2014-07-27

Launch Pad 2014

It has been two weeks since my last post. The delay was caused by my attending Launch Pad 2014. Last year, I increased my blog schedule to post on the activities at Launch Pad nearly every day. I did not do this this time because most of it would have been a duplication of the events of a year ago. If you're interested in reading what happened day by day you can start here. If you are interested in reading the blogs of some of the other attendees, you can click here, here, and (especially if you want to see some of the presentations) here. I'm sure I missed some but those will give you a flavor for how well received this program has been.

I was accepted to my first Launch Pad event in 2012. I enjoyed it so much and met such a wonderful group of people that I practically begged Mike Brotherton (the program's founder) to return. He eventually said yes. Now, I help out by renting one of the vans and providing transportation from Denver to Laramie every year. I'm also hoping (once I learn how to do website maintenance) to help them out by becoming the web master for the Launch Pad site.

Pictures and videos of this year's as well as previous year's Launch Pad adventure can be found on my Flickr account.

Editing for Peacekeeper 2 is moving along at a slow but good pace. One of my more outspoken and helpful fans -- Lee Dilkie -- is doing a very good job of copy-editing for me. His comments have caused me to stop and think as well as to alter and improve the novel. Peacekeeper 2 might be slow in being released but it's going to be a much better book because of the help I'm getting. As soon as I'm done with my final editing pass I hand it off to my wife who looks for grammatical errors. Even after all these passes and multiple people looking at it, some errors are bound to creep in. That's why I ask my readers to give me feedback. I prefer constructive feedback so please just don't say "I didn't like it". If that's your opinion then at least tell me why so I can improve.

In other news - my new job at the nuke plant has been keeping me busy. I'm enjoying myself at this new job and I count myself to be among one of the lucky few who actually enjoy going into work every day. Writing database applications is fun -- I could do it 12 hours a day, 6 days a week if need be. But of course, that would cut into my writing time so that's not going to happen!

Time to get back to editing!

2014-07-06

By The Numbers

Possible Delay of Next Week's Post
I leave for Laramie, Wyoming next Sunday to attend the 2014 Launch Pad Workshop. This means I may not generate a blog post next week. I'll be meeting another wonderful group of authors, editors, game developers, and others in the entertainment industry. In case you're curious, here's a list of who's coming:

            Ann Leckie                            Ann Toole
            Lisa Yee                                Malinda Lo
            Jenn Reese                             Meg Howrey
            WilliamLedbetter                    Amy SterlingCasil
            Eugene Myers                        Marc Halsey
            Geetanjali Dighe                     James L. Sutter
            SarahMcCarry                       AndrewLiptak
            Susan Forest                          Gabriella Harbowry

My apologies for the two missing links. I have not yet mastered the zen of Google. I also hope I got all the links right.

By The Numbers
As an indie author, I like to know where I stand in relationship to other authors – especially other indies. Writing is NOT a competition (which is why I'm not a big fan of awards), but knowing how well you're doing in comparison to other authors is very useful. If my sales figures are low then I need to work harder. Based on reviews it may be better writing or it must might mean I need to spend some time on the internet talking about my book. But, unless other indie authors share these results with the community there's no way to make a comparison. Everyone seems to know how much actors make – especially well-known actors. Why not indie authors?

I've discussed this topic in the past and I mentioned that I've compared my sales (not monetary income but units sold) with another author who is far more well known than myself. I've learned that I'm doing quite well. The daily sales numbers I'm about to present might seem low but they are steady and that's what an author wants – a steady flow of sales.

I'm going to share my sales numbers with you on a regular basis and, if I can find the time, I plan on posting them to my website. I hope that other authors may share their sales figures publicly so other indie authors can learn how well they're doing in comparison. Indies should stick together, share our numbers, share how we promote our books, and talk among ourselves.

I don't collect the data every month but usually do it about 3 or 4 times a year. There's a tremendous spike in sales beginning in October of 2011 and peeking in March of 2012. Sales then dropped and have been fairly steady for some time. Smaller spikes occur when I release a new book. Why the giant spike in sales? I wish I could tell you. I suspect Amazon may have featured Translight in their daily deals but I really don't know.

There's a lesson in the sales numbers – just because you have a good month – or several months – don't quit your day job. Sales can fall just as fast as they can rise.

Year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
2009




7
12
6
4
3
9
4
13
2010
31
16
29
6
11
16
12
28
51
53
38
51
2011
51
60
51
64
52
69
89
138
216
676
913
1,197
2012
1,608
8,614
10,752
7,838
5,568
3,693
2,766
2,119
1,429
951
586
455
2013
435
262
280
232
252
189
185
165
133
400
820
526
2014
330
202
149
73
98









If anyone else cares to share their numbers, I would be happy to receive them. If you do, please let me know if I can make them public otherwise I'll keep them private.

Peacekeeper is still being analyzed by my beta readers. If I get comments back before I head to Laramie I'll begin the final editing pass while I'm there. Then it's off to my wife for her proofing.