Making Writing Work

A while back Joe Konrath put out a call for guest posts for his blog. This was mine. Unfortunately the day before I was going to send it to him he ended up writing a post with a similar message. I decided to go ahead and post it here anyway. It’s geared toward other writers, like most everything else on this blog. Hope you like it.

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My name is Brian J. Jarrett. You’ve probably never heard of me.

I’ve never been published in a magazine of any kind. I’ve never had a story published in a collection. I’ve never had a novel published by anyone.

I’ve never once sent a query letter to anyone. Ever.

I wrote my first short story in grade school, then started writing more seriously in high school. After graduation I wrote a bunch of short stories and a novel. I thought about trying to become an author, but ultimately I gave up on that dream. I ended up going to college and becoming a computer programmer instead. Continue reading

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Into the Badlands is succeeding far beyond my wildest dreams. Of course I wanted it to do well, but I also want to win the lottery when I play. I don’t ever expect to actually win anything.

Here’s a screen shot of today’s rankings:

The book broke the 3000 mark in the entire Kindle paid store for the first time ever today, reaching #2,819 out of more than 750,000 paid titles. It also remains for more than two weeks in the top 100 Psychological Thrillers bestsellers category, reaching a new record of #59.

To make this even better, the book has also broken into the top 100 Kindle Horror bestsellers and the top 100 Horror bestsellers overall (including non-Kindle releases). It’s done this before on one or two occasions, but #79 and #90 (respectively) are all-time highs.

This means that I’m sharing the top 100 Horror list with some of the authors I most read and respect. Want to see something mind-blowing? Continue reading

“Into the Badlands”…Now in Paperback

I wrote this audacious post back in September about how I didn’t see any reason to publish on paper. At the time I felt pretty strongly about it. Despite selling more books than I had expected, I wasn’t selling boatloads of them, so it seemed a bit vain to go through the trouble of making a paperback no one would buy.

Then something happened; a couple months passed and I sold my 500th copy of Into the Badlands.

After that I rethought things. By then more people had asked for a paperback and since the book was actually selling on the Kindle it seemed like there might be some demand. It seemed less vain to do it. I also felt more compelled to make the book available in every format possible, so as to not alienate any potential readers. Continue reading

Transparency In Indie Publishing, Dec. 2011

Last month I started a series I’m calling “Transparency In Indie Publishing”. The purpose: to provide insight into one independent author’s experiences. Back in November’s post I mentioned how things had gone up to that point and where I thought things would go in December.

I’m glad to report that my predictions were way off.

I predicted I might sell 300 copies of my novel, Into the Badlands within the month of December. I felt that was a generous estimate. Turned out, it was low. In total I sold 411 copies across all channels in December, more than the prior three months combined.

Virtually all of those were sold through Amazon. Nook sales did increase a little, but in the end Into the Badlands only sold 5 copies, an increase of 1 from the prior month. The Nook continues to disappoint compared to Amazon. Continue reading