February Thoughts

February has been a pretty busy month self-publishing wise and it’s only the ninth. I released two box sets, a new book, and took part in a large multi-author promotion. All that, and I’m still down from the same time last month. It’s really hard not to feel dejected.

I’ve been releasing books about every forty days, or so, and the pace is—not grueling but very consistent. Anytime I find myself sitting at the computer I begin working on paperback editions, covers, updating back matter, updating Excel spreadsheets, reorganizing my filing system, all that and getting an increasing number of words written and yet I’m not seeing as much growth as I was last year.

Maybe I need to move onto a new series? I’ve got 2 and they both have more stories to tell, and I’ve had at least two readers ask for more, but maybe a new series will grab people again? I don’t know.

I’m not set to publish anything until April 4th, because I’m working on a new project, but it won’t be published until August. I’m playing the long game, but it’s hard to stick with my plans when I see my income dropping.

I was really hoping to break $10k this year since that’s a bit more than what I would make if I had to go back to work at a minimum wage job working part time, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. I know a lot can change and it’s only the second month of the year, but sometimes it’s hard to stay positive.

Sorry for the depressing post, just needed to get my feelings out there.

January 2016 Numbers

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Words

Words Written:                                            40,215

Days I didn’t Write But Should Have:      0

 

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to make it, but I met my goal amount and I wrote on all the days I should. I didn’t always write 2500 words, though so that’s something I’m really going to work on this month.

 

Sales

Books Sold:                                                   276

Pages Read:                                                   23,907

Free Downloads:                                          1,148

 

Another month with a decrease, trying not to let it discourage me, and so far I’m succeeding. I didn’t release a book last month, but I did run almost $100 in Facebook promos. I apparently have no idea what I’m doing there and saw no return on it. I was able to participate in a Sci-Fi group promo that was free and I saw a nice spike in free downloads, however my read through percentage is down so apparently they didn’t want to read the next book. I’ll be participating in another promo this month with a paid box set so we’ll see what happens.

I’m currently working on editing a book and should be able to publish by the end of the week, I’m really hoping that boosts sales. It’s a crossover between my two series, so we’ll see what happens. I’ve also been thinking about applying for a My Romance Reads spot, to try it out.

I finally updated the paperback edition of my first book, just waiting to approve the proof. Thinking about running a Goodreads promo once that’s done. I’ve also got the first book in my second series available on paperback. I need to just go ahead and get all the books in paperback, now that I’ve done it twice it isn’t as difficult.

I spent the last weekend plotting out a new Paranormal romance series. I like Sci-Fi romance, but it’s difficult to get promos and there aren’t as many readers, I’m hoping that’s it and not that people just aren’t interested in what I’m writing.

I’ve created a writing/publishing schedule through the end of 2017 that has me publishing 8 books this year and 10 next year. I’m not sure if I can do more than that, and honestly, I’m really happy with that number.

My husband and I are trying to get pregnant again and when/if that happens pretty much all my planning will be thrown out the window. We’ll see what happens.

February Goals

-Write 30k words on a Paranormal romance

-Edit Crossover book

-Publish crossover book

-Keep submitting for Bookbub and ENT

-Participate in group promo

December 2015 Numbers

Words

Words Written:                   9582

That’s all I’m posting this month regarding words because I wrote what I needed to and that’s all that matters. Sure it would have been nice to write the first 10k in my next book, but it also would have been nice to not be so sick through the entire holiday season. My body hates me apparently.

 

Sales

Books Sold:                           284

Pages Read:                           36,300

Free Downloads:                 1400

My books sold are down from last month which kind of stinks, but my pages read and free downloads are up. I released the third book in my second series in the middle of the month, later than I had originally planned, and I ran a bknights promo. Overall, money wise I made more this month, but I’m really hoping for an upward trend and I’ve sort of stalled out. At least that’s how it feels.

I ended up not updating the paperback edition of my 1st book, but creating a paperback edition for the 1st book in my 2nd series. Not sure what spurred it on, but it’s done and I’m waiting for a proof. That’s pretty much it for December.

 

Some Year-End Data

Total Expenses:                    $717

Total Revenue:                     $3,560

Works Published:                20

Words Written:                   251,550

All of that is an increase from last year and I’m very happy with all of it.

 

2016 Self-Publishing and Writing Goals

Write my series crossover book, edit, and publish

Write three books in a new paranormal romance series

Increase daily word count to 2500 words

Put more money earned toward my self-publishing instead of boring things like paying off debt

Make paperback editions of all of my books

Write and publish 10 books (I’ll be happy with 8-9 though)

Run more promotions (I can feel it, this is going to be the year I get a Bookbub)

 

I think that’s about it, I’ll update this monthly, though. What is everyone else planning to do in 2016?

November 2015 Numbers

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Sorry for the delay, yesterday was the great Christmas dress search and it involved more stores than I care to remember.

 

Word Goal:                                                   30,000

Words Written:                                           24906

Days I Didn’t Write But Should Have:    0

 

My word goal last month was incredibly ambitious considering the fact that I was also editing and traveling for the holiday. It would have been awesome to have met it however, I’m not behind even though I didn’t. I wrote every day I shouldn’t and met my daily words goal all but one, maybe two days. So even though I didn’t meet the 30k, I’m fine.

 

Sales:                          328

Pages Read:               31,661

Free Downloads:     851

 

Everything is a bit down from last month, which I was expecting since it’s been over a month since I published something. I was hoping that my Christmas short story released the day after Thanksgiving would help, but apparently my readers don’t care about Christmas stories. There was no Sci-Fi in it, so it’s possible they just don’t want to read my fantasy. That’s actually really helpful, since I’m about 95% certain that I’m going to try writing a paranormal romance series next year.

I’ve got a free bknights promo planned to run for my free Christmas book today, but I’m not planning on doing any other promos this month. I will be releasing the third book in my second series. I must, nothing else matters! Who cares that December is the busiest month of the year and that I have to decorate my house, bake millions of cookies, wrap presents, and travel over a thousand miles? I know I don’t! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I think I might be a little crazy.

Anyway…

December Goals:

-Finish writing 3rd book

-Edit 3rd book

-Publish 3rd book

 

Stretch Goals:

-Update paperback edition of 1st book

October 2015 Numbers

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Word Goal:                                                   20,000

Words Written:                                           12,693

Days I Didn’t Write but Should Have:    3

 

I didn’t come close to my word goal, which is a bummer. I did, however, learn some things this month. I can’t write/edit when visiting family and I can’t write/edit when family is visiting me. I already knew this, but maybe this time the lesson will be learned.

I also learned that I can’t write while I’m sick or my daughter is sick. Between visiting and sickness I lost over two weeks of work time, so I’m behind and having to redo my schedule for the year. I’m hoping to still publish a short and a novel, but it’s going to be a lot tighter than I like.

 

Sales:                                                              356

Pages Read:                                                   39,652

Free Downloads:                                         1933

 

I ended up with six sales on Nook and Kobo both and somehow two physical copies were purchased. I feel kind of bad about those two because they still have my old cover. The plan is to update that and make it the size of a mass market paperback in December, but because of the whole writing re-schedule we’ll see what happens.

I’m pretty ecstatic about those sales. I published my fifth book and sales hadn’t quiet dropped from my last release. My husband also started to take an interest and submitted to a lot of free sites for me, not sure if that did anything, but it was really appreciated.

I’ve decided to keep my first series out of KDP and wide. I didn’t make much from the other vendors, but people on Amazon were forced to pay for the series and I make more money from a purchase.

I’m also going to try and stop reading reviews. I got some really awesome reviews on my newest book, but I got one stupid review. I say stupid instead of bad because I honestly have no idea what book the woman was reading, but it wasn’t mine. Apparently she thinks my characters yelled at each other too much. My characters didn’t raise their voice to anyone, no idea what is going on there. Instead of remembering those amazing reviews, though, all I can think about is that stupid one.

 

November Goals:

-Write and Publish Christmas short story

-Write 20k in 3rd book or possibly finish it

September 2015 Numbers

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Word Goal:                                                                        40,000 or finish book

Words Written:                                                                 39,408

Days I didn’t Write but Should Have:                          0

 

Very happy with that last number, but technically I did end up taking one day. However, since I wrote on the weekend to catch up I didn’t count it.

Anyway, I finished the second book in my new series, I’m going to spend the first week or so editing it in October. It should be published Oct. 6th or 7th, but we’ll see. I have a vacation with the in-laws during that time and who knows what I’ll be able to get done.

I’m really surprised how well I’ve been able to write 2k words a day. I went from struggling with 1k to working up to 1.5k and then 2k hasn’t been nearly as bad. Some days I even go over, though, I don’t think I’m going to increase my word goal amount. 2k is a nice number and gives me a release schedule I’m happy with.

 

Sales:                                                                        226 (Includes my 2 sales on Nook)

Pages Read:                                                            55,911

Free Downloads:                                                   918

 

I had a much better month in September than August, it’s amazing what a difference releasing a new book does. The momentum from that book has started to decline, but hopefully it doesn’t completely drop off before the next one comes out.

My free downloads are up by a lot, but that’s because I now have two permafrees. One is a short 5k intro to my new series and the other is the first book in my first series. Right now my read through rate is about 2% from my freebie to my second book and 87% from my second to my third. I honestly have no idea if that’s good for a freebie, but math-wise if I get that percentage to purchase my second a freebie bookbub pays for itself.

Marketing, I applied and was turned down at bookbub and ENT. Life then happened and I didn’t have money to try other places. I’m hoping that with a freebie available everywhere that Bookbub will finally pick me up the next time I enter, we’ll see.

 

October Goals:

-Edit and Publish Book 2

-Write 30k in third book

-Do more marketing!

Made a Nook Sale

I’ve been trying not to constantly refresh my other sales avenues like I do Amazon, but I do look at least once a day. Today is the first day that it shows I’ve actually sold anything. Someone on Nook bought book 2 &3 which is awesome! However not worth the effort I’ve made so far.

I’ve contacted Kobo. Nothing. I’ve contacted Apple. Nothing.

Once payday rolls around I’m going to try and get accepted for some promos and hopefully that will make a difference. For now, going wide has not paid off and I know that I’m currently losing money from it.