Sunday, March 13, 2011


Well, maybe hubris is a bit too strong a word, but still.  So my novella has not been selling well, and by that I'm being kind.  It's easily my weakest seller, and I finally caved last week to the truth:  the title was just not working for me.  I had saddled it with what I thought was a clever play on words, even though it really revealed nothing about the book at all, since I was convinced that my genius would shine through and pull readers in.  Well, last week I renamed it, giving it a plainer but more descriptive title, and while I wouldn't say I've had a flood of sales, it's definitely improved, pulling up alongside my others.  I heard a phrase once--"murder your darlings"--and I should have done that in the first place with my too-cute title.

I also took heed of JA Konrath's posting recently about monetizing your intellectual property.  I stripped out three stories from my collections that shared a similar theme and repackaged them, slapped on a new cover and set them free as a brand new collection (so to speak; I was very careful to label them as previously published).  I wasn't expecting a lot from it, but it did increase my space on the virtual bookshelf, and strangely enough that has been my best seller on Amazon this month.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Trouble for Barnes and Noble?

So this blog entry from Time magazine is very annoying.  The entire thing tries to connect Borders' bankruptcy to Barnes and Noble, implying that because one large chain went belly-up, B/N is next.  Funniest lines, in my opinion:

For now, Barnes & Noble seems to be far from its final chapter. The company still has about $900 million more in assets than debt.

Nevertheless, the writer tries to find shadows lurking everywhere, mentioning that B/N has had to close "a handful of stores in the past few years".  Yikes!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gmail scare and February update

So, I was one of those 150,000 people affected by the Google glitch that you may have heard about; my Gmail account first appeared entirely empty and then my Google account itself became disabled on Sunday, meaning that I had not only lost access to my e-mail, but my blogs, photos, etc.  Fortunately things are already better and Google appears to have put back almost everything so far, so in the end it looks like no harm was done.

February, my first full month publishing, turned out to be a much better month than I'd anticipated, with 131 sales.  I am still unsure why things are so sluggish on Amazon compared to Barnes and Noble--for the entire month I only had 11 sales on Amazon, a handful on Smashwords, and the vast majority on B/N.

For March, I plan to release another novella in a different genre; more about that later, but in a nutshell I'm curious to see what effect--if any--there is on my sales when releasing work that is not strongly identifiable as "mine".  I know that many writers do quite well working in a variety of genres, but I have to imagine that the bar is set quite a bit higher for self-publishers.  We'll see...