Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week in Review-Preview, and ROW80 Update

A Round of Words in Eighty Days check in - second half of fourth week.

In the home stretch. How close will I come to making it by the time this post goes up?

Wednesday Day 24 - 0 minutes. After a long day at work, I screwed around and did some other things. And it looks like I'm actually going to get to bed on time.

Thursday Day 25 - 181 minutes. Yep that's just over three hours. I would have spent another hour, but I have to get up early tomorrow and I'm trying not to deprive myself of sleep. Aside from some good work finishing off another tricky scene (and ending up with a scene I enjoy thoroughly), I also paused to re-chapter.

I have given myself permission to skip around as much as necessary, but I have a little goal of getting done at least to the second shooting (which is more or less the climax of the second act) by the end of Saturday. Which would leave only Sunday and Monday to finish the end. (By the time this posts, I'll know whether that happened or not.)

Friday Day 26 - 0 minutes. I was tired, and then stress at home killed everything until about 1am. So I gave up for the night. We'll see how it goes tomorrow.

Saturday Day 27 - 120 minutes. I guess I didn't do so bad - but I did not get to the second shooting. I mostly cleaned up what I did Thursday, which means I didn't even make up for Friday. I lost a little momentum, but I'm still there and still pushing.

Sunday and Monday should be good writing days, but a couple of things are still up in the air.

Coming Attractions;

  • Monday - Flash Story for Halloween: "Death And The Writer"
  • Tuesday - Story Notes for "Death and the Writer"
  • Wednesday - ROW80 Update
  • Thursday - My Experiences With The Slush Pile, part 1, Teaching.

Thoughts on a slow sales month:

I came across a traditional author who has only just become aware of the terrible joys of watching your rankings and getting live sales reports. Writers who are new to immediate reports (which is most of us) are like new stock market investors -- and prone to great leaps of joy and great crashes of depression. So....

This is my second October since I started publishing with Kindle's Direct Publishing program. Still not much of a sampling, but this year I have a little more data. To whit: I have sold very very few books this month. Maybe a quarter of what I might expect.

And yet my Amazon sales ranking has... stayed pretty close to the same as it was when I was selling two to three times as many books.

So I think it's safe to state outright something I have always believed to be true: October ebooks sales suck for pretty much everybody on Amazon.

I mean, I'm sure there are people who are doing unusually well or badly this month -- there always are -- but since ranks are competitive, I couldn't be holding my rank quite so well if my competition was not also suffering from a drop in sales.

So if you are a writer and your sales have been slow lately, take heart. It's just a slow month.

Will November be better? I can't guess. I did some promotional stuff last year, so that throws off my estimate. (And I'll be screwing up this year's numbers with a sale later this month too.)

Think of it all as a learning experience.

See you in the funny papers.


Tracy McCusker said...

I'm sorry to hear that you lost a little of your momentum, but with two good writing days ahead of you, I know that you can get back up to speed Camille!

The homestretch is, for me, the most perilous place to be. The goalposts always stretch out into the distance. What looks like 400 yards turns out to be 4,000. And suddenly, when I don't expect it, I find that I've accidentally finished.

I am a bit interested by the fact that October is such a slow month for sales. I would think that it would be November (people holiday shopping instead of purchasing books), but maybe it's because everyone's saving up for the big holiday expenses (??). I'd love to hear other writers' experiences with October sales too.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell said...

Hey, life happens, Camille. I trust that you will again be ahead of the word count soon, but I find that I have fallow periods where things are working themselves out behind the scenes.

Like Tracy, I find the vagaries of the market fascinating. It would be very interesting to compare to see what trends develop.

Here's to a productive week!

The Daring Novelist said...

I had a pretty good day so far today. I did take a little time out to do a better job on the ending of tomorrow's flash story.

As for why October is low... I don't know. I assume it's partly because September tends to get a bump as people come back from vacations and such. (Late summer tends to be bad.)

Common wisdom also holds that early winter gets a bump from people reading on their new Kindles, and early summer gets a bump from people filling their Kindles before going on vacation. Also, whenever there is a release of a new model, supposedly there is a bump in book sales....

However, I suspect all of those bumps happen at different times for different books. For instance, when someone gets a new book, they are likely to first load up on bestsellers. Then they might go "Yikes! I've spent too much!" and only go after freebies and very cheap stuff for a while. Then they might slack off on buying altogether while they catch up with all the books they bought.

And only then they might start looking at midlist books and for new authors, regardless of price. And that could be many months away from original purchase.

So for all we know, we could be seeing bumps and dips from LAST year's Christmas season.

Anonymous said...

We all hit those bloody speed bumps every now and then. As long as you keep going, that's the important part. Best of luck for the rest of the week!

alberta ross said...

we all lose days - all the best for the coming week

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks, Ryan and Alberta.

The lost days showed me something interesting about myself that I hope to blog about next week. It may sound like an odd thing to be jazzed about -- but even though those lost days were incredibly frustrating, they also illustrated that having free rein works, and not having it sucks.