A Day in the Life

So, I am not an author every day.  I have a full time job and a social life when I can swing it, so sometimes my author life gets pushed to the side.  But some days, a lot of author-y things happen.

Like today.  I got up early and submitted information to ten websites that promote free Kindle books (my next free days are coming up at the end of the month).  I plan on submitting to a lot more over the next two weeks and hopefully one (or two or three) will bite and actually feature my book.  Increased exposure leads to more downloads, which can lead to a higher ranking after the promo ends, which leads to more visibility, which *hopefully* will lead to more actual sales.

After the tedious task of filling out form after form for those websites, I headed over to a photographer to get my professional and official Author Headshot taken.  We had a lot of fun with different poses and backgrounds, even some props!  Don’t worry, though, nothing cheesy!  I can’t wait to see how they turn out.  She said she should be able to get me the images to look over by next week and I’ll post the ones I like for you all to ooh and ahhh over.

From the headshot shoot, I went straight to work.  No author stuff there, but as I am not making enough money writing to support myself yet, it’s kinda author-y because my paychecks enable me to you know, eat and stuff, while I’m working on my next book!

And after I post this I’ll be leaving to meet with my critique group.  They are getting chapters 7 & 8 of The Maidening Ceremony.  I hope they are ready to just GUT it.  My first drafts are so terrible – I really depend on my critique groups (online and in person) to tell me what sucks and what is passable and what is actually pretty good.

When I get home, I’ll obsessively check my sales (AGAIN) on Amazon and CreateSpace and probably stop by the KDP forums to see if anything new and helpful has been posted.  And THEN, if it isn’t too late, I’ll either do some critiquing on TheNextBigWriter, or I’ll actually write!  Whew.

And that’s a day in the life of a new author.

A New Reason to LOVE Pinterest

I was browsing around some book blogger sites yesterday and one writer mentioned using Pinterest to create inspiration boards for her characters and books.  I thought, wait a second!  Another excuse reason for me to waste time on use Pinterest!  Sign me up!

Needless-to-say, I went on and created an inspiration board for my new WIP, Lark.  I didn’t look for anything intentional, just browsed my friends pins, the “Everything” tab, and the “Popular” tab.  And I found quite a bit of useful inspiration.  Most of it was for the MC, Honor, but I’ll probably do some more digging this weekend to collect inspiration for the other characters, namely Sedric (and Zara), Bonnie (and Caron & Lang), and Valor ( and Mabry, Shyla, & Handor).

Check out the Inspiration for Lark board HERE.  Feel free to follow that board, or all my boards, and I’ll follow you back.

Found on Pinterest - Inspiration for Honor's haircut
Found on Pinterest – Inspiration for Honor’s haircut

First Month Stats

internet-statistics_1July is over.  My first month of self-publishing is over.  I’m hoping that sharing my findings will help those out there considering self-publishing.

I enrolled in KDP Select for the e-book.  I choose the 70% royalty option and priced the e-book at $2.99 US, with comparable prices for other markets (UK, France, Germany, Canada, etc).  My royalty for the e-book is approximately $2.03.  I used 2 of my five free days early in the month, on July 3rd and July 6th.  My thought process for the free days being that people would be on (or about to be going on) vacation, likely a beach vacation, and would be looking for something easy to read.

For the paperback, I went with the publish-on-demand (POD) service CreateSpace.  I priced the book at $10.99 US, again with comparable prices for other markets.  My royalty for the paperback when ordered through Amazon is $1.90 (no one has ordered it through CreateSpace, so I won’t worry about their royalty).

Now the good stuff – the stats.  Here are all the details from the first month:

Money Spent

ISBN for the paperback – $10.00

Proof copy of the paperback – $8.28

Business Cards (with Title of Book, link to Amazon’s page where people can buy the book, and all of my Social Media contact info) – $49.52, purchased through Staples online print center (500 cards)

Copies of the paperback for Gifts, Giveaways, and In-person sales – $187.65 (35 copies)

Shipping of a paperback copy to a Book Reviewer – $2.75

Total Costs: $258.20

E-books Sold

USA – 64 copies

UK – 267 copies (that’s right, they like me in the UK)

Canada – 4 copies

Total Sales: 335

Royalty Total: approximately $680.05 (this is calculating $2.03 royalty for each copy, though the exchange rates may cause some differences.  I’ll know a firmer total when I receive the report on the 15th)

E-books Borrowed

USA – 3 copies

UK – 5 copies

Total Borrows: 8

Royalty Total: Not sure what the payout will be for borrows yet, I’ll find out in my monthly report around the 15th, I believe.  The average for the past couple of months (according to KDP community message boards) is approximately $2.00 per borrow, so $16.00

Free Downloads over 2 days

USA – 487

UK – 152

Canada – 4

France – 10

Germany – 14

India – 3

Total Downloads: 670

Royalty Total: $0.00, duh 🙂

Paperbacks Sold

Through CreateSpace – 18

Royalty Total: $34.20

In-person by me – 12 + 2 copies that were given with a promise of payment later (I know where they live!)

Royalty Total: (I spent $5.34 on each copy and charged $10.00 when selling them) $55.92

Total Sales: 30

Paperbacks Given Away

3, though I have plans to give a few more away

Royalty Total: $0.00 again


Approximately $527.97.  For someone who never expected anyone to even read my book, let alone pay for it, I am REALLY happy with that number.  Even though I won’t actually see the money for a couple of months (Amazon doesn’t pay out until 60 days after the end of the month in which the royalties are made and CreateSpace is 30 days after the end of the month in which the royalties are made).


I did very little marketing.  I posted the link to the book on my personal facebook page and several friends and family members shared it.  I then created a Facebook Author fan page, a Twitter account, and a Goodreads author page.  I asked on my facebook pages for friends to leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads IF they read and enjoyed the book.

11 reviews have been posted on Amazon, all 5-star, 10 by people I know.  The one person who I didn’t know, heard of the book through a friend of a friend.

14 ratings have been posted on Goodreads, with 5 actual reviews.  (10) 5-star, (1) 4-star, (1) 3-star, and (2) 1-star.  (5) of the 5-star ratings are from people I know, the rest are from strangers.

I’ve listed 2 giveaways on Goodreads.  The first giveaway is for the US and Canada, for 5 copies.  I started it on July 8th and it will end on August 8th.  So far, there are 758 entries.  The second giveaway is for the UK, for 1 copy.  It started on July 15th and will end on August 15th.  So far, there are 98 entries.

483 people have added Twenty-Five to their bookshelves on Goodreads.

I have two book bloggers doing reviews, but those will not appear until next week at the earliest.  From what they’ve said in our email exchanges, it sounds like the reviews will be positive, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed there.  But, even bad publicity is good publicity, right?  I’m raising the prices on both the e-book and paperback tomorrow, and doing 3 more free days on Amazon the last weekend of August.  I’m going to reach out to sites that promote free e-books before the second free promotion, which I did not do with the first 2-day promotion.

I did not tinker with the book’s description, cover, or tags in the first month, though I may once the higher price kicks in if I see that sales have dropped.

So, that’s it.  My first month of self-publishing all laid out.  I said in my last post I was happy I’d done it and I’m even happier today.  I am so proud of myself and my book for taking a chance and taking the leap.  These numbers are modest, I know, but they are mine.  And they are more than I expected, especially the e-book sales in the UK.  I can’t wait to see what the next month brings.