Notes from the Field: January 8 2018

Here’s the latest and greatest from international author Ethan Johnson…

  • Numbers first:

    A: $27! That’s approximately what Crossed Out: An Ana Lode Thriller grossed in its first week. That’s a net loss overall, but still a good start. The advantage to keeping costs as low as possible means the break even point is much closer to the starting line.

    B: 1! That seems to be how many people are reading it on Kindle Unlimited. Not complaining, just being transparent about the launch. I don’t get as much in royalties with KU reads as I would with outright book sales, but I am of the mind that some money > no money, hands down.

    C: 3, and 8! I sold 3 eBooks, and 8 paperbacks. The numbers are still trickling in, but I found it interesting that hard copies outsold eBooks by 2:1. I would say 3:1 but the KU stats equate to just over one eBook copy, so that holds the ratio down. Shrug. Aspiring self-publishers: I recommend having paperback as an option, based on my experience thus far. Those are sales I’d flat-out miss if I had only released an eBook.

    D: $0! That’s how much I spent in cost-per-click (CPC) advertising through Amazon. I set up my campaign about as horribly as I could, but I’ve made adjustments and look forward to more positive numbers over the coming week.

    As an aside, I am not going to throw good money after bad at advertising. My expectation is that Amazon ads should raise the book’s profile a bit, and hopefully drive sales. When Dead Shot hits the shelves, I’ll have more to crow about.

  • Okay, but what about stuff I’m writing now?

    A: As of Sunday night, before my scheduled writing time, I am right around 45K words in Dead Shot: A Diane Pembrook Thriller. That’s 5K short of my weekly goal. I refuse to beat myself up about falling short, for reasons I will provide shortly.

    B: Arbor, the freebie prequel novella that will be released ONLY to email subscribers — sign up absolutely free at the top of this post; the signup form is only accessible via my web site, so if you’re reading this somewhere else, come on down — is on target at 15K. The progress meter has been moved up accordingly.

    To clarify, it is the prequel to both Crossed Out *and* Dead Shot. Wondering how that’s even possible? Sign up, and you’ll get your copy sometime in February. I’m writing as fast as I can, without blowing off things like quality storytelling and grammar. A steal at no dollars, hands down!

  • Jaime and I finally returned to Disney World after a forced hiatus. Our annual passes black out at the end of each year, so we busied ourselves with other things. The Epcot International Festival of the Arts is starting up soon,
    so we’ll have many more videos to come! Wondering what I’m talking about? Click the “YouTube” link on the top menu bar.

  • And finally, I’m circling back to my comment about refusing to feel guilty about missing my target for Dead Shot. I average about 1500 words per day, but these days I am dividing that between…

    • Marketing Crossed Out
    • Writing a full-length novel
    • Writing a FREE novella

    Those have been my priorities, in order. I still got in my 10K word count this week, but they were divided almost equally between the two works in progress. What seems negative on the surface is actually positive, or at least neutral. Let’s see: New book is selling, I’m making good progress on two more titles, and I’m enjoying the experience. What’s the down side?

Have an enjoyable week! Hey, have you read the new Ethan Johnson thriller? Hubbub! Hubbub!

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