Trying Something New

Since I finished up the final draft of my horror novel, The Desolate, I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus. In the past I’ve found that it was a struggle forcing myself to write everyday, but now it seems the shoe is on the other foot and I’m finding it difficult to not write every day.

I have a tendency to overwork myself as it is, so the forced downtime has been good. Of course I haven’t been completely idle; I’ve worked out the rest of the outline for the sequel to my debut novel, Beyond the Badlands, and I fleshed out the outline for a novella I’ve had in the back of my head for the past six months or so.

This novella is what I want to talk about now. Continue reading

Opting (Back) In

KDP Select was introduced with a lot of hubbub surrounding it. Most folks who were against it seemed to dislike the exclusivity clause. That’s totally understandable if you’re selling in the other markets like B&N, Apple, Kobo, Smashwords and Sony. It would be foolish to give up all those sales for a few more borrows from Amazon.

Myself, I had absolutely no luck in those markets. My book was out there for months and sold virtually nothing outside Amazon. Exclusivity wasn’t a big jump for me, so I opted in. I made my book free for a day and moved over 1,300 units. Aside from a small bump in UK sales that had no effect on my paid sales.

I have, however, had some success with borrows. Last month I had 43 borrows at around $2.26 per borrow. Since opting in in mid-February I’ve had 133 borrows, earning me around $300 while providing readers free exposure to my work. Continue reading

“The Desolate” Is Finished

After seven months of hard work I finished the manuscript for my horror novel The Desolate this past Saturday.

It’s shorter than I expected, weighing in around 65k words (nearly 20k words shorter than Into the Badlands). I suppose some stories take more or less time to tell. It’s still a decent size for a novel.

The writing is some of the best I’ve done, I think. The prose is very tight and it reads very smoothly. Some chapters had as many as eight revisions before I was comfortable. It was tedious reading and revising the same thing over and over again, but it resulted in a much better story. Continue reading

Readers Win

After noticing most of the books I’ve read this year have been self-published I naturally asked myself the next logical question: why read them?

To support my fellow self-published writers?

Maybe.

Because they’re cheap?

Sort of, but I can afford more expensive books.

Because I want to brag that I have tons of books on my Kindle?

No, I don’t care about bragging or collecting.

I read them because they excite me. Continue reading

My 2012 Reading Has Been Almost All Self-Published

Now that I finished the manuscript for my latest novel, I’ve had some time to sit around and just think. As I did it occurred to me that since I bought my Kindle Touch this past Christmas I’ve read almost nothing but self-published books.

And you know what? They were all pretty damn awesome.

These books made me think. They were well-written, well-plotted, and well-edited. Let the dinosaurs bemoan the end of “quality” books all they want because they’re full of crap. Good self-published books are real.

Early in the year I read a collection of short horror stories called Fetal Bait Apocalypse by self-published horror writer Joel Arnold and had my mind pretty much blown. If you enjoyed Stephen King’s “Skeleton Crew” or “Night Shift” then you’ll love Arnold’s work. I followed this book up with his novelĀ Northwoods Deep and I wasn’t disappointed.

Arnold is one of the best horror writers I’ve discovered since buying my Kindle. Seriously, he’s that good. Continue reading

Transparency In Indie Publishing, May 2012

May brought with it exactly what I hoped it would: an increase in sales. Sales had been on a steady decline since January and I was a little unsure if the trend would change. My main seller is my one and only novel, Into the Badlands, with some minor supporting sales from my short story collection to round things out. Here’s a little graph depicting combined sales from September 2011 (when the novel was released) through May 2012:

Overall in April I sold 355 books. That number finally made an upswing; in May I sold 429 books. Continue reading