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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Year in Review

2011 is over and it’s time for another progress report. A progress report written on a Mac as my PC has a dead AC adapter and I’m waiting for the replacement to arrive in the mail. I’ve had more issues with this Dell Latitude D830 over the past year than I had with my Inspiron 2500 in the six years I owned it. Thankfully I’m A+ certified and can fix things.

In spite of computer issues, this year was a good year for. The good news is I sold a lot of books. More books than I did last year. While most of them were eBooks, I’m not complaining. It’s a start towards building an audience.

The Temptation of John Haynes was my top selling title this year. Combining paperback and eBook sales it’s the first title I had to do double-digit sales in a year. I just had my first UK temptation sale in December.

Isis still continues to sell ten years after it first saw print. In paperback and eBook the Isis series continues to get readers not just in the US, but in the UK as well.

The Summer YA eBook exclusive series on Smashwords was a huge hit too. Offering free titles this summer to teens and tweens helped spur some sales of eBooks at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

All About Nikki- Three Episodes from the Fabulous First Season was the most read book I’ve ever published. Counting Smashwords, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Sony and just about every other retail affilate I’d estimate over 1000 readers have  downloaded and read the first three scripts from the All About Nikki Series. Over the Christmas holiday, Nikki was #9 in children’s books on the Amazon Kindle and the top 25 overall in other categories.

All About Nikki-Three Episodes from the Fabulous first Season was also a huge hit with lots of likes on Facebook as well.

With the success of All About Nikki, I’m pondering publishing an All About Nikki Season 2. No promises.

The Sneakers saw huge business. It’s one of my best-sellers in the international market. It’s sold in Canada, the UK, Italy, Australia, and the Czech Republic.

Isis: Trial of the Goddess also saw blockbuster business. It was the most popular title on Smashwords during the summer, and very popular with its affiliates. I’d have to s ay close to 300 people have read this part of the Isis series.

And the repackaged Cassandra Cookbook A Recipe for $ucce$$ has been doing very well as an eBook. After a free run, people are showing interest in paying for an eBook version.

eBooks have also allowed me to access foreign markets, a place I never thought my work would have a chance of selling in. And that’s where most of my new readers have been coming from lately. Readers have discovered my work in the UK, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Australia.  

I did a couple of YouTube videos this year. Not that great at it, but I’m learning as I go. I’m still trying to get the hang of being on camera. I may do more depending on when I have time.

Also did some work for other authors to test the waters. I assisted in the self-publication of  Commencement.  And I did some eBook conversions for a national best-selling author. I’d like to do more paperback to eBook conversions in the future for other writers, as I do enjoy the work. If the job market doesn’t pick up I may make efforts to offer those services for pay.

With all that good news comes some bad news.  Outside of Temptation of John Haynes my paperback sales haven’t been so great.

All About Nikki- The Fabulous First Season has been paperback flop. While the Three episodes sneak preview has done blockbuster business, and the eBook Version does great sales, the paperback hasn’t had a sale yet even with good reviews.  I don’t know if it’s the $17 price tag, or the 418 page count but I can’t move a single copy of the print version. I’d love to offer a lower price, but the page count and the formatting make that cost-prohibitive. This book cost a lot of money, effort and time to layout, and I'm praying to see a return on the investment. 

All About Marilyn paperback sales have flatlined as well. After a strong start, the critically acclaimed screenplay book hasn’t seen a sale since July 2010. It's a great book I wish more people would give a chance to. 

 In fact, paperback sales have been going nowhere since August. If it weren’t for eBook sales I’d have no sales at all.

I’m going to have to make an effort to revive paperback sales in 2012.  Maintenance costs at Lightning Source are expensive ($12 a year) and I need to sell at least a dozen copies next year to keep all my books in print.  If I can’t move any books, I may be forced to take some out of print.

In other news:

I’m halfway through writing a new book (Book #7) and I’m trying to find the time to finish it between blogs, book promotion and other stuff like sleeping and eating. It’s a YA title for older girls 14-17 about college age girl who pledges an African-American sorority/secret society. It’s still rough, (first draft) and I’m trying to keep it PG-13 so I can target 11-12 year olds as well. The language isn’t so coarse in the dialogue, but some could have an issue with the chapters where some characters talk about sex, pubic hair waxing, and masturbation. I’ll probably clean it up in revisions. This one is brand new and I have a long way to go on it.

I’ve rough outlined a Temptation of John Haynes sequel. It’s still gonna be a while before I have time to work on it. A long while.  I’m not a machine.

I’ve grown a lot as a publisher and a writer over 2011. I’m hoping to take a lot of what I learned and build momentum into 2012. Maybe I can finally make a profit on this publishing thing!

And as 2011 ends, I’m gonna throw a question out here to the growing Nikki audience: If it were possible for me to get the resources together to produce an All About Nikki sitcom, would you watch it? 

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