Monday, November 28, 2011

Cover art draft for Where Magic Reigns

Igor Kieryluk did the great cover art for both my full-length novels (Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance and The Elemental Odyssey). Now he’s working on the cover for the second Tales of Zura book, Where Magic Reigns.
Here is the initial draft. Not all of the elements are in it yet.

Looks great! And I know it will be even better when Igor completes it. What do you think? Wondering who that is with the flaming hand and the dark staff? You’ll have to buy the book to find out.
Joel Palmer has finished editing the book and I just need to get some time to integrate those edits. Hopefully, I can have that finished next week.
I haven’t posted very frequently recently, but I’ve been distracted by work and a very enjoyable vacation, among other things.
I’ve been working on some guest post exchanges with a few other writers. If you’re one of those writers, I apologize for not posting your posts yet. Soon, though! I just have to figure out when to write my guest posts!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Self-publishing or legacy publishing? Show me the hypothetical money!

I have a year’s worth of sales data to assess the results of my self-publishing efforts. I thought it would be a fun exercise to compare my actual self-publishing revenue results with a hypothetical legacy publishing contract. That is, assume that I could have gotten an agent and publisher.

Let’s take a look at my full-length novel, Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance, because I have the most data on it.

Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance Actual Self-Publishing Results

I self-published Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance in November 2010.

I have spent $1,550 on editing, cover art, and advertising.

I’ve grossed about $5,347, for net royalties of $3,797.

Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance Hypothetical Legacy Publishing Results

Let’s say that I was incredibly lucky and got an agent and publisher back in November 2010. I don’t think that’s too likely, because I was an unknown, untested author with a cyberpunk novel, but let’s just say it happened.

Let’s also say I got an average $5,000 advance.

The publisher absorbs all the expenses, so my only expenses are my agent’s cut of $750.

That leaves me with $4,250.

Let's compare!

So, if my hypothetical scenario actually happened, I’d be doing a bit better monetarily if I had gone with legacy publishing.

Of course, it’s possible my book wouldn’t even be for sale yet, since it can take 6 – 18 months for a publisher to get a novel on the shelves.

Knowing what I do now, would I go back in time and instead pursue an average publishing deal?


My hypothetical scenario makes a major assumption that I do not think is remotely likely.

The cyberpunk genre is not a popular one, and I don’t think most publishers would even give it a look. I expect that, had I struggled in the query letter carousel, I would not have found a publisher yet. Look at Joe Konrath. He had 500 rejections over many years before he found a publisher, and he was writing in a popular genre. I believe that I would still be searching for a publishing deal, and collecting a growing pile of rejection postcards.

In the far more likely hypothetical scenario, my legacy publishing career would still be spinning wheels with $0 in advances.

So, I’m still happy I self-published. As I publish more books, I think I’ll be even more happy.

Are you happy self-publishing?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

October 2011 sales report

October was my 13th month selling ebooks.

I sold 513 copies of 4 different titles. That’s a decrease of 27% from September.

My royalties also declined from $748.73 to $595.23.


My average sales per day were 23.5 in September and 16.5 in October.

So, I’m still seeing a steady decline in sales, same as the last several months. I don’t have much more to say that I haven’t already.

I’m looking forward to see how the release of Where Magic Reigns impacts sales of The Elemental Odyssey. Where Magic Reigns will be the first full-length novel sequel, so I’m hoping to see some improvement in sales for TEO.