Monday, January 7, 2013

My First Year in Publishing

It has been roughly one year since I began self-publishing. In many ways that year has been a success. I wrote more than in most prior years despite having a tighter schedule (more on that below); I have learned to attractively present my work to the market (already have some gorgeous covers in my portfolio - I'm as proud as if I'd done them myself); and most importantly, my work has been well-received.

Quite well, in fact. Better than I had expected. I've managed to wrangle some book blogger reviews as well as a number of non-solicited reader reviews (those always feel good). I've been personally contacted by readers who want to know more, and I've had some directly request a sequel to Twixt Heaven and Hell. Chances are I'll end up writing one, even though I'd not originally planned it. Hey, you give the people what they want!

I did experience some setbacks, of course. My sales for the year were, again, better than I really anticipated (I anticipated next to nothing). However, my net income on self-publishing is still in the negative due to the only real expense I have - purchase of cover art. Not that I regret making those purchases. Frankly, they're worth more than I paid.

Then, of course, there was the minor burn-out at the end of the year. I didn't really stop writing, but I certainly wasn't keeping up the pace that I had set. I don't regret it, honestly - I needed the break, and while I do need to get used to keeping self-imposed deadlines I can also remind myself that I'm not in any hurry. Better to lay down a solid foundation than rush the process.

All in all, a good start accompanied by a couple encouraging trends. First of all, my sales are increasing. Veeeeery slowly, but surely. Secondly, whenever my books do gain some small measure of exposure there is a marked uptick of sales - a miniature "press effect" that is so valuable to book sales. This gives me hope that should I ever embark on a real media campaign it might have some real effect. That, however, is still a ways in the future.

Publishing 2012, by the numbers:

Books Published: 5 (3 Novellas, 1 Novel, 1 Short)

Sales Made: ~300 (Sales, not free downloads!)

Reviews Earned (or Cajoled): 22

New Words Written: ~115,000

Old Words Cut: ~40,000 (Mostly on TWIXT)

Drafts Finished: 9

New Stories Started and Not Finished: 7 (1 Novel, 1 Novella, and 5 Shorts)

Tomorrow, we focus on the year ahead...


  1. Progress is progress, and hopefully you'll be able to build on the momentum established in 2012 such that 2013 is more succesful.

    1. That is indeed the hope - "may each year be better than the last."