Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Making Money as a Self-Published Author

A report came out last week based on a survey of self-published authors. The Guardian composed an article based on the results, stating the following:

“But a survey of 1,007 self-published writers – one of the most comprehensive insights into the growing market to date – found that while a small percentage of authors were bringing in sums of $100,000-plus in 2011, average earnings were just $10,000 a year. This amount, however, is significantly skewed by the top earners, with less than 10% of self-publishing authors earning about 75% of the reported revenue and half of writers earning less than $500.”

The Digital Reader responded to that article, noting that it focused only on certain aspects. In response to half of the authors earning less than $500, they offered this thought:

“The thing is, no matter how little those authors made while self-publishing their ebooks, on average they are almost certainly better off than if they did not have the option of self-publishing.”

Of course, investment in a good editor and book cover artist more or less eats that $500. However, it gets the author’s work out into the marketplace, and as they continue to write and publish books, their total sales per year will grow.

Another interesting factor in sales was the writer’s original publishing path. Authors who were traditionally published first made more money than those who tried the traditional publishing route and were rejected. Authors who never pursued traditional publishing also made more.

What do you think of this survey and its findings?

Friday, May 25, 2012

My Next Project and Ciara Knight's Book Cover

The final stop this week is with Allie Casey where I discuss my next project - one that’s been a long time coming!

Today we also reveal the cover art for Ciara Knight’s new book, Weighted. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Weighted is a young adult post-apocalyptic with paranormal elements. It is a prequel novelette to The Neumarian Chronicles, and will be released August 2012. Book I, Escapement, will be released in 2013.

The Great War of 2185 is over, but my nightmare has just begun. I am being held captive in the Queen’s ship awaiting interrogation. My only possible ally is the princess, but I’m unsure if she is really my friend or a trap set by the Queen to fool me into sharing the secret of my gift. A gift I keep hidden even from myself. It swirls inside my body begging for release, but it is the one thing the Queen can never discover. Will I have the strength to keep the secret? I’ll know the answer soon. If the stories are true about the interrogators, I’ll either be dead or a traitor to my people by morning.

Add Weighted to you Goodreads shelf

And your photo image of the day: 

"How do I reach it?"

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's All About the Speaking Engagements & Industry News

Today my stop is at Tina Games’ BLOG I cover some of the speaking opportunities I’ve had over the years.

Industry News and Interesting Articles:

Amazon Under Pressure to Relight the Fire at Seeking Alpha

Barnes & Noble Launches 16th Annual Summer Reading Program: Imagination's Destination at Book Business

Books-A-Million is still surviving at Publishers Weekly

Have you ever done a speaking engagement? Does the thought of standing in front of a crowd of people scare you? I’ll share this with you: 15 years ago I would’ve been terrified. Now I absolutely love it.

Your photo inspiration for the day:


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Writers Beware!

Today my stop is at Life as Leels as I warn writers to beware of the different publishing paths at Leila Brenner’s site.

After teaching publishing and promoting seminars for over five years, it still amazes me how little writers sometimes know about the publishing industry. I hope that my guest post at Leila’s site really helps.

And on a sad note, a blogger friend of mine, Eric W. Trant at Digging With the Worms just lost his 18 month old son. Eric, my heart and prayers go out to you!

Today’s photo:

From the riverboat cruise in Wilmington, NC.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Typical Writing Day

Today I am visiting Launch Pad Publishing and discussing The Evolution of the Typical Writing Day with Faye Levow.

(And my guest post yesterday with Irene Roth is now available for those who missed it.)

Some people have very structured days and set writing goals. I’ve been self-employed for 13 years now, so a schedule went out the window for me. No two days in my week are the same. At first it was chaos, but I learned to make the chaos my balance.

Those of you who are writers, do you have a set time you write? Do you plan your days to a schedule?

I also wanted to note this upcoming blogfest from two very wonderful authors, Hart Johnson and Elizabeth Spann Craig - The Crazy Cozy Blogfest. They have teamed together to celebrate the release of their books on June 5th.

And your photo for the day:


Monday, May 21, 2012

The Beginning of an Idea and Industry News

This week I am on tour and today’s stop is at Irene Roth's Fearless Freelance Writing Tips Blog It's up now!!!

I discuss the beginning of an idea (and what inspired me to write Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK!) with Irene Roth.

Industry News:

Brian Jud offers 33 Tips for Profitable Publishing at Book Business

A cool Pinterest infographic that shows self-publishing vs. traditional HERE

And an image for inspiration!

(Taken at a recent Carolina Mudcats game.)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Spunky on Tour!

It’s been two years since I did a book tour, so this is really special. I am on tour for Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK! The Keys to Leadership & Goal-Setting. During April’s A to Z Challenge, I’d offered leadership and goal-setting tips from the book and everyone seemed to enjoy them.

This tour focuses more on the writing process and balancing it all when one is more than just an author. Chaos is the balance for me and I invite you to share my journey:

May 18 - My First Book
I discuss characterization with Misha Gericke

May 21 - Irene's Inspiring Book Reviews and Author Interviews
I discuss the beginning of an idea with Irene Roth.

May 22 - Launch Pad Publishing
I discuss the evolution of the typical writing day (for me anyway) with Faye Levow.

May 23 - Life as Leels
I warn writers to beware of the different publishing paths at Leila Brenner’s site.

May 24 - Tina M. Games
I talk about my speaking engagements and what I’m doing now with Tina Games.

May 25 - Communicate with Confidence
I discuss my next project - a publishing and promoting book - with Allie Casey

My focus the past few years has been my speaking engagements, as that is where I’ve been able to share what I’ve learned after almost ten years in the publishing industry and ten years with a motivational training program. I hope that you’ll follow along and learn from my triumphs and mistakes. Better to follow someone through the minefield than venture out alone!

Today, please join me at My First Book for tips on how to create believable characters.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The First Loves Blogfest

I’m posting today for the First Loves Blogfest, hosted by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh. We are to name our first loves in movies, music, books, and people.

First love movie:
Born Free

This is one of the first movies I ever remember watching. I have always loved animals, especially cats, and the story of Elsa stuck with me emotionally. (My husband doesn’t like me to watch it because I spend half the movie crying. Yes, I’m aware that Elsa doesn’t die in the movie. But she dies in the NEXT movie and that is so sad.)

First love music:

I really wasn’t into popular music until someone gave me an Electric Light Orchestra 45 for my 12th birthday. “Turn to Stone” became an instant favorite and I had to have the album. Then I had to have all of the albums. I was hooked! Fell in love with many of their songs, including 10538 Overture. (So imagine my delight when one of my favorite bands, Def Leppard, did a cover of this tune a few years ago. Joy!)

First love book:
The Chronicles of Narnia

A friend introduced me to this series shortly after my father died, when I was about eleven. After my father’s passing, my perception of the world changed and I became more ‘aware.’ Enter a series that took me to a fantastic, magical world while laying down Christian principles and ideals. My imagination took off from that point, leading me on many great adventures. The movies haven’t been perfect, however - watching previews for the very first one and hearing Aslan roar sent chills down my spine and brought tears to my eyes.

First love person:
My father and my husband

Before he died, I followed my father everywhere. I wanted to do whatever he was doing. I could spend hours in his workshop (he was a carpenter by trade) just quietly polishing his rock collection while he worked. I adored him and it’s a shame I never got to know him better.

My first romantic love was my husband. In typical girl fashion, I had a crush on everyone. Even dated a couple guys I thought I loved. It wasn’t until my husband that I really understood love. We were best friends for a whole year before we dated. We had so much in common and such a foundation of trust. He is the hero in my life and we’ve been married for 21 years now!

Those are my picks. What are yours?

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Kindle Fire is Fizzling

After making a big splash last fall, sales for Amazon’s Kindle Fire have dropped - drastically. According to Tech Fortune, “Kindle Fire shipments falling from 4.8 million in the Christmas quarter to less than 750,000 units last quarter.”

"To put it short," wrote Paulo Santos Thursday in Seeking Alpha, "the Kindle eReader has dropped out of bed. It has fallen beyond the wildest dreams of Amazon.com's management."

"This is simply not a positive development," Santos concludes. "This is another development confirming the migration of e-reading from Amazon.com's controlled environment, to a larger set of devices.”

"(This) means that Amazon.com's attempt to mitigate Apple and Google's dominance has already failed."

Amazon is very secretive when it comes to sales figures. While their actual sales numbers aren’t known, these facts are known:

The IDC revealed that the Kindle Fire's share of the tablet market fell from 17% in Q4 2011, to just 4% in Q1 2012.

That’s a big drop! Even accounting for the drop after Christmas, because all tablets dropped then,

Amazon wants to dominate, but 4% is a far cry from dominating. (And Apple still holds over 70% of the tablet market.) Think Amazon has finally met a mountain peak it can’t occupy? Think consumers now want more sophisticated tablets?

Monday, May 07, 2012

A to Z Challenge Reflections

I survived another A to Z Challenge! I say survived because I don’t feel like I conquered it.

I stopped posting daily two years ago because I just couldn’t keep up. Between speaking engagements, clients, and other duties, there are days when I’m away from my computer. I’d scheduled all of my posts for the A to Z, but responding to the daily comments was next to impossible.

I thought the hosts did a great job though. They made an A to Z blog, Facebook page, and removed a lot of inactive blogs from the list. They communicated well with everyone, too. I felt this year went much smoother and I hope they keep the same format for next year.

I’ve no idea what topic I’ll tackle next time, but I intend to participate in the A to Z in 2013.

Thank you A to Z Team and everyone who stopped by in April for leadership and goal-setting tips from my book, Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The Insecure Writer's Support Group

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, hosted by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

I have a blog tour coming up in two weeks for Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK! Many of you read short excerpts of my book during the A to Z Challenge. One of the guest posts asked me to talk about my average writing day.

That really got me to thinking. Ten years ago, my typical writing day was so different than now. With my current schedule, I’m lucky to steal an hour now and then. I discovered that writing non-fiction requires at least an hour of my undivided attention. With fiction, I can be productive with 15 minutes here and there.

Ten years ago, I had several hours a day to write. I wasn’t online, so the Internet didn’t eat up my time. I was self-employed with only one business. I wasn’t speaking professionally. And I wasn’t going a thousand different directions, spreading myself thin.

For those of you not published yet, I say this - enjoy the present. Yes, I am proud of my six books and all of the opportunities that have come from being an author. But at some point, you begin to feel like a jack of all trades and master of none. You miss being able to focus on just one thing. You miss all the free time to write when everything else consumes your day.

Just enjoy your time now. And write like a maniac.

And my in-laws are coming for a joint anniversary celebration - our 21st (which was Tuesday, May 1) and their 50th. So I will be back on May 7 for the A to Z Challenge reflections post.