That month seemed to go by particularly swiftly. I don’t feel like I got a lot done in it, either, although sickness (both my own and that of my daughters) played a part in my lack of productivity. In any case, let’s begin, as always, with some numbers:
June 2011 Sales
Miya Black, Pirate Princess I: Adventure Dawns – 3
Miya Black, Pirate Princess II: Freedom & Responsibility – 0
Charlotte Powers: Power Down – 23
Resonance Book One: Birds Of Passage – 2
The Undying Apathy Of Imogen Shroud – 10
The Boy & Little Witch – 3
So quite a jump for Charlotte Powers, from 9 to 23. Why has it suddenly taken off? It’s the only one of my books that I haven’t done a giveaway for and yet it’s by far my biggest seller. In fact, in June Charlotte Powers: Power Down sold more copies than in the four previous months combined, and went from my second-lowest seller to my highest-seller. There’s only one thing I did this month, one change I made; I added Power Down to the Kindle / Comics / Superhero category. Apparently you only need a few sales to get into the top ten in this category, and apparently a couple of people actually look at those lists. Currently Power Down is at #3, although its position fluctuates wildly–yesterday, for example, it was at #12.
In any case, my total sales for the month comes out to a rather pleasant 41 in total, which makes it my best month yet by, oh, five. So far I’ve had a small increase in sales every month, which is really nice, I’m comfortable (and very happy) with a gradual increase. I received quite a few reviews this month, too, my sales-review ratio is about 6:1 right now, although it’s a little skewed due to the giveaway reviews I’ve received. The Boy & Little Witch, for example, is in the odd position of having more reviews than actual sales.
This month I started entering data into a spreadsheet, just to be able to more easily keep track of things:
So, aside from making fun charts, what have I actually accomplished this month? First, let’s talk about promotion. I did zero promotion this month–wait, no, that’s a lie, I had two guest posts on two different blogs. Unfortunately, I can’t say that they helped, as in both cases they led to days-long sales droughts. Oh well, I had fun doing them, that’s the important thing. As previously mentioned, I also switched categories for Charlotte Powers, which definitely helped. Other than that, nothing.
In terms of writing, this was not a productive month. Around forty thousand words on the first draft of Against Darker Days, around fifty thousand on Power Play. Blergh. I know it’s not a race but I expect more of myself. In terms of other activity, I did a little editing, wrote some notes, spent a day researching something that probably won’t even end up in the final book–just odds and ends, nothing substantial or noteworthy.
Looking at next month (my ACTUAL sixth month as an indie author), I think I need to be more disciplined with my writing. I’ve let myself slack off lately, mostly due to tiredness, but that’s no excuse. My solid goal is to have the first draft of Power Play finished, and it’d be nice to get a first draft of Against Darker Days done too–there are a lot of structural problems with that book, but I need a finished first draft before I can really start addressing them. I’m also very definitely releasing Miya Black III, I’ve just kept putting it off and putting it off but it has to be done. Formatting, final proof, release. So:
July 2011 Goals:
1 – Very definitely release Miya Black III.
2 – Finish first draft of Power Play.
3 – Finish first draft of Against Darker Days.
After all that’s done, I’m not really sure what I’ll do next. I’m going to take a break after finishing those two first drafts and just potter around for a few days, so I’ll work on whatever takes my fancy. I’m quite keen to get the third Charlotte Powers book (Hidden Power) done, so maybe … I’d quite like to release the second and third reasonably close together. I have a feeling that the third book will be easy to write, too, since it’s a much tighter story than the second one–closer in feel to the first, although at the same time completely different. I’m also going to spend more time working on the overall story arc for the whole series, once the second book exists as a first draft I’ll be able to really start thinking about what I need to include and foreshadow and so on. I had one small idea that completely floored me when it came to mind–almost like a joke, like “What if this happened, that’d be totally bizarre, hahahaha, oh man, that’d … hmm …” so I have to think about that some more.
Website also. I have some ideas for the layout that I think might work nicely. Kind of a template system. Not as important as actual writing, but it’d be nice to have more of a presence than just a WordPress bjournal. Not that there’s anything wrong with this, but a website is more … solid.
As for actual releases this year, Power Play’s a definite, probably in August or September, Against Darker Days is a maybe (perhaps November at the earliest, it’s going to take a while to edit it into shape), Miya Black III is a definite for July, Miya Black IV is a probable for maybe October. Charlotte Powers 3 could be on for November or December. I’d like to have ten books in total out before the end of the year. I think I’m well on track to that. Then for next year? It’d be really nice to finish off the Charlotte Powers series, actually. If I could just get myself to focus on one series, just get it all out there–and the story lends itself to shorter books, so maybe … that might be a good goal. After all, it’s my best selling series, even if that only means I’ve sold forty copies.
In any case, it’s been another fun month as an indie author. On to the next!