Monday, September 26, 2011

It's Marvelous Monday & the Indie Author

I know quite a few of you do not consider Mondays as marvelous. It's the day you start back to work after a weekend. For me, Mondays are just another day.

In writing, there are chapters to be written. Chapters to be edited. Story lines filled out to see if they would be workable for a novel. Like I've said in previous posts, I do my homework BEFORE writing.

In life, it's a different story. Sunday is normally my busiest day of the week with pastoring at church, but today has already started off with a bang! Two weddings so far. A bank run to check on whether a check cleared (deposit not a bounced one). Ordered bouquets for my daughter's wedding on Saturday and a new clergy rig, and it's only noon!

Mondays are my chicken dance days. Like for all of you working stiffs, it's my day to start the week anew. As a result, I'm dancing all over the place. SO many things cannot be done over the weekend and have to wait for regular business hours. A list of honey-do's a mile long. I know I'm not alone in this. All I have got to say is "Thank God, for the internet."

This weekend I was tying up some loose ends with the Halloween Blog Hop next month. Nailing down speaking engagements and promotional tours for all of my novels. They have to be followed up today.

 I did something I usually don't do. I checked my sales at all the places I've got my novels uploaded. I just don't worry about what is selling and how many copies for the most part. If I get a royalty check quarterly, it's marvelous and if I don't it doesn't matter either. I write for me. Too many new novelists sweat the sales. They are elated when sales go well and despondent when they don't happen.

My newest nonfiction pamphlet, "The Author Business," has hit 50 downloads in the past 72 hours since I uploaded it. I guess there really was a need for this information out there in the indie author circles.

While this pamphlet is free, I am working on a larger book length copy as we speak which goes into more details. It's target price is $2.99 for roughly 40K of information, diagrams, and illustrations.

 "Who Stole Baby Ruth" has hit 50 copies sold since it's release last month. The newest book,"mr. Goodbar Goes to the Hospital," of the series is still on schedule for an end of October release. It could result in more sales if I published an e-version, but once again it is too darn hard to color on e-readers.

"Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption" had it's 220 sale in both e-book and print. Although a DVD/Blue Ray has been released by the same title...this book ain't the story line of the script for the DVD. Yeah, I said "ain't," I'm an old southern gal. :)

The next Zombie Apocalypse novel is on track for a possible December release or early January.


"The Sacrificial Lamb" has had constant numbers although meager since its release. I keep hoping it will do better in sales. A total of 25 copies sold since April. This could be because of all the other books with the same name. I will have to do better research before publishing. It may also be the subject matter. With child abuse subplot, it could be a taboo type read.

This would have remained a writing exercise if the 11-year old character would have stayed out of my head. The darn kid wouldn't shut up until I wrote the whole story. It is not explicit, just sensitive.

Since its release in February, this has been my biggest seller with over 500  copies in the hands of readers. Of course, it has had months to sell unlike the others listed. Of those sales, 108 were in a 48-hour period. I'm hopeful the others will sell better over time. It has led to downloads of my other novels.

Now, I realize these sales would be considered poor by standard publishing. But to me, it's marvelous. Take an indie author with almost no credentials in fiction, let her jump into the deep end of the pool with almost no advertising budget, learning to swim as she goes, and this is the results in a little over seven months.Not too shoddy, I could be like thousands of other authors on Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other places on the web with no sales. I always keep this in mind.

A word or two on expectations. While I hoped for lightning to strike, I wasn't too disappointed when it didn't. Jello brand gelatin has been around for over 100 years. It took almost 50 years for it to become a household brand enough to be substituted for the word gelatin. Time is on my side. The more I publish the better the chances of some reader finding my novels. I mean as a a reader if you scroll down the list of titles published by an author and you see five to ten books, you know this author is serious about their writing career, right?

As authors were are the brand customers search for. People do not look for publishers. They don't go into bookstore whether online or in actual stores looking for the next book by Penguin, Harlequin, or Tor published release...they look for authors or genres. These authors have been recommended by friends, families, and co-workers. Word of mouth builds brands. Decades of market research proves this is the major selling decision point. The books are only what you are selling. If you do you job right as an author and write a fabulous book, the word will get out. It takes time and patience.

I didn't expect to get independently wealthy by writing. I write for the love of the story and the writing itself. I keep my expectations low as a reality check. So while I may be doing a fast paced chicken dance on marvelous Monday, I know it will be followed by a Tenacious Tuesday.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

2 comments:

Zan Marie said...

Wow, Jo! This sounds wonderful for seven month. You've done well. BTW, I one of the Escape from Second Eden sales. ; ) I loved the story.

J.L. Murphey said...

Zan Marie, It's always nice to know who reads my novels. Thanks!