2017 was a stinking pile of burning trash in a giant Dumpster for many reasons that I’m not going to rehash or get into here. I’m going to concentrate on only WRITING and mostly GOOD stuff.
Between Samhain drama and my Carina series getting canned, I wasn’t in a good place. In 2016, the only new material I’d managed to finish was a short novella. I felt stuck in many ways. Then I had surgery at the end of the year. Up until May of this year, I wasn’t writing in 2017 either (at least not with my normal drive and determination). It was looking like another really bad year and I thought about walking away from publishing for good. Who would notice, honestly? (That’s what my brain was telling me. I hadn’t had a new release in so long I might as well have dropped off the face of the planet.)
But a few things happened in 2017 that set the wheels in motion for bigger and better things.
- Samhain finally officially closed and I got all my rights back.
- I took Becca Syme’s Write Better Faster workshop in May. (I talked about it here)
- I joined Love Kissed Author Promotions Facebook group in June/July.
- I bought a premade cover from Cover Me Darling on June 16th (I talked about finding it here).
I could write paragraphs about how each of these bullets cascaded into new opportunities and challenges but I don’t want to write a book in this post! So I’m going to let the numbers speak for themselves.
Achievements/New Challenges in 2017
- Set up my first pre-order in KDP (and met it).
- Set up my first print book with CreateSpace.
- Set up my first boxed set.
- Re-released 4 of my old Samhain titles as an indie.
- Re-released 3 of my old Samhain titles with Entangled.
- Finished 3 new books (just under 200,000 words) and started a 4th.
- Submitted a different proposal (3 chapters + synopsis) to Carina. Ultimately it was rejected but I’m still glad I went through the motions and I fulfilled a promise I’d made.
- FINALLY hit #1 bestseller in an Amazon category!
- Tracked all my sales across all channels and all books that I have control over for the entire year.
- Created 3 graphs to plot out the optimum release schedule for the rest of the QUEEN books.
Here’s the GOOD STUFF – the numbers.
- I’ve given away 11,072 FREE books to increase my newsletter and KU pages read.
- Jan – Aug I had 2,318 page reads (very few books in KU).
- Sept – 12,208 page reads (when I moved everything into KU).
- Jan – Sept I sold 664 books.
- Oct was the game changer with QUEEN TAKES KNIGHTS release.
- Gave away 3567 downloads the week after release
- Still had 125 sales
- With 201,757 page reads
- Then QUEEN TAKES KING continued to push the numbers up in Dec.
- Bringing my 2017 totals (through today) to
- 1987 sales
- 554,097 page reads
These are not huge numbers for the big-time indie sellers. I’m not hitting any lists with these numbers! But for ME, this is huge and means I can easily continue to fund new covers and books and even pay some other bills without depending on my Evil Day Job bonus to seed a new series. Comparing July sales (163, when Mal’s book released) to December (774, when King released) is a 375% increase.
It came down to THREE THINGS.
* Not giving up when I really wanted to.
* Not being afraid to give away free books to build my readership.
* And stumbling across the premade cover that I fell so hard for, which went on to be QUEEN TAKES KNIGHTS.
That cover inspired the entire series that turned the numbers around in a huge way.
So here’s to a bigger, better 2018! My pie in the sky goals:
- 1 million words written
- 1 million page reads
- 5,000 sales.