I have not done much work on Peacekeeper 3 this past week. Blame it on having other priorities or being stuck on the plot -- take your pick. I did, however, solve the plot issue the other day and I should be back to working on it soon. My wife has also not made as good a progress as I'd hoped in her review of Dragonverse Origins. I will be stepping up my 'reminders'.
Writers write because they are called by an inner voice to do so. But sales are what keeps writers going back to the keyboard with new ideas. I've been struggling with the slowdown in sales now for several months and it seems to be getting worse. This does have an impact on my desire to write. This morning, as I was catching up on Twitter before writing this post, I learned I'm not the only one with this problem. Book sales are falling -- a lot.
Some people will hear that and believe that Amazon is just not reporting all the sales. They will argue that authors really don't know how many books they've sold on Amazon and we have to just take the company's word on it. Those who tend to believe in conspiracies will swear that Amazon is selling books, reporting fewer sales to the authors, and pocketing the unreported revenue. I don't believe that. Amazon's sales system is totally automated and a programmer would have to write the code to cheat the authors out of their due royalty. I'm sure this would not go unnoticed.
So what's happening? I don't know. Maybe people aren't reading as much these days. Maybe they're spending more time on social networking sites, playing games, or any number of other activities that desire your time and attention. But the fact remains, sales are down, and writers are beginning to notice and talk about it.
As a writer, slow sales are depressing. But, knowing I'm not the only one seeing this helps a lot. We writers can be an odd bunch. We spend hours alone, hunched over a keyboard or a notepad spinning lies in the form of intricate stories for other people's enjoyment. Like a child, the story is nurtured and fed. It grows up and matures until it is ready to begin its life in the world as a published work. Because our stories are like our children, because we've invested so much time and effort into preparing them for the rest of the world, we tend to want to protect them and to see them prosper. When they don't, we see it as a sign that we were poor parents. But, if everyone's stories are not doing well, then we can rest assured that we've done the best we can and it's not our fault that our children are struggling.
Sales of my books have dropped but they have not hit zero -- at least not for more than a few days at a time. If anyone is curious, send me an email and I will gladly share my numbers with you. Sometimes being open and honest about sales with other writers (and readers) can help the rest of the community. A lone writer has all sorts of odd thoughts about things. We write alone -- but that does not mean we must become hermits. Knowledge is power -- it can also enlighten us.
Just a quick note about a new program I've downloaded. One of my main concerns with the Peacekeeper series is maintaining a consistent and accurate timeline. I've tried various ways of doing this and none seem to work out well. Excel has worked best for me but it was a pain to set up and maintain. Yesterday, I downloaded Aeon Timeline. The company's website says the program was written with writers in mind and it interfaces with Scrivener -- the program I use to write. I haven't opened it yet, but the reviews look great and I'm anxious to give it a try. It's a bit pricey at $50.00, but it does allow you to try it for free for 20 days -- a great feature. If the software lives up to its hype, I will gladly hand over $50.00. I will let you know how this program works out in a future post.