Category Archives: Cover Art

Sales Statistics from 2013

Cha-Ching!!! – Pulled from crochetconcupiscience.com

Last March I posted the sales numbers from the second year of my self-publishing adventure. Now I’m continuing the tradition, if a few months early.

Please keep in mind the following about my numbers:

  • My titles are categorized as follows: Short Stories (24); Novellas (7); Novels (1); and Collections (1).
  • No promotion this year at all.
  • This covers from January 2013 – December 2013.
  • Still searching for a link between blog traffic and sales.
  • I began 2013 with 19 titles published on Amazon, Pubit, and distributed through Smashwords. My goal was to increase my titles published (units for sale) to 32.

Publishing Schedule

It is tedious to list the paltry numbers for twelve months in a row, so here is the summary (I needed 12 titles):

  • In October and December I did not publish any titles. Period. So (-2) to my goal.
  • In September I went nuts and published seven titles. However, this was partially due to a cheatcoughcough EXPERIMENT where I split an odd length story into six episodes. Still (+7).
  • All other months I met my goal and published one title. So (+8).
  • If you follow my screwy numbering system (hey, I’m a writer not a mathematician!) you will realize by the end of 2012 I had published 13 titles, 1 more than planned for. That means I had 32 titles published and for sale in December 2013.

Sales

I totaled 44 sales across all titles for 2013. Not at all the number I was hoping and actually a decrease from 2012. But thanks to playing around with my pricing a bit, I made more this year ($42 vs $33. I know. Big bucks here!). The chart below tracks my sales across the year.

2013 Sales Chart

As you can see, sales peaked in February and September. I changed the chart a little from last year, breaking things down by distributor and its fairly apparent that KDP dominated. Smashwords did about half and B&N barely played at all. What isn’t shown on this chart is that my best seller (a short story) accounted for 12, or ~25%, of my sales. This title has consistently outsold all my others ever since I published it. The only review I’m aware of is a 1-star. Puzzling, I know.

Changes from 2011 to 2012

Covers: Again, my covers have become better. I still sub-contract some of them to my darling wife (she’s gotten really busy with work, so less and less time for cover art). I spent a lot of time in bookstores staring at traditionally published covers. It felt kind of weird but seems to have helped.

Exception to No-promotion: I participated in Smashwords July sale again. Basically, I made all my titles free on Smashwords for the whole month of July. Last year I had a tremendous (paid) sales spike in July. Not the same performance this time around.

Note: February sales peaked again. But this year the second spike was September and not June. Again, I have nothing really to indicate why. But apparently February is a good month for my readers.

Conclusions:

Unlike last year, this year I feel that as I publish more titles, my sales did not increase. I did not notice any great correlation between the amount of titles published and spikes in sales. The exception is September, but as the February spike was larger and I only published one title (vs. seven in September) I don’t find that to be coincidental.

I’m continuing to improve cover quality and blurb quality. I still stay away from putting money into advertising. I think with a series of novels up, ads might pay off, but not for all these stand alone shorts. The novel that I published in May 2013 sold three copies, which surprised me. Statistics-wise, only two other titles outsold that, and one was my bestseller. So with more novels up, I am hopeful that I will prove more attractive to my readers.

Looking Forward:

I was able to finish a full length novel in 2013. This year I plan to try to do two. I also plan on doing 10 short stories in a pulp-ish style that will hopefully take hold. I’m putting them on Wattpad for free as initial releases and then publishing them through the normal channels (once published, I will pull either the entire story, or at least half, from Wattpad.) I continue practicing on writing more active blurbs to pitch a better sell, and I’m further developing my cover art. I’m continuing writing and practicing my story craft as well.

My goals this year are going to be tricky to meet, because I’m going to take a two-three month break from writing to focus on studying for a test at the day job. Not thrilled, but it needs to be done.

Lastly, I’m trying to avoid obsessing over writing perfect stories, to focus on Heinlen’s rules. So far (3.75 short stories this month) it seems to be working. And guess what, it’s a lot of fun!

Sales Statistics from 2012

Cha-Ching!!! – Pulled from crochetconcupiscience.com

Last March I posted the sales numbers from the first year of my self-publishing adventure. I figured I’d make it a two year tradition and do it again.

Please keep in mind the following about my numbers:

  • Most titles are short stories. One poetry collection and a few novellas are mixed in.
  • No promotion, with one exception (See ‘Changes’ below).
  • This covers from January 2012 – December 2012.
  • I have been unable to determine any link between blog traffic and sales. *shakes head* You lousy freeloaders!!! :)
  • I began 2012 with 9 titles published on Amazon, Pubit, and Smashwords. My goal was to publish one title per month of 2012.

Publishing Schedule

It is tedious to list the paltry numbers for twelve months in a row, so here is the summary:

  • In April, September, and October I managed a great big goose-egg. No titles published. Period. So (-3) to my goal.
  • In June caught up with April and published two titles. So (+2).
  • All other months I met my goal and published one title. So (+8).
  • If you follow my screwy numbering system (hey, I’m a writer not a mathematician!) you will realize by the end of 2012 I had published 10 titles, 2 less than planned for. That means I had 19 titles published and for sale in December 2012.

Sales

I totaled 62 sales across all titles for 2012. Not quite the 5 sales per title that Dean Wesley Smith calls for but it is a 248% increase from 2011. The chart below tracks my sales across the year.

2012 Sales ChartAs you can see, sales climbed throughout the Spring, peaked in July and then declined through the Fall with a slight uptick in December. Also readily apparent is that February and July account for 20, or 32%, of total sales. What isn’t shown on this chart is that my two best sellers accounted for 30, or 48%, of my sales. If you’re like me, you want to know why…

Changes from 2011 to 2012

Covers: My covers became much better. I sub-contract a lot of them to darling wife (which can get tricky but overall she does an amazing job), but I’ve done a few more myself and gotten a lot better. I spent a lot of time in bookstores staring at traditionally published covers. It felt kind of weird but seems to have helped.

Exception to No-promotion: I participated in Smashwords July sale. Basically, I made all my titles free on Smashwords for the whole month of July (to the tune of 100 some downloads. Downloads, not sales.) Does this account for the sales peak in July? I think it is to early to tell, especially since June was a strong month as well. I plan to participate again this year and see what happens.

Note: For February (and June) I have no explanation. I wish I knew why sales peaked then, but I really don’t. Something must have aligned properly in the stars.

Conclusions:

Unlike last year, this year I feel that as I publish more titles, I get more sales. I noticed slump in sales during the months I neglected to publish anything, which seems a trifle coincidental. Of course, if I looked hard enough I could probably predict the end of the world off an ancient illegible calendar…

Cover quality, blurbs, and visibility seem to remain as the big factors. But a large number of titles, frequently popping up, handles visibility well enough for me. In the end I reported ~$47 on my tax return, so no quitting the day job yet.

Looking Forward:

I tried, and failed, to finish a full length novel last year. This year is the year to get it done (I’m editing right now) and see what happens. Word on the street is that novels out-sell everything because of the larger market. I’m also practicing on writing more active blurbs to pitch a better sell, and I’m looking into options to improve my cover art. Naturally I’m continuing writing and practicing my craft as well. If things continue off the last two year trend, I’ll be able to report 100% – 150% upward growth next March.

Lastly, I’m trying to avoid checking obsessing over sales and focus on enjoying writing my stories. So far it seems to be working. And guess what, it’s fun!

New Release – Three Times Lucky

Three Times Lucky

I have delayed this post, hoping to get the story available in paperback as well, but it looks like it will be another week before that happens. The E-book version is available at the links listed below.

Announcing the release of the first three Holy Isles adventures, compiled into one book! Avid readers of the weekly updates posted here will be sure to want a paperback collection of these entertaining tales. For new readers the e-book provides an easily accessible format that ensures a better reading experience than the segmented posts here on the blog. Don’t miss out on these entertaining fantasy adventures; get your copy today at any of the following outlets:

Paperback – Coming Soon!
Kindle
Nook
Smashwords

Cover Art and Upcoming Releases

…And two weeks late:

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have been incredibly busy all last month and this month does not look like it is going to slow down any. Which means there is all kinds of new things going on. Mostly writing. In fact, pretty much entirely writing. Last month I finished two short stories, and I currently have, um, gotta use my fingers here, four projects that I’m actively working on, three waiting in the wings, and 4 more in the editing stage! Phew. Did I mention I’ve been busy?

In the midst of all the frenzied typing, my cover designer has put together two covers for me, I’ve drafted another one, and I’ve released a new thriller/horror short story “A Petty Slight”. It is basically the start of a locally contained Apocalypse in Charleston, SC. Grim little short story, if I do say so myself. Upcoming for release is “Gentleman’s Debt”, an action/adventure short story set during the British Raj. The third cover is an update for “Giant Slayer”, one of my originally published short stories which I am currently expanding into a trilogy (hence the new cover). Anyway, let the eye-candy commence!

Waiting eagerly at the gate for graphical attire, I have another two thriller/horror short stories and the completed Bandits of Dunn (which will be published soon, I’m trying to decide if it will be bundled with the first three Holy Isles stories, or a separate piece. Of course, I will continue posting it as a serial story here so if you’re the patient sort you can get it for free.)

Some of you probably know, and some may even care, that I’m working on a full length Sci/Fi novel. The initial draft is complete and I’ve heard back from all my beta readers except one. There is still a lot of work to do on it, and if I can figure out an efficient way of doing it, I might have the full novel ready for publication in the late Winter or early Spring. Much later than I first thought, I know and I’m sorry, I was hoping to have it done by now and be moving on to the next one. I also am trying to compile the “Compelling…” blog series into a chapbook just like “So You Don’t Have Time…”. Stay tuned.

That is all for now, thank you to everyone who has liked my posts and read my serial story. You all are a great encouragement and help me keep going when the coffee runs out.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

BG

Dealing With Lost Limbs

Newly published short story – More Than A Flesh Wound

Jack DeFleur, US Army, survived skirmishes, battles, and even a close encounter with a homemade bomb. It’s the aftermath that is tearing him and his family apart.
More Than A Flesh Wound is a fictional story examining the aftermath of injuries and what it takes to overcome them. This story is a tribute, not just to those who serve, but to their families who have the courage to face the possibility of this situation. It is a reminder, not to forget that those who gave nearly all, sometimes need someone to give some back.

This short story is available on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords for $0.99.

It is coming soon on Barnes and Noble Nook.

Finally Something New

It’s been nearly two months since anything new has been published, mostly due the demands of the day job. However, we’re getting back up to speed and are happy to announce our latest release “Business or Pleasure“! This is a new Gunner Long short story, building the road to a full length novel (tentatively scheduled for Spring 2013).

A Gunner Long Case

One other item of note is that this short story is priced slightly higher than our norm, at $1.49. Market research shows that $0.99 priced fiction has developed a stigma to it. Therefore we’re trying out a new price point to see what happens. What do you think? Are you thinking for $0.99 you’d take a chance on the story but $1.49 is to much? Please leave a comment and let us know!

Results of Poll and Upcoming Release

Thank you to all who participated in the Cover Art Poll! Option 2 emerged the winner and Stark Salvation has been submitted for publication on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. The Smashwords edition is already available, and I’m expecting the Amazon or Barnes and Noble editions to be available by this weekend. Thank you all!

BG