Archive for the ‘Sales’ Category

Back in this post I said I’d give an update after my Bookbub in October, which was for Shatterwing, Free, USA only. See previous Indie publishing post here.

I think my earnings for September were higher than I first anticipated because iBooks mixes up the currencies and it isn’t until you get the invoice notice that you know what you are being paid. I think I estimated $76 from iBooks and it was more like $126. Also, I didn’t twig that Amazon hadn’t paid me any US earnings…I guess I wasn’t too vigilant or whatever. The deal is that for all payments except for Australian sales I have to wait until I hit the $100 or equivalent. In October, I was paid out my USA earnings from April 2016 until August 2017. This is what I mean when I say notional earnings. There are timing differences and minimum amount requirements before you actually see any money.

In October, I bought Patty Jansen’s Indie publishing book called, Self Publishing Unboxed, The Three-year, No-bestseller Plan for Making a Sustainable Living From Your Fiction and read it. (link to the book is here)

I bought the second book which is focussed on Newsletters etc. The second book is a bit advanced for me but I’ll get there.

I’ve been receiving Patty’s advice for a while. She’s probably the reason I am where I am now. She has some very practically and insightful advice no matter where you are in the process. Her book gave me a few gems. Such as I opened up a dedicated bank account as per the book and I’m so pleased with that. I have changed over all the payments to that account and linked it to Paypal and have a debit card. This means that my Instafreebie dues come out of that account instead of my personal credit card. It means when I look at my accounts I can see my book earnings. You can’t imagine how exciting that is. Instead of them being swallowed up by bills or spending them. May aim is to be able to pay for my edit of Skyfire with my earnings. I think I’ve reached that goal, or I will when all the money comes through. I may even have enough for the proofreading costs too. In that I have reached my first goal, to support my creative life with my earnings.

The other thing that Patty has put me onto recently is Mark Dawson’s podcast ‘Self Publishing Formula’. I have found them to be useful and inspiring. When I get more time I’m going to implement a lot of that advice. Mark Dawson runs courses etc but I’m probably not there yet in terms of earnings and output.

So the Bookbub result. In all over 27000 copies of Shatterwing were downloaded. I had immediate sell through, though conversion wise iBooks was higher. I made the cost of the Bookbub back in a couple of days. Amazon reporting is the quickest, others I have to wait for like iBooks, Draft2Digital (which is just Barnes and Noble sales I think) and Streetlib for Googleplay.

Estimates of downloads per vendor

Amazon 20,000

ibooks 2,400

Google Play 2,800

Barnes and Noble 2000

Kobo 500 (note the free download counter isn’t working properly).

Sell through is still occurring. For example, including the November sales so far, I have half a per cent on Amazon. It’s not much but considering level of sales before it’s good. I expect that to increase by the end of the month. Whereas iBooks was 1.5 per cent straight off and will rise by the end of the month.

By conversion I mean people who get book one who go on to buy book two. The conversion after that is really good. For example, if they buy book two they pretty much by the rest of the series.

The good news for readers is that I’m writing Book Five, Skyfire at the moment for NaNoWriMo. I was going to write them during next year but as I was fishing around for a project for NaNoWriMo I figured I owe it to my readers. One reader left me a message of Goodreads asking what the timetable was for the rest of the series. And some lovely readers left messages on my Facebook page leaving lovely comments. They all helped me to decide on that. I was going to write a contemporary romance. Another time perhaps.

Other things that happened as a result of the Bookbub. I went from one follower on Bookbub to 88 and it is still rising. People who follow you on Bookbub get an email when you have a new release and also when you have a Bookbub deal. That’s awesome.

I’m still small bickies but I’m growing my readership which is what I want. I just have to finish the PhD and then there will be no stopping me. I have two series that I’m thinking of publishing and I have another novel that needs polishing with a possible series after that. Then there are the ideas for prequels and sequels to the Silverlands and Dragon Wine. I just hope I hold up physically.

Earnings for October I estimate at over $1500.

I will also get paid out accrued British Pounds as well as USD because I made more than 100 in each currency. So cash wish a bit more than that.

This is enough to fund my edit!

I forgot to mention that I had an iBooks promo early in the month in Australia. I had around 1700 to 2000 downloads, with follow on sales. I don’t know the conversion rates. Last time I looked it was around 2 per cent but I haven’t updated the figures.


On the day my Bookbub results were coming through I was in absolute agony with sciatica. I’ve never experienced anything like that. It should have been an awesome day. I’m really grateful for the chance to promote the books to new readers via Bookbub. It was totally worth it. I have submitted Argenterra for a Bookbub and been rejected. I’ll just have to keep on trying. Perhaps next year when the rest of Dragon Wine is out I’ll get another Bookbub. You have to wait 90 days between promotions.



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I have known for a while that an Indie Publisher’s work is never done. I’m living the dream baby! Yeah! So much to do!

Bloodstorm, Dragon Wine Part Four was uploaded today and is now live on Amazon. I’ll pop by tomorrow and update the links in the My Books section. Next steps. I’ve booked Bloodstorm in for Smashwords formatting. I really don’t know why I bother because I don’t sell books on Smashwords, but you never know! I could be wrong.

Tomorrow evening I start the layout for the print version of Bloodstorm. I need to get that done and printed before I leave in 14 days. Yes, I’m off to Worldcon 75 in Helsinki in exactly 14 days. I’m so stressed. There is so much to do! But I’m also excited to be going. I just got back from New Zealand yesterday. I had an interesting trip stranded in Wellington during a storm. Lucky some SF friends came to the rescue. Thank you Lynelle and Ross! I would have been so sad, and wet and cold, without you. Photos for another post.

Tomorrow I’m back at uni and I have so much to do!

Now specials. I asked Escape Publishing to put Spiritbound (a Dani Kristoff novel) and Rayessa and the Space Pirates on special. That’s right people. 99 cent until 31 July so get in quick. This is a rare event. I don’t think Spiritbound has ever been reduced before and Rayessa was last 99 cents years ago.

The only links that seem to work for me is Amazon and iBooks.

Here we go:

Rayessa Amazon  iBooks.

Spiritbound Amazon   iBooks

Or try Escape Publishing for other retailers.

And if you want to try Argenterra,  The Silverlands Book One, which is an portal fantasy, it is on Instafreebie for free. Instafreebie require newsletter sign up. Link.

If you want to try Shatterwing, Dragon Wine Part One, my dark fantasy series, it is on Instafreebie for free. Instafreebie requires newsletter sign up. Link here.

And I have The Sorcerer’s Spell by Dani Kristoff for free on Instafreebie. This is a sexy paranormal romance. Link.


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I first tried to write a novel when I was 19 or 20. I’d thought up a Star Wars story and as I sat down to write, with pencil and paper. Then I thought I’m not smart enough. I had no idea what it was to be a writer and my love for reading was only a few years old. I had a young son and I think I was pregnant with my second. So I put down the pencil and chucked the paper away.

When I turned 40, I had just changed jobs and my youngest daughter was 18. My life was at a turning point. I was locked in traffic and I asked myself, what do you want to do with your life? My answer was I want to write. My first attempt then was a Scottish Historical Romance, which I loved reading. I wrote probably 700 words and thought -this is crap. Again i gave up. I didn’t have what it takes. That was in May 2000. Around November, I had an idea, a character appeared in my head and wouldn’t let me go. It was a science fiction story, with some alien sex (lol).  I started writing, and writing. About 20,000 words in, I bought a book called ‘How to write a novel’ and it was basic. It talked about length, about number of chapters and I sat down and worked out I had enough plot for a novel. I wrote about 100,000 words in 6 weeks. It was shit though. A download from my brain. But I’d written something with a beginning, middle and an end. The next 13 years have been about learning the craft, about exploring writing, building up skills etc.

I sent Relic (the name of the first novel) out for a manuscript appraisal and I started a fantasy novel, which was really hard work. Somehow fantasy was harder. I wrote that while waiting for the feedback. I wrote short stories. The first of which Trent Jamieson published in Redsine. Short stories were my thing for many reasons. I had lots of ideas. The genie had been let out of the bottle. Short stories were a good way to improve my writing, learn writing and being edited and getting feedback.

I kept writing. Revising Relic was a huge task a first, seeming much bigger than actually writing it. I mean there were incomplete sentences, wrong words and it was very first novelish. What do I mean about that? Well the character was in a room and the pacing was so slow, too detailed, that’s very first novelish. There was also info dumping etc. I probably revised it 50 times over the years. (more on Relic and its future journey in a later post).

In my early years, I had romance novel ideas. I never wrote them. I didn’t research romance writing, markets, conventions nothing. Because Relic was supposedly SF and feminist SF at that, my career seemed to be in the speculative fiction vein. Argenterra, which is the second novel I wrote was a fantasy with romance, rather than a fantasy romance. You see, I did enter it in a competition in the US, Rowena Cory Daniels back then used to feed information into the spec fic networks so I entered. Again I thought I’m not good at this. I kept writing. I had more stories in the back of my mind. Category romances. SF romances. I kept telling myself that one day when I’m a full time writer I’ll be able to try romance too. I even joked with myself as another novel remain unsold, that wouldn’t it be funny if I was actually a good paranormal romance writer. I dabbled in some paranormal shorts in spec fic markets. They were published but it was just something that I might do in the future.

In November 2011, for NanoWriMo I start writing a contemporary romance (again encouraged by good friend) . I think the MS stinks. I didn’t finish it as I got RSI. It was hard. I kept wanting to put a ghost in there or a vampire. I’d been working on a paranormal romance for a couple of years, mostly not working on it. I thought it was too hot for publication. (it was before 50 Shades of Gray)  That MS is completed now though.

Fast forward. No novels in spec fic published. Publishing going through major upheavals and structural changes. My friend, Nicole Murphy encourages me to go to the Romance Writers of Australia conference in 2012. Enter Harlequin’s Escape Publishing and I have Rayessa and the Space Pirates published. Wham. Bam.

Flood gates open. I am writing whatever I like. I still have a dark epic fantasy there looking for a home, but I just write. I’ve written a paranormal romance coming out 1 February with Escape ( http://danikristof.wordpress.com ).

I have another sexy paranormal novel out there looking for a home. I’ve got an agent representing my young adult/steampunkish/Victorian gothic horror/romance. I’ve had to publish the paranormal under another name, but OMG!!!  I’m writing romance, paranormal romance, science fiction, whatever. I’m writing.

That’s the funny thing about writing. Just write. Don’t hold yourself back for silly reasons– like I only write this genre.  Do it now. Don’t wait. It’s like saying I’ll paint landscapes when I retire. Why wait? Just go for it?

Do I regret not pursuing the romance writing earlier? Maybe, I’m not sure. Regardless I had to learn how to write. I cut my teeth on speculative fiction. But maybe, just maybe, I’ll earn an income from writing romance. Watch this space.

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A while ago, I tweeted about receiving cry worthy happy news. Now I can talk about that news. I submitted a science fiction, young adult, romance novella to Harlequin Escape, a very new digital publisher, and it was accepted. Indeed, I did cry. I think it was from shock because I was in the car park at Queanbeyan and saw an email come in on my iphone. I thought I’ll read that rejection in the car. I thought there would be comments. As I sat in the car and scrolled through the message, I did a double take because it was an acceptance. So yes I cried a little bit in the car and rang Matthew to tell him the news. He brought me home lovely flowers. I might have a picture of these. Here it is. My first flowers from Matthew and they were lovely.

A congratulatory gift

I understand my title is due out in January. I can’t say what the title is because it is not official yet. I want to thank Romance Writers of Australia for it was their annual conference in August where I heard about this opportunity. I want to thank Harlequin for really going out there and taking risks with cross-genre works. I also want to that Nicole Murphy for basically twisting my arm to go to RWA Aus in August. I have been writing like a mad person ever since (I am that inspired). My house has not been cleaned properly since as a result. Long live the dust mites!

The next post will be about the fantastic, awesome and stunning launch of Harlequin Escape last night. I need to cook dinner first.

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