16 April 2014

Some E-Book Sales Statistics

So, I was putting together some figures the other day for tallying up a "total e-book sales" number (because it was being asked for). And as I'm big on stats as it is, I decided I'd post a few. Since we've only been through three full months this year, I'm ignoring my 2014 sales.

Heroes Die Young was released in 2008.

Friends in Deed and Seeker were both released in 2010.
Dead or Alive, The Cure, and my first Triple-Shot (Dead Man's Forge) were all released in 2011.
Death Brings Victory and my second Triple-Shot (Temptation) were released in 2012.
My third Triple-Shot (Downtrodden) was released in 2013.

Total sales across all of my titles (again, only through 2013) is 645 since Heroes Die Young was released. A rather piddly sum, I know, but that's life. All of that in mind, I've had the following sales per title per year (for convenience, I've also included total sales per year.



  HDY FID DBV DOA
2008 95      
2009 33      
2010 9 28    
2011 27 15   13
2012 50 22 35 47
2013 14 5 13 2


  DMF TEMPT DT Seeker Cure
2008          
2009          
2010       10  
2011 6     38 15
2012 22 8   27 42
2013 16 15 10 13 15


  Total
2008 95
2009 33
2010 47
2011 114
2012 253
2013 103

So, I hesitate to start making conclusions based on these stats, since it's been proven over and over that sometimes blind luck can cause sales. And looking through the numbers, there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to sales leading to more sales (of later books in the series, etc.). However, even with all of that in mind, at least one thing seems to stick out.

Generating new material for publication can generally help sales. I had three releases in 2011, and saw a marked increase. I followed that up with two more releases in 2012. With those five new titles, my sales in 2012 were five times higher than in 2010. Granted, in  2013, I had no major releases (other than the third Triple-Shot), so my sales dropped off last year. So, not only is it necessary to continue to produce new material, but it's also important to continue to do so on a regular pace. This is something I struggle with, myself, and need to work on. Hopefully this can help motivate me...

11 April 2014

SFFS: A Fifth Snippet From Escape


Welcome back, everyone! For those who haven't kept up with my latest releases in the past several months, Escape is a brand new novella I have out (a collaboration with Lyndon Perry), the first in a young adult steampunk alternate history series. In fact, I posted up the first except just last week. It's been a while since I've written anything outside of the Aston universe, so I'm excited to see how my fans react to this new title. And now that it's finally out over at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, you can pick it up today (of course, you can also get a paperback too). Be sure to check out all of the wonderful authors on the Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday blogroll. And now, here's a snippet from Escape:



Twenty pairs of eyes were locked on the paper as she waved it back and forth. She stuffed it back into her apron and wiped her hands. “What are you all doing gawking like street urchins at a candy shop window? Bow your heads!” One of the church volunteers offered a brief prayer while most of us fidgeted in our seats.

After the ‘amen’ we all dug in. Well, except for me. I was too preoccupied with that letter! I caught Sadie’s eye from across the room and she gave me an encouraging nod.

Not to worry, I do plan on coming back to post another snippet from this one next week. But why wait? Pick up a copy of Escape using the links above!

09 April 2014

Weekly Goals - April 9, 2014

Trying to get back into a rhythm...we'll see how it goes. I've also taken over administrative duties for the  SFFS blog (which I've been posting to for some time), because I'm a glutton for punishment. Here's the latest recap on the writing side:
 
1. Write 1,300 words on Resurrection - Nothing completed
2. Write 1,000 words on the new short story - About 500 words completed.
 
Progress toward my monthly goals for April:

1. Complete the first draft of "Reciprocity" (the new short story, estimated 2,000 words) - 500 words completed.
2. Edit the final version of "Just Rewards" - Not started.
3. Write 3,000 words on Resurrection - Not started.
 
Now for this week's goals:

1. Edit the final version of "Just Rewards"
2. Write 1,000 words on "Reciprocity"

Next week, I'll recap my weekly goals and report my results.

04 April 2014

SFFS: A Fourth Snippet From Escape


Welcome back, everyone! For those who haven't kept up with my latest releases in the past several months, Escape is a brand new novella I have out (a collaboration with Lyndon Perry), the first in a young adult steampunk alternate history series. In fact, I posted up the first except just last week. It's been a while since I've written anything outside of the Aston universe, so I'm excited to see how my fans react to this new title. And now that it's finally out over at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, you can pick it up today (of course, you can also get a paperback too). Be sure to check out all of the wonderful authors on the Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday blogroll. I've skipped ahead a bit, and the boys have joined the girls in the orphanage's dining area. And now, here's a snippet from Escape:



“Abraham,” called the headmistress, “you’re late. That’s one demerit for you and kitchen duty for the boys.”

We found our places in silence as Abe scowled at us, looking for someone to blame. His eyes narrowed when he focused on me. “Max McCannor held us up, Mrs. Tittlesworth.”

“Oh?” she said, eyebrows arched. “How unfortunate. I may have to hold on to this letter for another week.” The headmistress produced an envelope from her apron pocket and held it above the gathered crowd, taunting me with all the malice I’d expected from her.

Not to worry, I do plan on coming back to post another snippet from this one next week. But why wait? Pick up a copy of Escape using the links above!

03 April 2014

Monthly Goals - April 2014

Sorry for the  lack of weekly updates. The past couple of weeks have been a bit rough on the personal side. Things should slowly get back to normal soon...

For those who missed it back in January, I set up the writing goals I aim to accomplish in 2014. Right after writing that post, I then read Dean Wesley Smith's post about how to be successful at your writing goals.

One of those suggestions was to report in to someone, whether you miss your goals or accomplish them. So, I to report it to you, my loyal fans, bringing back my old habit of weekly goal-setting and reporting. In addition, I've decided that a set of monthly goals would also be good to do (since they'd end up being more "grand scheme" and would be easier to tie into the annual goals).

So, another month has gone by, and it's time to recap my results from my March goals.

1. Publish the print version of Seeker - Completed.
2. Complete the first draft of a new short story (estimated 2,000 words) - Title and plot completed
3. Edit the final version of "Just Rewards" - Not Completed
4. Write 3,000 words on Resurrection - 1700 words completed

Sadly, I hardly accomplished anything this month. Hopefully April is better.

Here are my goals for April:

1. Complete the first draft of "Reciprocity" (the new short story, estimated 2,000 words)
2. Edit the final version of "Just Rewards"
3. Write 3,000 words on Resurrection

As always, I'll report my final results on the first of next month. In the meantime, check out my weekly goals postings to see how I'm progressing.

Here's to everyone striving to accomplish their writing goals for 2014!

28 March 2014

SFFS: A Third Snippet from Escape

Welcome back, everyone! For those who haven't kept up with my latest releases in the past several months, Escape is a brand new novella I have out (a collaboration with Lyndon Perry), the first in a young adult steampunk alternate history series. In fact, I posted up the first except just last week. It's been a while since I've written anything outside of the Aston universe, so I'm excited to see how my fans react to this new title. And now that it's finally out over at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, you can pick it up today (of course, you can also get a paperback too). Be sure to check out all of the wonderful authors on the Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday blogroll. And now, here's a snippet from Escape:



Abe finished his morning inspection, then returned and stopped in front of my bed. “Whatcha have there, Max?” He extended his hand toward my pocket, waiting for me to produce its contents.

“None of your business, Abe, and you know it.”

Abraham Tate wasn’t really a bully, but sometimes power went to his head. That didn’t sit well, what with him being nosey and all. Plus, he seemed to think our lives were all like a plot in one of those penny dreadfuls he was always reading.

The boy next to me snickered. “It’s a picture of his daddy.” Tommy Jacobson. Now he was a bully.

Not to worry, I do plan on coming back to post another snippet from this one next week. But why wait? Pick up a copy of Escape using the links above!

24 March 2014

Writing Processes

I got tagged by fellow author and my favorite cover artist T. K. Toppin to participate in this blog hop about writing processes and what it takes to shape and produce a book. And now, on to the questions...

What am I working on?
Currently, I'm working on the fourth Aston West in-the-series novel, tentatively entitled Resurrection. But life wouldn't be all that exciting if I didn't have my hand in a dozen other projects at the same time. So, I'm also working on several new short stories to put into my next Aston West Triple-Shot. And on top of that, I've been working toward completion of another Aston West novella, Fallen. Outside of my series work, I've been teaming up with Lyndon Perry toward the completion of two more books in a series of novellas featuring orphan Max McCannor (with the first, Escape, just published). And I've been toying around with the idea of some other non-sci-fi titles. Busy busy!
 
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I often hear from folks who tell me they don't ordinarily enjoy science fiction, but they love my stories. I imagine that has to do with the focus on characters and not on the science. Additionally, I think my lead character Aston is not what your first choice for a hero would be. He doesn't fit the stereotype of the (as my favorite label from the "Firefly" series indicates) "big d*** hero" like most in the genre do. He's the everyman who just happens to get into more than his fair share of tricky situations, and I think that  resonates with more than a few readers who like to think that they, too, could be in the same boat.
 
How does your writing process work?
It varies, depending on what I'm working on. For longer works like novellas and novels, I usually develop a plot outline first (at least with my Aston West series, since most of my major characters have already been developed...for stuff outside of the series, I have to put together some character sheets beforehand). Sometimes I start directly with the plot outline. Other times, I start with index cards. Either way, I come up with a multitude of scenes I need to have happen in the story, and in a rough sequence. That's not to say that the process won't diverge from the plan along the way, but I always like to have a good idea of where I'm going so that I don't get lost in the jungle that is the writing process. Once I have the game plan, I just start writing, referencing back to my plot outline as needed.

For my short stories, I usually come up with the same type of scene list/plot outline, but it usually only takes up a single sheet of notebook paper. Then, the writing begins.

After the first draft is done, I wait a while and then get right back into editing over and over until I pull the trigger on publication.
 
And now it's time to tag someone else, so my co-author in the Max McCannor series Lyndon Perry, you're up!