August Totals

Self Publishing

August#s

August#s2So much for tending to my blog. Those ten days between the summer and fall semester flew by. In between I took a trip to my hometown, I bought a new car (more on that in a later post as it was an incredibly liberating moment and entirely thanks to all of YOU), and I didn’t write a single word. I take my first cert exam on September 16th and afterward will finally be able to incorporate writing back into my schedule, even if it’s only one day a week until the end of the semester (also in a later post–my anxiety surrounding my return to writing after a much-too-long hiatus).

The good news is that sales still haven’t trickled out. October is officially the six-month mark and I’d anticipated a more dramatic decrease or some kind of fluctuation at least, but so far nothing catastrophically devastating has happened. In August sales slowly dropped from 200 books a day to around 170-180 but downloads remained strong, which has really been key to my steady sales from month to month. As long as people are still downloading TGIB for free I can anticipate sales for the following month, although what percentage of readers actually go on to buy book 2 I haven’t calculated yet. At the end of October I plan to analyze all of this data more thoroughly and compare Amazon’s numbers with my other retailers along with blog stats and new newsletter followers. But for now, please excuse my hibernation (I know, I know, AGAIN) while I cram for cert exams and try to psyche myself up for my return to the Dreamer Universe.

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June Totals

Self Publishing

JuneTotals

June1

The upward trend has finally steadied and all I can do now is keep my fingers crossed that this journey isn’t nearing the end. I have a total of six books out but only one series and I know that taking advantage of my current momentum is the only way to keep it going. That’s why the most successful indie authors are putting out something new every six months in order to counter the ebb and flow of their sales. But I’m in school full time and I work full time and every day it gets harder and harder to show up and waste 9 hours of my life when I could be writing. But I have to be patient. I’ve never experienced success like this before and I’m not sure how long it will last. I need to be sure that it’s sustainable before I make any life-changing decisions.

If you’re an indie author who’s already made the decision to write full time how did you finally make that decision? What benchmark or end goal were you aiming for before you finally decided to take the leap? I think the smartest thing to do would be to monitor my progress for the next 6 months (6-8 months being the average amount of time it takes me to complete a novel) and see how much my sales fluctuate and how greatly they’re effected by a new release (specifically TGIB book 4, which I hope to release in spring of 2016). I hate reducing this experience to numbers but I can’t get ahead of myself. I have to be smart. I have to be patient. Very. Very. Patient…

May Totals

Self Publishing

May was one hell of a month

May2015

MayTotals

Thank you

Indie Life 07-09-14

Self Publishing, Writing Process

It’s time for another edition of Indie Life, hosted by The Indelibles. You can sign up by clicking the graphic! IndieLife7

It’s my return to Indie Life! While I wish I could say I’ve been slacking on these posts because they no longer apply to me and I’ve just signed a million dollar contract with some fancy New York agent, the truth is being indie is the very reason I’ve hardly had time to keep up with blogging at all. Because being indie means financing all of my own projects and since I’m not selling thousands of copies of my books a day, that means I have to work. A lot. I took on a second job in the Spring, bringing my total hours to just shy of 60. And that brings me to today’s indie gripe–the unpredictability of life.

I know this is a law of the universe that effects all of us but one of the most tedious and important parts of being an independent artist is being organized. There are a lot of spontaneous artists out there who rely on divine inspiration rather than deadlines and who create only when they feel like it, abandoning it as soon as it starts to feel like work. But the success and the fulfillment doesn’t come to those who quit. Those things are reserved for finishers and if you’ve been doing the indie thing for any length of time, you’ve probably got finishing down pat.

See, I have a formula for finishing and it goes a little something like this: writing every day+reading every day=books. Pretty simple, right? When I’m living my life within the parameters of this routine a magical kind of momentum is created and it’s the secret to how I’m planning on finishing four novels this year. FOUR WHOLE BOOKS that will be the hard-earned result of extreme dedication and a devoted work ethic. But despite my diligence and despite my deadlines, there is always the chance that something will go awry and sometimes that something isn’t small. Sometimes that something is big and important and needs your immediate attention. Sometimes you will have to set your art aside and find a second job shelving library books just so you can pay your bills.

It’s a sad truth but a truth nonetheless. Because unfortunately for us indies, there is no amount of want or need or hard work or deservedness that can make pursuing our dreams a totally seamless endeavor. Even when we put the work in every single day, without a huge publisher behind us or a huge readership, there will always be the chance that things will go wrong, or other responsibilities will stand in our way. That’s just a part of being indie. We are in a constant state of choosing, swapping out needs and responsibilities based on what we can physically and mentally accomplish that day. Sometimes after a long day of working our regular 9 to 5 job, we only have enough energy to do laundry and our manuscript gets pushed to the side. On other days we might have to make the hard decision to miss coffee with friends just so we can meet a self-imposed deadline. But regardless of how stringent we are when it comes to doing what we love, let’s be honest, until we’re paying the mortgage with our writing, that time will always be up for debate. Not because we don’t believe it’s important but because we’re only human and there is only so much we can do.

So maybe this week’s indie gripe isn’t really about being indie at all. Maybe it’s really about the modern day juggling act we’re all trying to master, the balance between surviving in this world and thriving in it getting harder and harder to achieve. Today was one of those hard days. But even though I have several looming deadlines and the thought of not making any progress on my WIP today ties me in a knot, I will forgive myself. Because I’m indie. Because I’m human.

Indie Life 03-12-14

Self Publishing, Writing Process

It’s time for another edition of Indie Life, hosted by The Indelibles. You can sign up by clicking the graphic!IndieLife7

The end is near. I’m working on the FINAL revisions for my fourth novel and despite being thrown a thousand curveballs this week about where this story was going, I can see the finish line. Because I will finish. Despite not knowing if I’m making the right choices or if the story is really all it was meant to be or if all of the hours and words were even worth it, I will finish this thing if it’s the last thing I do!

I’ve lived with this story for a long time and even now I doubt every page and every paragraph and even after I let go of this series for good I probably still will. Doubt. How many times have I talked about doubt? Not as often as I’ve felt it even though it might seem otherwise. But today’s indie gripe isn’t just about doubt but it’s about finishing. About knowing how and knowing when. Because let’s face it, when you’re on this journey alone it’s up to you to put your foot down sometimes. To say ENOUGH. This story is ENOUGH and so am I. Sometimes we have to be hard on ourselves, unemotional and unforgiving. Sometimes we have to make a choice to let something go even though we’re terrified of what will happen when we do.

I know for certain that this is the FINAL draft of this story. Whether it’s near perfection or not, I have to stop. I’ve been working on it since April of last year and I will not reach that one-year anniversary and still be picking at it. I will not allow myself to lose my mind in pursuit of something impossible. Because that’s what perfection is. It’s impossible. It’s not the pursuer who reaps the rewards anyway, it’s the finisher. So that’s what I’ll do. Not because someone is paying me to or because someone is counting on me. Not because I owe it to anyone and not because I’m contractually obligated. I didn’t write this story for any of those reasons and I’m not publishing it for those reasons either. I’m publishing this story for me. Because that’s the gift of being indie. I write for me. I publish for me. And every time I finish, I do it for the same reason. For that lone wanderer, carving and scratching and building things out of nothing for no reward other than the time spent getting lost in her own imagination.