I am still trying to finish Noah’s Boy (Yes, that does mean WF might only come on Sunday. Deal. Hopefully it will also be all of the “Cursed fifty pages” left) which means things are a little scattered.
I thought I’d give you a business report on the indie publishing venture, so here are some things I’ve found in no particular order.
Since I raised the prices to 2.99 not only am I making more money, but I’m making more sales per short story.
The space operas continue to outsell everything else, and the Nuns in Spaaaaace (With Unconfined Wings and Ganymede) continue to outsell everything else. I regret to say I didn’t have time to finish “A Future Prayer” which is a Christmas story with the order of St. Lucia of The Spaceways AND space pirates… So I can’t report on that. My guess is if I do it before next holidays, it will outsell everything else and leave me scratching my head.
Do consider, as an aside, that I never managed to give these space operas away till DST was published. Um…
Giving things away for free works. I know, I know. You’re shocked and amazed, right? However from November through the end of December, I kept one short story free (more or less, the flu didn’t help) on Amazon at any given time and that REALLY helped sales of the other stories. As soon as Noah’s Boy in, I shall resume this. Frankly, it might be worth my time/effort to try to write a short story a week again. We shall see.
At some point, in the not too distant future, I’ll be publishing my future history here, and then saying which stories go where. Also, at some point there will be a collection of twenty or so future history stories.
So, how much money am I making from short stories? Well – it’s not insane. I have out maybe something short of forty stories on Amazon (fewer on other venues) and I’m making around $200 per month, from Amazon. I have no idea how much I’m making from the other sites, since Smashwords pays quarterly and delayed. They also don’t have as much in (because stories first go exclusive on Amazon for three months.) But let’s say I’m making $50 there (Barnes and Noble is negligible for me, though friends tell me they make good money from B &N.) That means that over the year I’d make around 3k from short stories, supposing I don’t add anything else.
Correction, I’d make around 3k from short stories that were already sold once, or which were never sold and were dying in the drawer.
Let me put this in perspective – 3k is a respectable mid-publisher advance for a new writer. And this is for backburnered/drawer/out of print work. I’m tempted to say “oh, what a brave new world,” only the book tainted that expression.
Because I like money and because I just ruined myself on college books (and that’s without counting the tuition which will punch me in the face come next months’ bill. Two boys in college. What was I thinking?) but also because frankly it needs done, I’ll be rewriting/restructing the YA fantasy novel that’s in the drawer. Look for Shadow Gods sometime in March, if it all goes well. (Older son is drawing the cover for me, too.)
Witchfinder should be thereish, too, because I HOPE to finish it at a run as soon as NB is done. Now, it’s going to be a stone-b*tch to edit, but a month or so should do it.
Because my contract with Baen for the Shakespeare series is ONLY for webscriptions, Naked Reader will be bringing out editions of the original trilogy… soonish. (I haven’t talked to them about scheduling yet, but I am working on covers.) They are, actually breathing down my neck for A Fatal Paws, the first orphan kittens mystery, which SHOULD be finished soonish. I’m sorry if this sounds like I piled no end of work, but most of these are done/almost done – the flu just pushed everything back and then Son of Death Flu, this time it’s serious, kept me down another month. Then I was looking after #1 son… You have no idea how incredibly backed up things can get after that. And that’s not counting house cleaning and such.
Right now I’m in that amusing phase (not) where I can’t let myself do too much, because I REMEMBER what happens when I do. But I’m really much better and I HOPE to finish NB tomorrow, though I freely admit it might be Friday. I just hope my editors restrain the need to strangle me.
On the good side, today was the first day I both left the house AND took a long walk in two and a half months. This inactivity is so rare for me, that I can’t begin to tell you HOW rare. I’ve learned through hard experience that I NEED to get out of the house at least once a day and that exercise is essential for me to feel human. I feel remarkably cheered up by “taking a turn” in the fresh air. I’m also incredibly out of shape and get out of breath in no time. Never mind. That’s fixable.
So the scattered report on Indie venture a year plus on is “it shows great promise, but the author must on all accounts NOT get sick while she’s trying to run two careers (traditional and indie) at once. Or you fall so far behind it’s rather disheartening.
Anyway – feeling better, working hard, starting to see some money that at least promises that a few more short stories and novels might mean we still have a roof over heads when kids leave college (ah!) At least it gives me HOPE which is more than my writing career has had in a long time.
And now I’m going to bed, because I have a hard day’s writing ahead of me tomorrow!