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Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Post OR a Pithy Title Hasn't Popped Into My Head OR Call This Blog Anything You Want Except Late to Dinner OR Some Stuff About Writing

Here I sit broken hearted, paid my dime, and hey, I digress.  I done digressed before I even got started.  (That does not bode well.)  I suppose I should warn people but what the heck.

I reached a milestone this month in sales.  I have sold over 100,000 novels and novellas.  (The illustration is a clue.  Don't tell anyone.)  Of course, that would be more interesting if I had sold 100,000 of the same novel but what the flipping farp am I complaining about?  The Bubba series and the Lake People series seem to be gaining in popularity.  Incidentally, I sell much better on B&N than on Amazon and I can't quite figure it out.  I look at figures and occasionally Google the names of the books because it seems like someone must have recommended it to someone else.  There's a whole lot of word of mouth going on.  (THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE FOLKS WHO TOLD SOMEONE ELSE!  YOU ROCK!  NO, REALLY, YOU ROCK!)  There's some luck involved and some serendipity, too.  There's also the emerging market of ereaders and there's the Internet which obviously has tainted most of us.  (I can't imagine what it must be like without my Android, my laptop, and my Kindle, not necessarily in that order.)  (I would probably sit on the ground and eat dirt and cry big gooey tears, but I may be digressing again.)

I'm going to talk about ebook sales in a few months to a group of people and I'm going to tell them, "You can do it, too," which I believe, but lord a writer has to be persistent.  Do these would-be authors really want to hear how many years I've slaved away at writing?  (Seriously putting myself out there since 1997, although I've been writing books since I was 14.)  Do they want to hear I went through two literary agents?  (I dumped the first one and the second one dumped me, which really makes me want to email the second one and write, "Nanny-nanny-doo-doo.")  Do they want to hear that I've lost count of the number of manuscripts I've got lurking around?  (At least twenty, maybe twenty-five, some of them are complete crap-o-rama?)

I recycled a pumpkin illustration/drawing from an old blog, but hey
it totally works.

No, I don't think they want to hear that.  I really hope they don't want to hear "It's easy!"  The horrific truth is that I work harder at writing and the business of writing now than I ever did before.  Networking.  Doing financial records.  Website.  Facebook.  Blog.  Writing.  Working with an editor/proofreader.  (I luv my editor/proofreader.  She's my angel.)  Working with a cover designer on some of the novels.

Okay I recycled again but I love using this one.
I don't think I ever thought about all the work that goes into a business.  It's going to be difficult for some people to understand that writing as an indie author is not just writing.  It's a business.  (That's almost a naughty word and some of my die-hard writing buds just gasped.  Loudly.  Some of them might have had a myocardial infarction.  Call nine-one-one if you have shooting pains down your left arm and your chest hurts.)  One needs to treat it as a business.  This year I'm going to incorporate because the IRS is looking at me.  I think they have the pool cleaner van up the street to see what I'm up to and no one has pools on the hill I live on now.  (Seriously, they have water falls, not pools.  But hey we have a view.)  I've been looking at ways of doing the incorporation and I'm starting to make buh-buh-buh noises when I look at the accounting involved.  I reckon it can't be all that difficult but I think I'm going to have to find a CPA to take care of business.
Get it?
Let me tell you about something else I have to do.  I think there's a fancy author's word for it that I don't know, but I'm compiling a character list for all of my worlds.  For example, I have Bubba's world.  It's got the name of the character, descriptions of the same, and details that I need to remember about them.  Bubba, specifically, is six foot four inches, and has a size 12 shoe.  I wouldn't have to remember that but I used the shoe size twice in the novels.  (Don't think I don't know what you potty minds are thinking right now.  You know who you are.)  He's also got brown hair and blue eyes and is not ugly to look upon.  He drives a 1954 Chevy truck that is an unbecoming green.  He owns a Basset hound named Precious or rather, she owns him.  So every character in the series has their own entry and guess what?  There's A LOT of characters running around in the books.

Recently I boo-booed (boo-booed being a highly literate and technical term for f**king up) and called one character by the wrong first name.  I won't say who but it was a minor character.  My editor/proofreader caught it in Brownie and the Dame.  Unfortunately I had put it incorrectly in my Bubba World document.  Therefore on my big list of Things To Fix, I have to go back and change the character's name to the right one in Bubba and the 12 Deadly Days of Christmas and Bubba and the Missing Woman.  Que bummer.  (A LOT of characters running around = oopsy-daisy.)

(A note to the person who complained there wasn't enough Bubba and Willodean in Brownie and the Dame: the novella was about Brownie.  It wasn't called Bubba and the Dame for a reason.  Fret not, however, more Bubba in the fall.  And I've got a great plot idea in mind for it.  GREAT!)

Let's see, where is this train of thought going?  Writing, teaching a class, bitching about someone who complained about Brownie, and whatnot.  (Would you rather me rant about home improvement again?  Because there's a great story about the last toilet we installed and the water fall we had in OUR KITCHEN!  I thought readers might be tired of my DIY woes.)

Anyway, sales = good.  Fans' word of mouth = wondrous sparkling rainbows of joy.  Teaching people how to make E-sales = possibly interesting or life threatening depending on one's point of view.  HI (AKA Home Improvement) = re-doing the popcorn ceiling in the kitchen because the people who put the second tile floor in the upstairs bathroom didn't raise the toilet flange up to the level of the floor.  Okay, I couldn't help myself, it slipped right in there, didn't it?  (How can I not write about HIM screaming up the stairs to shut off the water supply to the upstairs toilet "RIGHT NOW!  RIGHT NOW!  RIGHT NOW!"  Him used my rice cooker to catch the dripping water and now I have to buy a new rice cooker.  I liked that rice cooker but ewww.)


Tia Chandler said...

I don't know your politics, but all the posts on FB about how small business owners didn't build their business on their own are cracking me up. SO, your books are great, I love them, but did YOU really write them all by yourself??????

I "think" you will get the humor, if not, I apologize.

Sara S. said...

I'm thrilled for you that you've reached this milestone! Congratulations, and I for one will do my best to help you get to the next one a bit more quickly! Personally, I'm glad you're doing better on B&N than Amazon. I intensely dislike Amazon's proprietary nature. My first and main ereader is a Pandigital Novel, which can use any format except .mobi, of course, so my first stop for book shoppping is Smashwords, then B&N.

(I do have a Kindle that I bought used and only download freebies from Amazon so they're not making anything off me. And for the record - their "fabulous" pearl ink technology sucks compared to my Novel's readability!)

Ok, I feel better now that I've got my daily anti-Amazon rant off my chest, lol.

Keep up the wonderful writing, we'll be waiting!

P.S. - You do realize what it means when a man wears big shoes, right?

It means he also wears big socks!

Tammy Office said...

You are incredibly entertaining, whether you are blogging or noveling. I am so glad I found you and will keep recommending your work to my friends so that you can continue growing your business!

R. Mac Wheeler said...

I think i will email oBAMa (you know, the one who created the Internet so WE could praise the govment)...and ask help to reach my own 100,000 milestone (while I'm at it, I'm sure he [being so perfectly wise and all] will be able to give me some advice for your hang on)

Congrats on the 100K

And I'll keep my shoutouts...hmm...maybe I'll go do one when I hit Publish

- Mac (luv ya)

Carwoo said...

Thanks everyone!

T. L. Ingham said...

Congrats on a well earned and truly deserved milestone!! I became a fan (and discovered Smashwords as a result) through B&N, they make it so much easier to discover indie writers than many other venues. I recommend your books as often as possible and am incredibly grateful to you for the discovery of Snashwords allowing me to follow my own passion for writing. My milestones are currently triple digits but you encourage and inspire me!! I look forward to your blogs and your books as you always make me laugh and brighten my day!! Thanks!

Patti Mathews said...

This may be repetitive! But congrats! Iam also one who recomends your books constantly and also discovered smashwords via B&N because of your "Bubba" books. As always, when I finish one of the books, I am waiting with ' bated breath' for the next one. (I just finished Brownie & the Dame) Thank you for your imagination & humor!

Curmudgeon said...

I use a Nook, I like to buy cheap, and Bubba sounded just a bit off the wall. Glad I found your writing. You're an inspiration.