Wow, it's been a while. I'm posting less than Aaron Niz, for God's sake! The good news--at least I consider it good news--is that the time I used to spend blogging (occasionally) and reading the blogs of others (frequently) has dropped dramatically over the last few months because I'm trying to do as much writing as possible.
So things have been going pretty well, though August has turned out to be a very slow month so far. Fortunately, from what I've seen it's pretty slow for everybody, so I'm not too concerned about it. I am not to the point where I'd be able to go a full day--let alone longer--without checking my sales, but I'm also not to the point where I'm going to spend much time on that outside my morning routine.
I now have 14 titles up on Amazon, B/N and Smashwords, ranging from short stories to novella collections, and I'm now working on my first full-fledged novel. It's a romance, and I'm totally not kidding. Not just any type of romance, but a historical "sweet" romance. You could look at this in a few different ways. One, of course, would be to view this as an attempt to just cash in on the popularity of romance novels. To that, I would say, duh. However, after reading a few (okay, several) of them, I got an idea for one that is turning out to be a hell of a lot of fun to write.
After the horror of April's slow sales, May turned out to be pretty good, but June absolutely rocked with 498 sales. July's number was quite a bit slower, but I sold more expensive titles and actually made more cash, so I certainly can't complain. I'm still small potatoes, of course--even compared to authors that, frankly, nobody has ever heard of, but who claim to pull in thousands of dollars a month--but considering that I started all this in January, I'm happy with my progress.
Although I've seen that you can make (a little) money selling stories and novellas, everybody says that the money is in novels, which is why I've decided to focus on that from now on. Aside from the romance, I have a series of middle grade novels I'm planning; ideally I'll have the romance and one of the middle grade books up and running before the holiday season.
Let's see...a couple of final thoughts. Dean Wesley Smith's blog has turned into my favorite source of guidance, by far. Konrath's has really sunk in my opinion not only because he so rarely posts, but because he has shown himself to be kind of an ass sometimes. Ruth Ann Nordin is also a really interesting example of someone I think should be emulated--from what I've read, she pretty much just keeps her head down and keeps plugging away, writing what she wants to. That has allowed her to make a pretty good salary--in a recent blog post she said that she'd take in 84K through September--which means that she's on track to make six figures this year. Pretty cool.
Totally unrelated, but I continue to be astounded by how many indie authors pile everything into promotion for their debut novels, which almost invariably is priced at 99 cents. I keep forgetting where I saw this first (Kathryn Rusch's site, perhaps?), but promotion is almost always one of the least effective ways to get somebody to buy your book, according to various studies. It seems to me that the time and effort put into extensive blog tours, swag creation (am I the only one who doesn't get the idea of making promotional bookmarks for the release of an e-book?) and so on would be better served by, you know, writing the next one.
But then, even the basics seem to escape some people. Just yesterday I read on the Pubit help board from a guy who shared his technique to make an appropriately-sized cover image for Pubit. It involved finding the cover on Amazon, printing that on paper, then scanning the paper at the appropriate size. I'm no Amanda Hocking--nor even Ruth Ann Nordin--but even I knew better than that.
Okay, back to work. I don't expect to post again until the romance is finished. That one has remarkably little content that could cause trouble on the job, so I may even be able to share the name!