I just had to post this picture of my awesome new slippers. I love them. They are big, warm and have eyeballs hanging off them. What you can't really see in the picture is that your foot actually goes in their mouth which has felt teeth and blood around it. Love. A must-have item for the zombie lovers in your life.
Okay, I started this post with a ridiculous picture because the rest of it might be a little boring and dry for some people. I sat down this morning and ran some numbers. I've been wanting to do this for awhile, to give some concrete numbers for people who are interested in the indie-publishing world. There are a few success stories out there about people making six figures selling their books online, and while I do think these stories are amazing, I also don't think they are probably the norm. Writing/publishing/selling books is hard work, and at the end of the day it's just like any other job. In theory, the harder you work and the more time you put into it, the greater the rewards.
For me, I don't have a lot of time to put into marketing or promoting my books. I have a full time job that is more than 40 hours per week. I travel for work, and I travel for fun (as evidenced in my prior posts). I'm not complaining. I love my life. But I don't have as much time for my writing job as I would like to be able to make it a successful career. It's my own fault. I know that. I'm just pointing out the fact that the people who have been able to make self-publishing a successful career have likely put in a ton of time and completely deserve their success.
That's not to say I don't consider my own results to be a success. I'm thrilled beyond belief to even have one sale of a book I wrote. It's an amazing feeling. So while I'm certainly not making six figures, (probably not even four figures), I still think my 2012 was successful. Let's dig a little deeper.
I published my first book, The Shadows, toward the end of May. I had 2 sales. It was awesome. I released five books total in 2012, including the complete Shadows Trilogy. I also released two novellas in the Castle Trilogy. In the very last week of 2012, I released a Shadows Novella, and a complete set of the trilogy. Neither of those had any sales until January of this year, so my sales for 2012 include the three books of The Shadows Trilogy, the first book of the Castle Trilogy, two Castle novellas, and one stand alone adult book. So that's five full books and two novellas. Here's the numbers.
May - Dec 2012: 235 sales, 13 loans on Amazon, and 5,565 free book giveaways.
Again, not a roaring success by some people's standards, but I was pleased. The last book in my trilogy wasn't released until toward the end of December, and I think having the complete set out now will help sales quite a bit. Lots of people don't like to start unfinished series by unknown authors.
Something else worth noting is that January of 2013 has already been a huge improvement for me. Let's look at those numbers:
Jan 2013: 97 sales so far, 34 loans on Amazon so far, and 2,955 free book giveaways so far. And the month is only 2/3 of the way complete.
I don't want to draw too many conclusions from these numbers. January was bound to be a better month with the after Christmas bump. Who knows if it will last.
What I do want to point out is that 332 people have paid good money for my books, and that is awesome. So thanks if you are one of those people! Another 15 people took time to leave reviews on amazon, and again- thank you! Even if someone leaves a less than stellar review, it means a lot that they take the time to write it at all. Also, 8,554 people have taken the time to download my book, either through a loan or a giveaway. Many of them may never read it, but a few probably will. And that is awesome.
I have a ton of projects underway right now. I'm working on the second book in the Castle Trilogy, Fortress. I have a middle grade fantasy/adventure book halfway done. I love this book, by the way. I think it will be part of a four or five book series. I can't wait to publish it. I also have another adult novel underfoot. I'll be finishing up the Castle Trilogy in the first half of this year. I have a mystery adult series outlined. So yeah, I'm a busy girl. Even if I never get another sale, I'll still be working on these things. That's the thing about stories- they have to be told, even if only the person that writes them is also the only one that hears them.
Happy Sunday, everyone! I'm off to buy some bananas for the deep fryer - don't ask. Oh- CASTLE is on free promo on Amazon today so go check it out.
You may remember that I mentioned starting a new job back in August. I blame that job for my lack of posting. I've been crazy busy, but still loving the job. Unfortunately, with the increased travel component and some big releases, I haven't had as much free time as I would like for writing.
Good news though- my job gives me a winter break, which started yesterday. So with 11 days off, I hope to make some excellent progress on my current work in progress, the follow up to CASTLE. I also managed to get the final details wrapped up on the third and last installment in The Shadows Trilogy- The Warriors. It was a lot of fun to write, and very cathartic to be able to wrap up the stories and give the characters some closure. It's up and available on Amazon if you'd like to check it out.
What else is new... I had a recent trip to DC and NYC and finally got to see both the White House and the big tree in Rockefeller Plaza. I did the Christmas thing with my family yesterday and today, and now I have a lot of movies and books to catch up on these next few days. We got the first snow of the season (and I'm not particularly happy about it). We had a holiday office party that included not one, but two after-parties.
I'm still hanging out with the fam, watching the new Total Recall movie. So I'll include a much longer post later this week but just wanted to wish everyone happy holidays.
It's October. When did that happen? I swear it was just May and I was hyperventilating about turning 30. I love autumn, don't get me wrong. But I HATE winters in Chicago. And Winter is coming, my friends. Winter is coming.
So let's talk a little about what I've been up to lately. My new job (2 months in) has been going well. I passed my first certification (of many), and even got to hit the road. I was in Philly and New York last week. I've been to NYC a couple of times and always love it. I almost moved there after college for law school but chose Chicago instead and I have to say I don't regret that decision. I love visiting New York, but I don't think I could ever live there. Namely because it's too expensive. But I'm also a midwestern girl at heart.
I had never been to Philadelphia and I must admit, I enjoyed it thoroughly. It almost felt like a small New York to me. I woke up early before my business meetings to stop by the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Swung by Ben Franklin's resting place and Betsy Ross' house. For a huge history nerd like me, this was not an inconsequential trip.
So why am I telling you all of this? A couple of reasons actually. One, it explains why I haven't gotten a lot of writing and blogging done in the past couple of weeks. But also because it has really made me reflect on the last decade and a half of my life.
When I was fifteen, I was living in a small town in the middle of the midwest. Life was pretty simple and bland. I was relatively smart, and that meant I was often bored in school. I couldn't wait for college and life beyond because I was certain I was destined for greatness. I wanted to see the world. I wanted to live in a big city, have a fancy job as a lawyer, go on business trips. Basically, I wanted the exact opposite life that I was living.
Fast forward fifteen years later- I live in a cool apartment in Chicago. I spent five years working as a lawyer, and now I'm still in the legal industry. I work for a hip, trend-setting company and take business trips to amazing cities. I've travelled to a bunch of different countries and seen a lot of America in the process. And now, I'm also a (self)published writer. It's a pretty cool thing to see your dreams come true, even if they don't turn out exactly how you see them in your head.
And one final dream is coming true later today- I'm going to see Taken 2. Loved the first movie and pumped about the second one. I'll let you know my thoughts on it later.
Oh- writing update. Working on the final book in the Shadows Trilogy. Should finish it up this month. And I'm also working on something a little different that I'm still feeling out so I'll update you about that later.
The fourth of July is such a great holiday. Warm weather, food, family and friends, and fireworks. But it's also a day to remember that we wouldn't be who we are today without sacrifice. This is true in the history of America and in our own personal histories. Sometimes you have to be willing to do things you don't want to do to achieve something great or important.
So I encourage people to think about the sacrifices they have made in their own lives and the sacrifices others have made for them. I also encourage you to eat something that was cooked on a grill and have a cold beer or two.
Oh and also, if you haven't picked it up yet, my first book The Shadows is free on Amazon today as my own little birthday gift. Enjoy!
I'm not feeling well so it's 3:00 in the morning and I am wide awake. Not fun. However it is a good opportunity for me to catch up on blogging. I was MIA all of last week because I was in Mexico for a wedding. It was an amazing time, and I even got to do some celebrity watching- Michael Bay and the Old Spice Guy! It was a great time, but now I'm back into serious writing mode.
My second novel, CASTLE, is in the final stages and should become available at some point next week. I've been working on it for a few months now and I think it's really coming together nicely.
The Shadows has been available for almost a month now and has been pretty well-received so far. I have to say, it's a really cool feeling knowing that people are reading a book you wrote. And then when someone actually enjoys that book, it's very satisfying. When I'm writing, I'm mostly writing for myself honestly. I try to write something I enjoy reading so it's pretty neat to find other people that enjoy the same thing.
With the release of my new book, I'll likely be planning some fun promo stuff. Look for another free run of my first book on Amazon. I've also got some other writings in the works that will be coming soon, including the follow up to The Shadows.
Okay, I may have talked myself into some sleep so I'm signing off for now. Good night!
The Kindle version of my first book, The Shadows, is listed free on Amazon today and tomorrow. What are you waiting for? Click on the book image below to go right to the Amazon page for free downloading.
My first book is up on Amazon and ready to be read. I wasn't planning to publish it for a few more days but after a final read thru yesterday, I decided to go for it. I know it's not perfect, but then neither am I. But I do think it's an enjoyable read so please check it out.I started writing the Shadows three years ago when I was between jobs and bored out of my mind. The first version wa
s certainly "rough" but I knocked it out in about ten days. The subsequent versions took a lot longer to write, mostly because I'm now working full time and putting in an insane amount of hours at work. But it is also taking longer because I've got a lot of writing projects going on right now. I'm about halfway done with another YA novel that will be published in July and I will also be following up soon with the sequel to The Shadows so expect to hear much more from me in the coming months.If you would like to buy The Shadows, please check it out on Amazon Buy The Shadows
I was having a crappy week at work. Insanely busy, stressed out and whatnot. And then I walked into work this morning and my coworker handed me a beer. It really doesn't get much better than that.
Now I don't want you to think that's how my days normally start. In reality, one of my coworkers brews up some beer at home and generously shares with his favorite colleagues once in awhile. It's a pretty sweet deal. And no, I didn't drink it for breakfast. I waited until lunch.
In other news, check out my new page "My Books" and you can see the new cover for my first book "The Shadows." I'm just finishing up some editing and then hope to get this book rolling on Amazon by the end of May. You shouldn't try to hide your excitement. Also, I'll be posting some free chapters to help ease your extreme anxiousness until you can get the whole thing.