging - This actually makes three here in as many days.  Usually, I have to tap into the previous week, but between ROW80 and Vampire Awareness Month, I had some things to talk about.  Got two in on my other blog as well.  As it's a new month, gotta hit up the personal blog sometime soon, too.  Plenty of time for that though.
A great start so far.  Now I just need to go around and be social.  So many blogs!  It's great to see the enthusiasm kicked back up for this round.  Fall always tends to be a bit contest-heavy, so it's nice to see ROW80 keepin' it real.

And the word count for the first three days?  I don't have any word count goals, but I like to share it.  Think of it as sort of my proof that setting realistic goals other than word counts can still get you there.  Here's the look:
  • Project Fiction: 915
  • Since last check in (two days ago): 3,635
  • Grand Total for Round 4: 3,635
Like I said, a great start.

I also have September sales numbers.  I like to post them in these, since I think they mostly interest the writing crowd.  Also, it can be comforting to know you're not alone (or that you're completely destroying me in copies sold!).

I say the above parenthetical because September was a crappy month for sales.  I popped in with a paltry six (2 Kindle, 2 B&N, 2 Other).  Still, I want to point out two things.  First of all, that's six more sales than if I'd never put my story out there.  I'm up to 56 overall (in three months), which is really pretty awesome.  That 56 people will likely have read my story by the end of the year is pretty neat.  Especially since I'm basically doing the bare minimum for promotion (trying to focus on writing) and relying on word of mouth.

Second, while raw numbers may get me down or find me jealous... this is not a get-rich-quick scheme.  I don't want it to be.  That would take away some of the pleasure of success if it were just handed over.  It would feel cheap.  I feel good about every one of those sales.  They've come from hard work and connecting with other people.  I don't feel like I've had to wheedle anyone into buying my book.  It has been people who are genuinely interested, and I'm thankful for that and for each reader.  I want to do this the "right" way (if there is one, or at the very least "my" way).  

It can be easy to get frustrated, but everyone's path is going to be different.  I've noticed a change in my own buying habits as a result of this.  I pay more attention to spending money as a "vote" or in support of an idea. In gaming, in reading, wherever.  It feels good to spend money on something you enjoy, an idea or person you're behind.  It makes purchases seem less like a cold transaction and more like a contribution to a cause.  Sure, this doesn't work for everything (I mean, deodorant is deodorant), but there's a silver lining there.

Anyway, that's enough rambling for now.  I'm excited for the holiday season, and I need to keep my nose to the grindstone and get this other book out.  I can't wait to share it.

Before I leave, I'll drop a question on you.  As you may know, dear reader, ROW80 has a great community.  I'm thankful for it.  That's sort of why I ask this, because I would be there are a lot of you that feel the same.  You ever take a look at all the people out there, braving this new ebook world, and think "Holy cow, there's so many.  How will I ever succeed?"  Don't get me wrong, I feel like we're all in this together; we're ROWing in the same boat.  I don't want any other authors to go away or anything.  After all, as a reader I've never felt like I had to stick with a finite number of authors.  Y'all simply can't write as fast as I can read (even with writing).

But it's daunting, sometimes, isn't it?  To dream this dream we share?  To be one of so many?

The good news: The pie is growing.  With e-readers, more people are buying more books.  The boat is getting bigger.  See you on the oars!


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