So what’s the problem? Let’s delve into it.
So what happened?
- First, I’ve been doing a lot more editing work for people lately as opposed to writing work;
- Next, I spent a bit more time editing my own books this month than working on new ones;
- Finally, I just got lazy.
I think it’s that last point that’s the most important. Many days I’d look at my notebook and see writing tasks there, but since they weren’t a ‘critical need,’ they didn’t get done.
This is a trend I have after the first few months of the year. Usually I’ll dip below 100,000 words at least one month, as happened last May and also for a couple months in a row in 2013, May through August. So these things happen…but will they continue?
God, I’m glad I’m not working there anymore, but that doesn’t make the lean times of being a self-employed writer any easier.
I suppose I only have myself to blame for that, too. I spent a lot of money over the past couple months paying down my student loans, and that’s cost me. Those have to be paid off eventually, so I view that as a good ‘investment.’
I guess what I’m getting at is that being a writer these days isn’t real easy. It’s tough, and making ends-meat is hard. I saw that with my latest book.
What Failure Looks Like
It’s kind of depressing when you’re releasing books but not a whole lot of people buy them…if any. Maybe they buy a few copies, but is that enough…and what is enough? I was hoping for 10 copies sold for this release, and I actually thought I could get it. Boy, was I stupid!
I got one sale on this book the day I put it out, and that’s because I bought it.
This is something authors like me have to deal with all the time. I have no friends, so they couldn’t buy the book. My parents don’t buy my books. My wife doesn’t buy my books.
I really thought I’d do good with this one. My post Colter’s Winter Coming April 28 got more than 250 views this month. John Colter Maps got more than 250 views as well. Even Colter’s Winters is Now Available on Pre-Order got more than 100 views, but none of those things mattered.
I might get 500 unique visitors to this site each day, and many of them might come back a few times a week. Perhaps they’re even visitors that have been coming to my site for months, reading all this free content I put up. But ask them to pay $4 for one of my books? Not a single one of them will do so.
So that’s what I’m up against, not every once in a while or every couple months, this is what I face each day. It’s called failure, and I eat it every morning for breakfast, and wash it down with a large glass of bitterness.
What am I supposed to do? I mean, you’re reading this, but the bottom line is that I’m not important to you at all…unless you’re one of those three people that bought my book. If you are, thanks!
Wow, what a revelation, huh? Hardly anyone that visits this site gives one God damn about me. Why should I care about anyone else? It’s hard to, and a level of hardness is developed that’s hard to get rid of. So the cycle continues, the cycle of failure and bitterness. Welcome to writing.
Print vs. eBooks
Yeah, a self-published author making more from paperback books than eBooks!
This all really comes down to the phenomenal success of my book English Rocks. That book is a perfect fit for teachers overseas, teachers that perhaps can’t afford eReaders.
I remember back in 2013 when I was just starting to get serious about being an author. English Rocks was going to be my third big book, and my first big ESL book. I remember going into my boss’s office one day, when I was this close to being fired, and having a chat.
He was not happy with my piss-poor attitude and I was not happy with the terrible working conditions teachers were forced to endure. I made it clear that I was done and gave my notice. I told them I was more interested in writing, and actually giving teachers good advice…not wasting their time like EF was.
I told my boss about English Rocks and how it’d kick ass and sell a lot of copies. He kind of scoffed and said, ‘great, good luck with that.’ Pissed me off, that’s what it did, and also spurred me to put it in high gear. I got that book done and put it out and now, just about two years later, it’s sold more than 300 copies in eBook format and nearly 100 more in print. I’m convinced that the book will sell until the day I die or the world falls apart. I fully expect to make more from that book over my lifetime than I did for the three years I worked at EF.
My Montana books also sell well in print format, though they’ve fallen off over the last couple months. Oh yeah, you get paid 60 days after you make a sale…so these print sales are from February most likely, and maybe before if they came from overseas.
Anyways, pretty cool, and something to be thankful for.
- The Missoulian: I often bash this newspaper, but the stuff you read on this site would be pretty droll without their reporting, and the state reporters. So I bash them a lot, but I like them. I also like that I get the Missoulian for free, or else I paid for 2 years and didn’t know about it. Or maybe they gave me an extra year because I share their stuff on Twitter each day. I do that because I like their stories and want others to read them. So thanks Missoulian!
- D2D: I’m so happy to get paid once a month from Draft 2 Digital. It’s a huge change after two years of quarterly payments from Smashwords. God, why did I wait so long to leave Smashwords, a site that has a terrible design, worse reporting, and payments that make snails seem fast? Thanks D2D!
- Goodreads: I’d like to thank Goodreads and their giveaways. I did two this month – one for The Hirelings and another for Colter’s Winter. The latter is still going on, so sign-up for your chance to get a free paperback. Hopefully this time I’ll get some reviews on Amazon for these books…never have before.
- Kboards: I’m so happy that I got kicked off Kboards more than a year ago now. To think the amount of time I would have wasted if I was still there! Oh, I might have sold a few books, maybe learned a few things, but more than likely I would have just eaten up a bunch of time that I could have spent writing…or being on Twitter.
- Twitter: I really like Twitter. I never used social media until I got back from China, and I never used it before 2008 when I moved there – I didn’t have internet at my crappy college apartment. But now I use Twitter and I really like talking about politics. I’m sure I’ve pissed off just about everyone, but boy, I’ve learned a lot. And the nice thing about politics is that in a few years there’s a whole bunch of new faces!
I’ve written about this book before, though that was about a year ago. Some of you will remember the series of stories I put up on Free Fiction Friday’s about this. Those are the opening sequence of the book, then we pull the lens back to show a lot of government conspiracy stuff, and finally at the end we get back on the plane.
It’ll be a good read and if you like action and suspense and corruption, it’s right up your alley.
Well, that’s enough for this month’s report, eh? Thanks for reading…and buying (hint, hint)!