Friday, January 11, 2013

It's Friday! And Here's a Manifesto

And this is my third post of the week. What's the world coming to? I'm thinking twice a week is a more reasonable posting schedule for me right now, but this makes three nonetheless.

Since I've been so embarrassingly introspective of late, I figured I'd take a moment and give an update on how my indie publishing life has been going.

It's funny really, as I have thought of A Dead God's Wrath and it's companion (unreleased) stories as something I hope to always release as something self published. I still have dreams of having novels and stories that are released the the old-time, traditional publishers, but I figure that can (and it has) take years, if ever.

So, I throw up A Dead God's Wrath well over a year ago. I don't go crazy with self promotion, I kind of throw it up and forget about it. After a few months of okay sales numbers it more or less disappears from the world's radar. It sells a copy or so every month, and that's about it.

A year passes and I realized that my long planned follow up isn't ready. In fact, it's taking way too long. I realize I have a story from an old anthology that I contributed to that I have all the rights to and I decide to put it up as, I don't know, a thing for people to read to remember that I'm still alive.

I re-read it as I'm putting it up and I don't like it nearly as well as I should have. I remember thinking it was great when I wrote it, now it seems very rushed, like I'm jamming too many things into too short a space. Things that I should have really expanded on are mentioned in a few lines and then the story moves on.

It really feels like a mess.

And yet, I do still kinda like it. Even with those things. So I put it up anyway - I try to the Amazon exclusive thing and make it free.... give away a few hundred typo ridden copies before I realize what I've put up, and then make the necessary changes just in time for it to revert to the lowest possible sale price on Amazon. At which time I forget about it and start thinking of other things.

60 days later Amazon sends me a letter telling me they are sending me money. Not a lot of money, but enough to go to the movies with - and buy some popcorn. Then I take a peek and see that I've sold many more copies of War Angel since they sent me my last wad of cash. It's earned enough to go to the movies again, and take my wife out with me.

It's small, a pittance really, but with no marketing, no push, aside from that initial surge that some blogger friends provided (a bigger deal than I'm making that out to be, thank you all), and I get a small feeling of gratitude that it's not getting returned en masse ether. People aren't reviewing in droves, but they're at least checking it out.

Thank you nameless internet people, thank you. Thank you blogger friends who read it, especially those of you that read it not because it sounded interesting, but because you knew me and wanted to support me. I'm really appreciative.

I toast you all,


16 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Of course I purchased it - you're a friend and excellent writer. Even managed a review on Goodreads, which is amazing for me.
I don't like to promote my books either and I don't think I had much to do with the times they surged up the Amazon charts. I'm just really great that they did.

Brinda said...

It's difficult to now why a book sells (or not). I only go by what all the bloggers out there tell me since I have no marketing degree. I'm sad when I see my royalty checks, so i empathize. I've never thought of it as movie money. Maybe that would cheer me up. LOL

Deborah Walker said...

Pretty cool, Rusty. And this confirms what I've heard. That the greatest way to increase sales is to get more stuff up.

Sean McLachlan said...

I've committed to writing 200,000 words of fiction this year (that's only 550 a day) and so far I'm on track. I'm doing this precisely to get more work finished and available. That's the best way to move forward, imho.

mooderino said...

That's very interesting. I wish more people would do updates on how their books are selling. Do you think Kindle Select was responsible for the sales or would it have sold on any platform?

mood
Moody Writing

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

Some snobby people look down at self-publishing but hey $20 here and $30 here is better than nothing many writers are making when they're sitting around trying to find an agent to "love" their work.

Jo said...

I think self publishing is great with one exception, the tendency to have a lot of errors. Rusty went through this and another friend did something similar and allowed me to check the book out for her after she had it on Smashwords. It is very difficult to spell check your own work as you see what it should be and not always what's there.

Tonja said...

That's awesome that people are reading your stories.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Congrats on your readers and being able to take your wife to the movies.

Andrew Leon said...

I agree with PT.

But please don't toast me. Or, maybe, do? Maybe I'd be warmer that way.

It sounds like your doing way better on passive sales than me.

Tony Laplume said...

Small success is still success! Congratulations on that. And the apocalypse clearly happened, because you're blogging far too much!

M Pax said...

I enjoy you're writing, Rusty. Sorry I disappeared. I'm under the swamp of revisions and a deadline.

Nick Wilford said...

Blogger friends are amazing. Word of mouth really is the best promotion of all. Congrats!

Cindy said...

It may be that "War Angel" hit a popular nitch. Notice how it's not science fiction. Also if you hadn't set to free, it wouldn't have been seen by anyone. That's what gave it the boost.

Anyway, I love that story (as you know).

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

Have fun at the movies. I think your promotion is better than my promotion, for what it's worth.

Tammy Theriault said...

i hope next time, you get even more kudos so that you can take ME with you. it's been awhile since i've gone to the movies...