The Indie life. June edition.
If you popped in a week ago, perhaps you remember my sudden realization that my Backworlds series has been out for a year. A bit over a year really, but close enough.
I’ll be honest about how my journey has gone. I released Semper Audacia in the fall of 2011. It sold 2-10 units a month. A pittance. It earned me a teeny paycheck every other month or so. It was a start.
Having paid attention to the rise of Lindsay Buroker and how she succeeded, I copied her with my plan for the Backworlds series. I intended to keep The Backworlds as a freebie from the beginning. Because of that, it gets attention it doesn’t want sometimes from folks who aren’t its audience. But that’s OK. It’s a workhorse and it serves its purpose.
It went like gangbusters when it first came out… 20,000 units in the summer of 2012. At this point, it’s somewhere over 50,000. It stays in the top 50 [often in the top 20, and I’ve been #1] in the US in space opera and just had a nice bump in the UK.
About two months after launching The Backworlds, I released Stopover at the Backworlds’ Edge, the sequel. Releasing them close together was a smart strategy, too. It sells steady and has from the start, averaging 50+ units a month. When it came out, I started getting paid monthly. Not a lot. $40-$60 a month. It continues to sell at that pace and has now sold over 500 units. I ceased selling to people I know a long time ago. I considered that the first big hurdle in this game.
My next release was Hetty Locklear. She still isn’t really selling. I let some folks talk me out of my original marketing plan, and that’s bad on me. I won’t ever do that again. My instincts, my gut, my knowledge, that’s what I’ll stick to from now on.
In February I broke into paperbacks. I get a monthly paycheck from those, too. Mostly from The Backworlds. Probably because it’s under $10. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s extra income.
I get a pittance every other month from Nook now, too, and maybe eventually from Kobo. Presence and effort seems to have an effect after a point.
Because of Hetty, I was unsure what would happen when I released Boomtown Craze. Well, I’ve been earning 3 digit paychecks since. Its sales are as steady as Stopover’s.
I’m not just a writer, I’m also a business person. I see where my bread is buttered. My next two releases will be in the Backworlds series. No doubt about it.
I owe Backworlds’ somewhat-success to sticking to my original marketing plan. Lesson learned. It propels my writing to the verge of supporting itself – editors, website, covers, and expenses. I consider that another big step in the success ladder.
They’re small steps, but they’re mine and they’re in the right direction. Backworlds versus Hetty showed me what sticking to my instincts/marketing plan or not will wield.
No fears. I have a new plan for Hetty… and that’s the beauty about the indie life, I can shift when the wind does, I can try new things.
Do you have a plan? How’s it working?
The IndieLife happens the 2nd Wednesday of every month. Hosted by The Indelibles.
The first post is up at the UR site. See what Angela Brown has to say.
My giveaway for June is still open – an M. Pax ebook of your choice + a giftcard to Amazon or B&N [your choice]. ENTER
Check in to the Blogger Book Fair
and book your trip to far away places!
July 22-26, 2013
Authors and Book Bloggers,
Sign ups for the July 2013 Blogger Book Fair will close on June 15 at midnight central time, so get your registrations in to participate!
If you haven’t yet registered, you can find all of the information on the Blogger Book Fair page.