Adios, September

Well, another month’s done, so it’s time to examine how it went.

I’d say September was pretty good.  I had a birthday, which is always fun.  I got Masters published finally, which is great!  Just a short while ago, I pushed submit on my story for Writers of the Future.  It’s a 10,700 word novelette entitled So You Want To Be A Dragon Slayer?.  I came right down to the wire on this one.  In fact, I clicked submit at 0130 Eastern Time on October 1st.  But I think the deadline is midnight Pacific Time, so I believe I made it.  If not, oh well.  It’ll just go into the next quarter’s submission.  But that would still suck, since I want to have a submission each quarter.  I guess we’ll see.  🙂

I got around 18,000 to 20,000 new words of fiction written this month.  Not as much as I did in July, but I’m fairly certain more than August, so that’s ok.

I also was invited to do my first guest post, on Derek J Canyon’s blog.

I did not pursue blogging on my own blog very well.  I tallied up 4 blog posts in September, compared with 23 in July.  And the number of blog hits reflects that reduced activity.  The only thing I have to say about that is…oh well.  I just didn’t have that much to say.  And I was busy.  Maybe I’ll do more posts in October.  Probably.  Almost certainly.  🙂

But I know what everyone’s wondering.  How did the ebook sales go?  Well, have a look:

As you can see, sales are up from August.  Yeah!  August totaled 14.  September saw 17.  So heading in the right direction.  The distribution is a bit different that last month.  Masters sold 10 copies: 6 on Amazon US, 3 on B&N, and 1 on Smashwords.  Passing in the Night sold 6 copies: 4 in Amazon US and 2 in Amazon UK.  And Measuring Up sold 1 copy in Amazon US.  It was pretty cool to get some more UK sales.  After the second sale, Passing was actually fairly high on the Amazon UK SciFi lists.  For a day.  Another thing that was cool is two of the Masters sales were at the 35% royalty rate.  That’s cool because it means someone bought it from outside the US, but not in the UK or Germany.  I don’t know too many people who fit that residential description, so I think that’s a good sign that people I don’t know bought it.  🙂

Now, we all know that may not be all the sales for September, since the Smashwords premium distribution channels aren’t updated yet.  Except for Masters, since I’ve checked and, at least as of earlier this week, it still wasn’t listed on those premium channels.  Soon, though.

But that’s not the whole story.  Because the most important metric to look at in any business is cash flow.  So how did those September sales translate in terms of revenue?  Check it out:

$35.44 in earned royalties in September, compared with $7.57 in August.  What caused such a huge difference?  The novel.  And in particular, the fact that I chose to price the novel at a reasonable level for a novel.  Not $.99.  Back in July I wrote a post about why $.99 is a bad price point for a novel.  I think this month’s earned royalties demonstrated the folly of the $.99 price point for a novel quite clearly.  If I’d priced Masters at $.99, I’d have not even earned $9 for the month.  As it is, almost $35 is two cases of Yuengling, or 2 1/2 bottles of The Seven Deadly Zins (a great Zinfandel, if you’re not familiar with it), or 4 of my favorite cigars, or a night at the movies.  Not too shabby at all for a newbie, eh?

So looking ahead, I think things will continue to get better.  I’ve decided to go ahead and release Delphinus, probably next week.  The only question is for how much.  It’s right at my dividing line between $.99 and $1.99.  I’ll probably go with $1.99, just because.  Then for the rest of the month I’m getting back to my scifi thriller, which has languished incomplete for too long.  Unless I really get miraculous amounts of writing time, I doubt I’ll finish it this month.  Next month, for NaNoWriMo, my goal will be to finish the scifi thriller and 30 Hours.  In December I want to get both of those stories published and finish a couple short stories that have been languishing for a while, like my cop story, then crank out as many other short stories as I can before the year ends.  I doubt I’ll get to my goal of 25, but I’ll at least get enough for another collection of five, maybe two, if I press hard.

So that’s where things stand.  Overall, I’m feeling pretty good about it.