I managed to churn out 113,889 words for the month, putting me over 582,000 words for the year.
I put up 32 blog posts and published 1 book.
It’s because it is.
Discipline, routine, repetition – it doesn’t get any simpler than that.
My Book Sales
That’s pretty good, considering in January I was telling you how I’d just sold 4,300 books.
So lots of books are selling this year, and that’s finally allowed me to reach one of my big-time goals…having my book sales pay my rent.
My rent is $675 and for the first time since starting in January 2013 with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, I’ve made enough to do that.
Here’s what my book earnings looked like for May:
Little more complicated than you thought?
My books are selling in 13 different countries where Amazon operates and I also go through Createspace for my print books and Draft 2 Digital (D2D) to get my books on iTunes and those other retailers.
So I get several deposits in my bank account each month, with D2D coming around the 7th or 8th each month and Amazon paying around the 29th of the month.
Finally, this month, I made enough from Amazon to pay the rent.
Actually, I made a helluva lot more.
Yeah, more than $1,900 in book royalties from Amazon and Createspace this month and another $200 from the other retailers.
When I reach a goal, I reach it big.
Now, that goal is nice and all…but is it sustainable?
Thankfully, so far I’m holding steady…sort of.
That’s my book sales this year for all retailers. As you can see, I really shot up from January and February but have since fallen off of that March sales high.
Despite that, I’ll still be pulling in more than $1,000 each month from Amazon for most of the summer (you’re paid for sales made 60 days ago).
So why’d it take me so long to reach this goal?
The Montana Novels
Wow, people like those!
So far I’ve sold almost 2,500 copies of those books and they continue to do well, and earn good reviews.
That’s why I keep writing them…although the transition away from Colter and into the larger mountain man/fur trapping history isn’t going so well.
I’ve sold just 32 copies of Fortin’s Furs and just a few of the one after that.
Despite this, I’m pressing on.
Maybe it’s the covers, maybe it’s the change of character, maybe after 6 books people are just ready to give it a rest.
Either way, I know if I keep my head down and keep working, I can really get somewhere.
I’m talking a 17-book series like Louis L’Amour had, or a 20-book series that can rival what Patrick O’Brian put out, or even a run like John MacDonald’s 21-book series.
When you really push the boundaries like that, and give series-loving readers something to crow about, you’ll get that sustainable income for years and years.
Hey, that happens when you have every dollar budgeted:
Right off the top I give a few bucks to charity as a way to say thanks to the universe for all it’s done for me.
After that I have a lot of car work this month, plus car insurance, and then some debt to pay off for my wife.
With the rent and the power and the internet and a few other items, that’s about it.
So I’ll have $5 left and then it’s what I can make working for people this month, and then my next Amazon payment at the end of June.
I already know that I’ll be making more than $1,500 from my Amazon books so I don’t have a lot of worries – the rent will get paid.
I'm amazingly lucky.
Come the end of July I’ll be moving closer to the South Hills and that’ll take a bit of cash.
So we’ll see how things go.
I’m pretty confident that things will work out, and work out well.
Please don’t forget that your support helps with that.
Buying a book or clicking on one of my blog ads or ordering your products from Amazon via my site are all ways you can help me.
Why do this?
Well, these people need help, they need it bad.
Plus, if I can’t live off of 90% of my income, I have serious problems.
So this month I gave to charity and these charities each got $10:
- Disabled American Veterans (96% to cause)
- Catholic Relief Services (92%)
- Boys Town (82%)
- Shriner’s Hospital for Children (79%)
- Special Olympics Montana (73%)
- Montana School for the Deaf & Blind (?)
So that’s $60 I gave this much, not a whole lot. I have to admit as well, I kind of give for selfish reasons.
I figure that by giving a little to charity it’ll put me right with the universe, maybe increase my karmic potential.
Perhaps it’ll even help me sell more books, I dunno.
So far this year I’ve given $220 to charity. I’ll continue to give $10 here and there and I hope you think about doing so too.
On the Agenda for June
- On June 7 we have the Montana primary and leading up to that I’ll be busy with the second leg of my election strategy
- On June 10 the Montana Democratic Party’s state convention starts in Helena.
- On June 11 we have the Governor’s Cup race in Helena, which I’ll be doing.
- On June 20 I hope to put out another short Montana novella, Sun River Crossing.
- On June 24 the Montana AFL-CIO Convention in Helena starts
That’s about all I see on my calendar at this early date.
I will fill you in a few other things that have no set date yet:
- I’d like to really go balls-to-the-wall on my sixth Montana history book, perhaps even finishing it.
- I might do a lot more travelling and hiking and driving around the state and I’d of course have lots of images of that.
- Destinations include Sun River, Great Falls, Prickly Pear Canyon, Bozeman, Havre, Thompson Falls, and maybe if I’m lucky all the way up to Fort Peck Dam and thereabouts.
- I’ll probably get a lot of progress in on the third Astoria book of the overall Mountain Man Series.
Oh…what about the second Astoria book, you ask?
Well, it’s about to go on sale and if you’re on my email list you’ll know when, and you’d have had the chance to get it for $0.99.
So please sign-up for that.
I’ll have a lot more news tomorrow.
As usual, thanks for reading!