Notes from the Field: February 12 2018

Another installment in the life and times of an #indieauthor…

  • Numbers first: There aren’t any.

    To clarify, I’m in the editing and pre-production phases for Dead Shot: A Diane Pembrook Thriller and Arbor, so there aren’t any sexy word count stats to share at the moment. Jaime is about 2/3 of the way through beta-reading Dead Shot and I’m waiting for the paperback proof copy of Arbor to look over disapprovingly. (Who am I kidding… I’ll declare it an INSTANT CLASSIC!)

    As for Crossed Out, here’s the executive summary: It’s not selling well.

  • For more on that last sentence, we turn now to The Stats, courtesy of Kindle Direct Publishing. I soft-launched the book a day or two early, so I widened the activity summary to include the end of December. Here’s how the eBook and paperback copies did:

    Kindle stats part 1

    The orange nicks are eBooks, the gray ones are paperbacks. Once again, to the aspiring self-publisher, I can’t stress enough the importance of paperback editions.

    As for Kindle Unlimited, the service that allows customers to read books for “free” (they pay a monthly fee for the service), the numbers are exceptionally grim.

    Kindle stats part 2

    One person read the book cover to cover (thanks, Bill!), but to my surprise it didn’t garner any interest, despite:

    • Using Amazon “sponsored content” ads that show up under say, other books in my genre (10 clicks, ~$2)
    • Spending money on a targeted email blast specifically aimed at KU readers that like thrillers ($15)
    • Talking it up to anyone who will listen

    To be fair, if people have my book on their Kindle “for later”, I may see numbers trend upward and all will be well in the world. The royalty for KU is $0.005 per page (I might be missing a zero) which ends up around $1.50 per book if people read it cover to cover (again, thanks Bill!). I get a bit more for paperbacks, with the most moolah coming from eBooks, but that’s something like $2.75 per copy. Not bad, actually… and I’m not complaining.

    I am, frankly, disappointed that it didn’t make more of a splash, but it’s early days, yet. Good grief, it hasn’t even been 60 days.

    Just the same, I’m providing this insight in the interest of transparency, and helping set realistic expectations for the would-be self-published author. Start small and build up seems to be a winning strategy, even if the numbers are deflating. Marathon, not sprint. Sometimes — okay, daily — I have to remind myself of that.

  • Having said all of that, I’m glad I have other irons in the fire to keep me occupied, and people (such as Bill) will be happy to know that…

    • The Ana Lode sequel has a TITLE! (Newsletter subscribers will find out what it is first!)
    • The Ana Lode sequel had a PLOT OUTLINE! (Beat sheet, to be precise, and newsletter subscribers will see sample material first!)
    • The Ana Lode sequel has a COVER MOCKUP! (Newsletter subscribers will see it first! Detecting a trend, here? Want to get in on that action? Use the sign-up form at the top of this page. It’s 100% free to join, and no salesperson will ever call your home.)

    This means, assuming I start writing it this month (iffy, due to other projects nearing publication, so, 98% chance of yes) we’re looking at a June or July release date. Stay tuned!

  • Finally, Jaime and I hit Animal Kingdom rather hard this weekend, which was to be expected because we went there intending to keep things cool and mellow. But! We saw the tiger cubs, finally, and I’m very pleased with this shot of their enclosure:

    Tigers and tourists

    For some reason most of my video footage this week was bird-centric. Then again, it was hard to resist poses like this:

    Showy birds

    Click the YouTube link on the top menu bar of this site to check out this and all of our other videos.

We’re almost to the halfway point of February… enjoy your week!

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