Writing Wednesday: Middling Milestone Made

Last Week’s Goals Report

My blog posts posted on time, and I commented on others’ blogs, plus some extra likes for good measure.

Stories are cycling to the next market as they return to me.

Close Encounters of the Weird Kind is ready to go for its November 27th release. The collection of twenty-one alien related tales is available for preorder (at a promotional price) and a Smashwords PRESALE (for even less) – you can find the links on my CURRENT PROMOTIONS page.

Marketing efforts continue. I’m still participating in Indies Unlimited’s Thrifty Thursdays each week, even though I can’t tell whether I’m getting any traffic from it (heck, posting there is simple and free.).  “Purr Mission” appeared a second time on YourNewBooks.com (a week apart – not sure how that happened) and had another 14 FREE downloads and 1 rating. And from some unknown effort, I have gained another email subscriber on Mailchimp.

Also, as a result of my promoting SOMEWHERE, SOMEONE has bought one each of all my Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series on Amazon (except the free series starter, of course), so  I suppose that’s progress (after giving away 233 copies of “Purr Mission”.) I will rashly assume whoever it was LIKED “Purr Mission” enough to buy the other 9 stories – wish they had left a rating and review. Someday…

I wrote fiction on six days last week, and produced 4,340 words. Swordsmaster: Deception  is now over 50,000 words.

About That Milestone

Writing Wednesday is intended to serve two purposes.

Firstly, because every writer is different (and yet, quite often isolated from the rest of the world), there might be value in reporting on the various trials and tribulations I go through, how I go about writing, and methods that I have developed over time that seem to help me. I also hope to get a conversation going on occasion (although there seems to be some resistance to posting comments on my blog), because there are definitely times that I could use some advice from those of you out there who’ve found ways around roadblocks that are still impacting either my writing or some other aspect of self-publishing.

The second reason is to force myself to report on my adherence (or lack thereof) to my goals, both annual and weekly. As I’ve written many times before, I’m a big believer in the power of public humiliation, or at least the prospect of having to admit to failure. I try harder to reach my goals when I know (or at least believe) that others are watching to see whether I’m working toward those goals (let’s face it – it’s harder for me to try to fool other people than it is to fool myself, so I need someone outside my own head to help keep me in line (even if all the conversations are still happening in my head.

When I first started planning my annual goals, I also selected some milestones. A milestone is an achievement, but it’s one that you don’t have total control of – something like “I will sell a story to a traditional publisher”, or “I will gain one-thousand followers”, or “I’ll sell a thousand copies f my book.”

Earlier this year, I achieved a milestone by selling “A Background Poorly Written” to Daily Science Fiction (my very first traditional sale.)

Last week I achieved a second milestone. I’m not sure that I want to admit to this one, because it doesn’t exactly make me look like the most successful writer out there (I have no illusions – I am NOT very successful.) The milestone was for the total royalties from self-publishing my short fiction to reach what I considered the professional rate for selling a single, average length short story.

This was to give me some validation that I wasn’t wasting my time with self-publishing – that it was worth it to get those “magic pies on the shelf” instead of waiting for a publisher to buy one. At the time that I thought up this milestone, I considered an average length story to be 3,000 words, with professional rate being 5-cents per word. It looked like his would take little time at first – as the first royalties started coming in, my projection was that I would make this number in less than three years. But it took longer than that.

For those of you doing the math, this means that I have been waiting to accumulate $150 in royalties since I first started indie publishing in 2012. That’s right – IT HAS TAKEN ME 8-1/2 YEARS to earn $150 (this doesn’t count my one traditional sale, or my sales from my one novel – Swordsmaster, but it’s still the bulk of my royalties. Pretty sad, I must say…)

Obviously, I’m not doing this the right way, which is why I am working on learning better marketing practices. If I want to make this writing gig work, I REALLY need to do better.

Just saying…

Current Book Promotions

In a Flash Detective Jimmy Delaney eBook CoverPurrMission-MainTall_025 To see a list of promotions I’m offering on various books (including FREE starter eBooks for my Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series and my Detective Jimmy Delaney series), look HERE on my CURRENT BOOK PROMOTIONS page.

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