Thursday, November 10, 2011

October update

So after a lot of thought, I decided to release a series of short stories in October--things I had thought of doing quite a while ago, but had decided not to do.  Why not?  Because the idea was for an erotica series with a smuttily amusing title, taking some sex scenes that I'd included in my earlier works and remixing them.  Frankly, writing sex is about the most boring thing I've ever done, and I wasn't eager to spend more time doing that when my novel still isn't finished.  However, I came to the conclusion that if I'm really going to treat this as a business--which I am--then I can't afford to pass up an opportunity to publish something that will sell.  And if there's one thing I've seen this year, it's that sex sells.

So I took two weeks and whipped out seven new titles (well, "new" is not exactly correct, but I was at least rearranging what I'd previously written).  The results?  Behold the glory of my first-ever graph:

I now have 22 titles out across Amazon, B&N and Smashwords, ranging from single stories at .99 each to bundled collections of stories (2.99-3.99), novellas (2.99) and bundled novellas (5.98).  At the risk of jinxing it, I can report that November is on a pace to be my best month yet in terms of both sales and royalties.

The novel is still not completed (due in part, of course, to the two-week break I took to write smut) but as of this morning has hit over 65K.  It just won't stop!  I'm expecting it to top out at about 75K, and I still hope to have it finished by Thanksgiving, although that's a lot less sure than it was a month ago.

OK, back to work!


  1. I've internet stalked you across to the new blog!

    WOW for your smut sales ;) Perhaps I need to re-think my angle, ha ha ha.

    Glad to see you're still around, and doing so well! (WOW, 400 units!) What do you think bumped you into the triple digits in February? Sheer volume? (Aside from good writing, I mean.) I'd be interested to see how many new releases you had each month, what sales were like, etc, if you're sharing :)

    I'll be releasing shorts (hopefully) on a running basis. Then, bundles of shorts, which I'm sure you're doing. The move gives me a range of prices from .99 ~ 3.99. I think a range is important.

  2. I stalked you too. I'm beginning to think that shorts stories in singles and bundles are the way to go. I've got one more novel in me (I hope), but I think everything else is going to be novella length or shorter fiction.

    Interesting genre choice...but like you said, it's a business. I think I've heard someone else say that writing about sex is boring. But think about it. Here I am writing about gore, horror, and hauntings. At least sex is natural. What I'm writing is probably a lot less acceptable to some people.

  3. JE, I hesitate to admit that I’m pretty sure that one big thing that helped was reworking the covers I’d first come up with. When I first started out, I was looking at this whole thing as kind of a lark, so I really didn’t put much effort into the covers. And by “much” I mean “any”. I shudder to remember the covers that I started out with; they were really horrible. No sense of branding, crappy photos, and so on. Once I started coughing up a little cash for better images and came up with a similar look for similar books, things started improving a bit. Incidentally, I LOVE the cover for the short story you just released—can’t remember the name at the moment, but I think I left you a comment. I also changed a few titles to make the content clearer, which seemed to help too.

    Adding to the virtual bookshelf was another big thing. Am I starting to echo Konrath? For the first six months of the year I put out two titles a month, then the average dropped down this summer once I started writing the romance novel, but smut came to the rescue and bumped me back up to that average. If I can squeak out one more story and finally finish the novel, I’ll end the year with 24 titles available. Bundling has been a great way to not only add titles quickly but increase royalties, in my experience.

    This month has started out going like gangbusters, and I suspect that it’s not coincidental that I also just recently took the time to figure out how to insert hyperlinks pointing to my other titles, and uploaded new files to Amazon and B/N. Yes, I’m a slow learner, but better late than never!

    Shelia, I agree (and BTW, I like the new cover and title for Belvoir) about the bundles, as I said above; I’ve been very happy with it. I don’t know if you read Dean Wesley Smith’s blog, but I would kill to see his numbers for his many short stories. Of course, I don’t consider myself in the same league, but it’s always interesting to see what’s working at the next level!

  4. Yes, Disappear just released :)

    It released about a week ago now and I have to admit a lot of surprise that not a single copy has sold yet! I think the cover is fantastic - maybe it's the synopsis? :( Though, if I go to Amazon and type "Disappear" for some reason the book doesn't show up? I have to jump through some hoops clicking-wise to find it, or use "J. E. Medrick" How odd is that.