Earning Your Keep

For those of you who read my Facebook posts over at Rebecca P Minor, Author and Artist may have seen my update that I have "earned out" on my inaugural effort at published fiction, The Windrider Saga. (Meaning my publisher has been able to recoup the cost of producing my book through sales.) Now, this is not a giant amount of money that has moved around, since I am dealing with a small publisher who is using print-on-demand technology, but it is significant in that Diminished Media has been able to help me make available a book that isn't leaving them in the red, given the staggering number of books in the publishing industry that never "earn out." I am pleased that I have a very good chance of significantly surpassing the average performance of speculative fiction in the Christian market.

That all being said, however, I am keenly aware that I have reached the point where you might call the honeymoon over. Many authors I have spoken with have a strong start, only to see their books fall into obscurity six months after the release. I am pretty much at that six month mark now, given that Divine Summons released as an ebook in October of 2011. Anyone I know who was going to buy likely has. From here, how do the sales continue?

That seems to be the million dollar question in small publishing circles. So far, the answer I have seen that works better than anything else is: be prolific. And the irony is, with books to promote, the amount of time an author has to write gets a big, honkin' scoop taken out of it. But far be it from me to whine--better to have books to promote than to still be pounding the pavement with my first work, praying for a favorable glance from an agent or editor. But the excitement of new releases seems to generate sales for already-available work, so it's my hope that in having a summer release for another series I'm working on, and maybe an end of the year release of another Windrider book, I will be helping to build the momentum I need to take a serious stab at this author thing.

And if you were keeping track, yes, that means 3 books released in 14 months. That's my insane goal. From there, however, I will have nothing left in the works other than a sequel book to my summer release that is in woeful need of complete re-writing. That will have to wait for 2013, which promises to show a slow down in releases as I can see it from here.

But if I can keep it up, it's my hope that such insanity will feed the muse, satisfy my publishers, and perhaps even help feed my kids all at the same time.

Looking forward to the adventure!

Comments

  1. Nothing left in the works? You'll get to the end of your current story, and a few weeks later, an idea will hit. "What about that one dude? Where did HE come from?" And a whole new book unfolds in your head.

    I was reading reviews about a well-known author's first book. The first book, frankly, is really lame. But she was prolific and wrote like 30 other books, which of course improved in quality. So people read that lame first book out of loyalty, because they love the following books. I think you're off to a much better start, because your first book isn't lame. You can only get better from here, IMO.

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    Replies
    1. Well, I truly appreciate your assessment, Kessie, that my first book isn't lame. :) I do hope I can continue to build my craft and give myself a depth of ability I don't have now.

      And I agree, the ideas will keep germinating--I guess what I meant was more that I won't have anything else pre-written that I can pitch. I will have to start from scratch, which will slow the output down, for sure.

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  2. Where is the like button so that I can like both your post,Becky, and your comment Kessie. :-)

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  3. Becky, this is a great achievement. It not only shows the strength of your work, but the sensibility of your publisher. That statistic about the huge percentage of books that don't earn out has always puzzled me. I mean--and understand my background is inbusiness journalism--if your expenditures are not recouped by sales, then you reduce expenditures. It seems to me that Diminished Media was smart enogh to find the balance point between epenses and sales.

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