The door shut on 2011, so it’s time to assess how the year went. No sense beating around the bush. Let’s get to it!
First, the goals for the year:
1) Finish Masters of the Sun by the end of April
2) Finish novel #2 by the end of September
Fail. I only got around 30,000 words done in The Pericles Conspiracy before shifting over to NaNoWriMo. So decent progress there, but not enough to claim success in this goal.
3) Win NaNoWriMo
Success! As I talked about before, I crossed the NaNo finish line with a few words to spare. Glimmer Vale ended up being just under 54,000 words total. My friend/first reader is reading it through now. I’m looking forward to his comments. 🙂
4) Write 25 Short Stories.
Fail. Counting the three novelettes, I’ve written 10 total this year. That’s good – much more than I’ve ever written before. But it still didn’t meet the parameters of my stated goal.
5) Set up a company and start e-publishing.
Still a success!
6) Stop rushing.
7) Submit to Writers of the Future each quarter.
Success. I submitted my story for the last quarter of 2011, The Blob on the Rock, on the afternoon of the 31st. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, right?
So a mixed bag, as far as the goals go. Let’s look at statistics.
New Writing in the 4th Quarter
- The Pericles Conspiracy – 4,870 words (in progress)
- Glimmer Vale – 53,576 words (complete)
- The Blob on the Rock – 4,964 words (complete)
Total new words – 63,410 words
Words/Month – 21,136.67 words/day
Words/Day – 689.24 words/day
New Writing in 2011
Total- 229,287 words
Words/Month – 19,107.25 words/month
Words/Day – 628.18 words/day
With the NaNoWriMo win, I would have thought this quarter was a sure thing to be my biggest writing quarter of the year. But to be honest, I didn’t do much writing in December, just about 8,500 words. Holidays, family, getting ready to move (we found out we’re being transferred to Pearl Harbor in a month or so, so we started inventorying our house and selling a ton of stuff that we simply don’t need), and general life just had more of a priority. Oh well. I am a little surprised about October, though. While that month was going on, I could have sworn I wrote more than 4,870 words. Although I do recall it was hard to make progress, though.
Still, even though this wasn’t my biggest quarter (the first quarter still has that title), it was a good one. Winning NaNo alone dictated that it would be, even if I’d written nothing else. 🙂
So that’s good and all, but there’s one last metric to look at: financials.
Traditional path – none. Oh well, maybe next year.
Indie – check out the graphs
My indie sales were modest. Undetectable in the big scheme of publishing, really, but I’m happy with them. Writing the stories is fun, but earning money from them, even a little – that’s sauce for the goose. 🙂 In 2011, I earned $124.28 in royalties. That’s a fair amount of sauce, or in my case, beer, wine, and scotch. 🙂
As you can see, Masters of the Sun is my top seller, and by far my largest royalty earner. No big surprise there. It’s a novel, and it’s priced appropriately for its length. The novelettes are next, though Delphinus lags the other two (I actually think it’s the weakest of the three, truth to tell). How NOT To Rescue A Damsel In Distress is my most popular short story, and why not? it’s a fun little tale.
The big story for this quarter, at least as far as sales go, is So You Want To Be A Dragon Slayer… . I released it on 14 December, to zero sales. As I discussed before, I decided to give it a free promotion after Christmas to see how that works. And it worked well. 🙂 On the 26th and 27th, 275 people downloaded it in the US, 141 in the UK, and 1 in Italy. Wicked cool. 🙂 After the promo ended, it sold 9 copies (and two borrows) in the US, 3 in the UK, and 1 in Italy. Since the New Year started, 2 people bought it and 1 borrowed it in the US, and 1 bought it in the UK. So I’ll call that promotion a success. Because of it, December was my biggest month in terms of units sold (though not in royalties earned. Not even close) and over 400 people got exposed to my writing who never heard of me before. Not too shabby. 🙂
So yeah. 2011 was a good Rookie year. Maybe not as good a Rookie year as Ryan Kerrigan had for the Redskins, but it was still good. I think (hope?) 2012 will be even better. I’ve thought through my goals for the year, and I like to think they’re suitably ambitious. But I’ll tell you all about them in a later post.
Happy New Year, everyone! Many happy returns!