Posts Tagged ‘AAR’

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Much like last October, this October turned out to be less-than-impressive on the everything front. Were it not for the wonderful nation of Canada, I’d be seriously considering another line of way to waste two-to-five hours per day. Here are the pallid-hand-thrusting-unexpectedly-out-of-the-newly-covered-gravesite details:

October pretty much sucked, frankly. August and September (2015) ranked among my best months ever, revenue-wise, and I’d been hoping to carry my newfound respectability into America’s most recent fiscal year. Sadly, our seasonally-adjusted economic numbers sucked egregiously. In unison. Sorry, America (and me).

Thankfully, one of my neighbors to the north bailed me out, averting an economic catastrophe of epic proportions, one which could’ve potentially changed the face of North America forever…

Okay, maybe not so dramatic. But an intrepid reader in Canada (near the end of the month) sampled A World Gone Gray, and for that I’m eternally grateful. I hope he or she is currently enjoying it. I managed a sale of the aforementioned tome in America early last month, too, but it’s always nice to see my friends outside this particular patch of land (potentially) enjoying my stuff.

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Breaking News: I’m lazy. That’s my excuse for eschewing last month’s AAR, and I’m sticking to it. No legitimate court would convict me anyway, mainly because skipping a blog post is still perfectly legal in 47 of the 50 states. Anyhoo, to paraphrase the late, great Ernie Banks, let’s blog two [months’ worth of mostly useless information in one post]!

Strangely, August and September ended up in roughly the same place revenue-wise, but took completely different paths to their destinations. August started out with a mostly-ignored giveaway of The Transience of Youth, but plodded steadily forward from there, accumulating a respectable number of sales spread evenly throughout the month. September did its own thing — a couple of early sales followed by a huge spike in KOLL pages read, followed by crickets getting run over by tumbleweeds. All told, September beat August by about 20%. Sounds like great news on the surface, but those aforementioned cricket corpses impaled upon tumbleweed thorns are leaving me feeling a bit antsy for some reason…

On the social media front, I social-media-ed throughout both months. As per usual, I split my social media time evenly; 100% Twitter, 0% everything else. Does a consistent Twitter presence result in more sales? Does a bear speak Polish to the Pope in the woods? Nobody knows.

So, in conclusion, my last two months in the self-publishing fray have left me as confused as the preceding (almost[!]) two years have. I do the same stuff pretty much every month, then scratch my head while banging it against the wall and wondering what the hell the latest batch of information means. Here’s to next month and the wonders that await…

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So KDP went ahead and decided to change their whole payin’ the authors thing last month. On the plus side, it gives verbose writers (like me) a chance to get paid per page . On the other plus side, it makes the pizza delivery driver happy to see my address on his delivery app. Explanations follow.

I don’t ordinarily get this deep into the weeds, but what with the changes and whatnot, here are the hard numbers regarding last month’s attempts at selling my fiction of questionable merit:

A World Gone Gray: 2 sold, 4 borrowed via KOLL, 1765 pages read

The Transience of Youth: 74 free downloads

Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t record the actual KOLL borrow numbers per unit anymore, so I had to stalk my Reports and Bookshelf pages all month and assume a borrow occurred when AWGG (my best- [or, more accurately] only-) seller got a modest bump in the rankings. Last month’s Transience giveaway may or may not have affected AWGG‘s performance; one sale and two borrows took place during the three-day freebie thing. So the jury’s still out.

Bottom line, Broome. How much did you rake in last month?

Enough to order a one-topping pizza and give a struggling kid a decent tip. On a side note, that’s my best month money-wise in about a year and a half.

Pfft, you may say. And I tend to agree with you. However, I made inroads in countries I have a lingering fondness for. So there’s that. Four downloads in Germany and one in Italy. Dankes and ciaos (owing to my limited Italian skills) are in order. So thank you, mystery downloaders.

I’m sure you’re wondering most of all about that pizza delivery dude. Rest assured, he was tipped. Well. I may live in squalor, but I like to pay it forward when I can. Not the squalor, the positive stuff.

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June is a difficult month for punning. I’m sure there’s a clever June Cleaver or Benny & Joon reference I could drop that would perfectly sum up last month’s goings-ons, but frankly I’m too lazy to Google it. So here, in all its SEO-friendly glory, is some writin’ stuff.

As my mother and three other people may recall, I did the Kindle Countdown thing with A World Gone Gray last month. In my heart of arrhythmically-lub-dubbing hearts, I was hoping to hit double figures in sales\borrows for June, based almost exclusively on the aforementioned promotion.

Oh, so close.

All in all, though, I was pleased with the Countdown promo. There was a noticeable spike in interest in AWGG, and, for some strange reason (perhaps my terminal case of dorkiness), I found it just plain fun. Something different. However, my half-baked master plan of flooding Amazon with elaborate, multi-pronged assaults on potential readers by offering all of my wares at discounted prices next to an honest-to-goodness down-counting clock went a bit awry when I took a look at the fine print. It seems the good folks at Amazon aren’t too keen on you abusing their promotional tools.

Damn.

So, allow me to introduce you to Plan B. No, not that Plan B. This one…

 

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Here we are again, mid-month. That can mean only one thing — it’s time for another installment of What Happened Last Month in the Writerly Life of Self-Published Author #894752487652378465? Fear not, as there are answers anon. And below. Observe:

Not much.

Okay, that’s probably a little succinct. But things have been remarkably steady since I enrolled my humble scribblin’s in KDP Select a few months back. I’m not burning up the bestseller charts by any means, but a fair (to me, anyway) number of readers are taking a chance on my stuff via the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and parking my fiction of questionable merit in line behind the digital works of writers exponentially more talented than I. And for that, I bid them thanks. And a high-five. Couldn’t resist it.

The Age of the Crooked Number continued into May, and I may have found a way to continue it into June (he said foreshadowingly). A World Gone Gray, much to its cousins’ dismay, is still lording over them in the sales\borrow department, and seems to have firmly established itself as the alpha ebook of the pack. No news there.

On the social media front, I’m still social media-ing. Which in my case means Twitter. I’m up around 3,500 followers, which may or may not mean something. It only took me a year and a half to come up with the novel concept of adding a cover image to my tweets, and that seems to have increased the number of engagements I’m getting per tweet. Before you lapse completely into a coma, I’ll get to the point: there is none. I haven’t noticed any corresponding increase in actual sales and\or borrows. Sorry.

Remember that gun on the mantle way back in paragraph four? Well, it’s about to go off. But in a good and nonviolent kinda way. In fact, it could save you 25%, 50%, even 75% on A World Gone Gray. If you play your cards right…

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In between bouts of shoveling unseasonably-heavy amounts of snow and resisting the urge to punch the face of Winter Itself, I managed to do some self-published-writer-ish things last month. Here are the chilling details…

Actually, I can’t complain. I put another crooked number in the sales column, which is always a pleasant surprise. Appropriately enough, golfers in climes more temperate than mine would refer to said number as a snowman. Just like last month, all sales were of A World Gone Gray and came courtesy of the fine folks at Amazon (US incarnation). I’m sensing a theme here…

Speaking of the aforementioned theme, I deleted my books from Smashwords and their affiliates a couple of weeks ago, waited a while for the deletions to trickle their way down the affiliate stream, then enrolled all of my books in KDP Select. Again, nothing against Smashwords. I actually like them and their services quite a bit. I just wasn’t making any sales there, so the logical thing to do (after more than a year of crunching the numbers) was to go exclusively with Amazon. Needless to say (or type, in this case), I’m looking forward to seeing how the whole Select thing will affect sales, exposure, etc.

Again, I failed egregiously at keeping up with this here Web log last month. I’ve still been plugging away at Twitter, though. Again, I couldn’t tell you if 24/7 Twitter equates to more ebook sales or more pissed-off unfollowers. Who knows? As always though, it’s nice to discover other writers and artists (I can’t bring myself to include myself in that category — so alien) there. I mentioned in passing in last month’s AAR that I’m seriously considering publishing AWGG in paperback form via Createspace. I still may or may not do that. So there’s your update. Right there.

In all seriousness, I’d like to extend a cyber-handshake to any and all who perused my fiction of questionable merit in February. To those who spent their hard-earned cash on my words, you get either a cyber-fist-bump or a cyber-bro-hug. Completely dependent upon your level of comfort regarding personal space. Reader’s choice.

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It’s hard to believe I’ve been grinding away at this blog long enough to have to include years with my AARs for clarification’s sake. But there’s the proof, right there in the title. Here’s what happened last month…

On the bright side, I sold more books in January than in the previous four months combined. Unless you suffer (or benefit; who am I to judge?) from polydactyly, you’d be hard-pressed to count my sales of A World Gone Gray at AmazonUS on one hand. I’m sure lowering the price to 99¢ had a lot to do with the boost in sales. Although I didn’t quite crack the NYT bestseller list, it felt good to put a crooked number on the board. As always, thanks to all who took a look at my books. And extra-credit to those intrepid souls who wagered a bit of their hard-earned cash on my fiction of questionable merit.

On the social media front, I’m still lagging (obviously) when it comes to this here blog. I’ve been more consistent on Twitter, where I toss my humble wares into the digital void six or seven days a week. I haven’t discovered a correlation between Twitter activity and ebook sales yet, but I have discovered a lot of talented writers and artists and musicians and actors and comedians and directors…

So what’s your deal, Broome? Are you going to just keep on keeping on, or are you going to make some changes in regards to your writerly endeavors?

Glad you asked, though I kinda wish you’d’ve done it in a less awkward way. But yes. Yes I am. Regarding the changes thing.

Change the First: I’m done with Smashwords. I don’t have a problem with them; I’m just not selling anything there or at their affiliates. Well over 90% of my sales have come via Amazon, so it makes sense (to me, anyway) to put all my ebooks in one basket and take advantage of Amazon’s promotional tools. If exclusivity is the price I have to pay, I’m cool with it at this point.

Change the Second: I’m seriously considering releasing A World Gone Gray in paperback form. It’s by far my best seller (which ain’t sayin’ much), and I’m interested in seeing how it fares in physical form (#AlliterationNation). On top of that, I’m seriously considering releasing I Like Mike in ebook form. It’s a RomCom/political satire type thing that’s awaiting a final round of polishing and a cheap cover. I hope to have both secured by Spring. We’ll see…

Change the Third: I’ve finally started doing that thing where you type words and make a story and stuff. I think it’s called “writing,” but it’s been so long since I’ve done it I couldn’t tell you for sure. Anyhoo, I’ve been doing it consistently for a couple of weeks now. I’m hoping that means this hellacious case of writer’s block is unblocked. Only time will tell (he typed ominously…)…

Once again, many, many thanks to anyone who dared to read the stuff I wrote.

 

 

 

 

December 2014 provided me with my first full-month year-over-year sales statistics. It also provided me with many reasons to curse the literary Gods, hurl my copy of The Elements of Style to the ground in a huff, and vow never again to grace the InterWebs with my self-published genius. Then I took a deep breath, relaxed, and began the second paragraph of this blog post.

First, the gory year-over-year details:

December 2013 — A World Gone Gray: 18

December 2014 — A World Gone Gray: 1

For the math-challenged (myself included) that comes out to an 18:1 ratio. In the negative. Generally, one hopes to see improvement over time as far as sales of ebooks is concerned. Clearly, in this case, no. The possible reasons for this drop-off in sales are myriad. Maybe it was the favorable conditions provided by Amazon at the time of my first book launch becoming less-than-favorable over time. Exposure seemed to be at an apex when I released AWGG (Thanksgiving-ish, 2013), and I managed double-figures in monthly sales through March. Sales gradually dropped off after that, month-over-month, due in some part, I imagine, to the advent of Kindle Unlimited. Frankly, I have no idea what’s driving indie ebook sales at Amazon these days. All I can confirm is that the overall sales for AWGG over the 13.3 months of its existence resemble the right side of a bell curve.

Clearly, changes need to be made. The slipshod gameplan I had in place prior to my foray into this self-publishing thing has proved less-than-successful. In lieu of firing my offensive coordinator, head coach, and general manager, I’ve decided to…

 

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Since I went all verbose on ya’ll in my last post, I’ll keep this one short and sweet.

November, compared to the previous month that shall not speak its name (mostly because it’s a month and by definition can’t), went better than I anticipated it would. Imagine, if you will, my total sales were represented by fingers. One could conceivably (a) flash the peace sign, or (b) flip the double-bird, depending upon one’s current state of mind. For the sake of humanity, I hope one envisioned the former.

Anyhoo, I always get a kick out of selling books in OTA (Other Than America) countries, and I was pleased to sell one of the above-mentioned (albeit cryptically) copies of A World Gone Gray in the UK. The other sale of AWGG went to the US, as have the majority of my overall sales. Let the rivalry begin.

On the social media front, I sucked at blogging but rocked at Twitter. I know I need to pay more attention to the grind that is this blog thing, but Twitter is so fast and easy. I mean, look at the size of the Notifications on that one.

Honesty, I’m humbled to have sold two books to two (or one [jet-setting]) adventurous reader(s). It gives me the motivation to keep on keeping on, and it makes me want to write a better book next time. Sincere thanks.

 

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Let’s be honest, folks. October sucks. The entire month’s a blur of non-stop raking, complaining about the chill in the air, and cursing the birth of your favorite baseball team’s general manager. Sure, Halloween provides a sugar- and vandalism-fueled eleventh-hour respite. But otherwise? October is Suck City.

Speaking of suck, here are my sales numbers for the aforementioned month:

 

 

 

 

That wasn’t a glitch in the Matrix, and I didn’t pass out on the enter key; I simply failed to sell a single book during the entire month of October. Surprisingly, that’s my first shutout. As a semi-professional writer of fiction of questionable merit, I figured my first shutout would’ve come a half-year ago. At least. So in that respect, I consider myself lucky. On the other hand, I now know how every opposing batter felt while facing Madison Bumgarner last month. Helpless.

But October wasn’t a total failure. I received a nice four-star review of Like Life Itself (its first ever!) at Amazon UK on the first of the month, and picked up over 250 Twitter followers, which is awesome. I’ll never win the World’s Biggest Extrovert Award when some extrovert invents it, but I love discovering fellow writers in the Twitterverse and in Otherverses.

What does the future hold, you probably didn’t ask? I’m reevaluating Amazon, though their algorithms are obviously ten steps ahead of mine. After a hot start, my sales have been decidedly cold (see above) for the past nine months or so. Smashwords? Same story. I’m not quite ready to hit the Everything’s Free! panic button, but I fear I’m getting close. November will tell me a lot. I uploaded AWGG around Thanksgiving last year, so I’m (kinda) looking forward to the year-over-year sales numbers. We’ll see.

As always, thanks to everyone who took a look at my books. And huge thanks to the reader who reviewed my short story collection!