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Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Year in Review

2012 for me was a year filled with progress. And a few setbacks. As I go into 2013 I’m hoping I can still find a way to build on that momentum in the face of shrinking finances.

Ten Years in Print! Yay!
I celebrated 10 years as a self publisher this year. I’ve actually been publishing books and eBooks longer than I’ve actually had paying jobs.

Ten years ago I had one book. Today I have close to 25 available.

I gained some new skills this year. With my catalog of paperbacks and eBooks expanding to close to 25 titles, I’ve had to learn how to manage my catalog so I could maximize readership and keep titles relevant with readers.

What I’ve learned is that catalog management is something a publisher has to do to spur interest in poorer selling titles. Some of these books are great, but haven’t found an audience, others have fell off or stalled.

Most of these titles just need a little promotional jolt to get them back on the track to sales again. And with some online promotion, I managed to get sales back up on these titles again.

As a part of catalog management, I’ve moved some titles around. That’s why readers won’t see some eBook titles on Smashwords or Pubit! but will find them on Amazon.

On the eBook front I’ve managed to further expand my readership. Thanks to Amazon’s KDP select program and Smashwords I was able to reach even more readers all over the world this year.

Some writers may hate the free promotions of the KDP Select program, but it has pretty much built up my readership. The eBooks I gave away helped me establish an audience over the course of this year.

First title to have 1000 digital sales!
(counting free copies)
With the help of these free campaigns, I had my first eBook to go over 1000 sales. The retitiled Cassandra Cookbook, A Recipe For $ucce$$ was a runaway hit in digital format. The eBook got quite a few positive reviews at and is starting to sell on Amazon’s kindle.

Second eBook to get over 1000
All About Marilyn also moved over 1000 free units on Kindle with the KDP Select program. Each time I’ve posted up as free it’s been ranked #1 in screenplays, #1 in screenwriting and for a moment on Christmas Day it was #3 in African-American Women’s fiction.

The YA eBook exclusive promotion was a huge success this year. The four offerings Stop Simpin, The Politics of Hell, Spray Em’ Up and All About Nikki-Sensational Season 2 Sneak preview were runaway hits.

All About Nikki Sensational Season 2 sneak Preview got over 400 downloads across Smashwords’ network. And over 30 Facebook likes on Smashwords.

Stop Simpin got over 200 downloads across Smashwords’ network. But it got over 50 Facebook likes.

Spray Em’ up was a sleeper hit with over 125 downloads. It got 25 Facebook likes.

The Politics of Hell did fairly well with over 100 downloads. It got 7 Facebook likes, but in spite of the slow movement, it led to some indirect sales of The Temptation of John Haynes and Isis.

In August I launched a new campaign called Hot N’ Steamy Shorts for Kindle. It was a moderate success on Kindle. The Muse did much better in the U.S. than Happy Birthday which did much better in foreign markets.

I also self-published more non-fiction titles this year. Encouraged by my writer friends to expand the readership of my blogs, and with the success of An Analysis of the Comic Book Industry’s business issues, I decided to produce a series of eBooks based on some of the more popular subjects. Books like Stop Simpin, A Counteranalysis of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God and Myth of the Strong Black Woman were originally popular blogs or based on popular blogs. Thanks to those eBooks I’ve managed to reach readers who wouldn’t regularly read the blog or who haven’t discovered the blog.

All new for 2012!
In the fall I managed to publish a pair of paperbacks to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Isis in print. Isis: Amari’s Revenge and Isis: The Ultimate Fight.

New for 2012!
The digital versions of both books were smash hits on Black Friday in November with over 250 downloads of both on a free promotion.

A Holiday campaign netted over 125 readers for both.

The eBook version of Lawrence Cherry’s Commencement is a big hit with Christian readers. Every time Larry offers it for free it seems to do well. Even better, people are willing to pay for it after the promotion ends.

The Temptation of John Haynes had double digit sales in digital copies.

All About Nikki-The Fabulous First Season also had double digit sales in eBooks.

With the free promotions and other campaigns, I managed to sell over 5000 eBooks this year.

Along with growth in the digital market, The blog also expanded its audience. This year broke over 50,000 pageviews. We had our first day with over 300 hits and several weeks with over 200 hit and 250 hit days.

Several articles were huge hits this year. Several articles got over a hundred hits this year. A few got over two hundred. And a couple got over four hundred.

Most of the blogs related to Men’s issues have been very popular with men all over the world. In fact, most of the articles I’ve done relating to men’s issues have become reader favorites. In the keyword search, many men are looking for those particular blogs.

And people all over the world have been linking to the blog. The blog has been referenced by other bloggers, tumblrs, message boards, and even some news sites. It’s also been linked by sites like and several others dozens of times.

Guest blogger Lawrence Cherry was a huge hit in his first two blogs. Expect more from him in the future.

Along with all the progress came a few setbacks. In spite of all my best efforts, paperback sales are still stagnant. I haven’t moved a paperback since March 2012. I’m still trying to find a way to make paperbacks move, but from what I’ve been seeing more people want eBooks today.

But I really want to keep my paperbacks in print. And I’d like to see them start selling regularly.

I was also setback in my quest to bring a scene of All About Marilyn and All About Nikki to YouTube. I guess I was a bit too lofty with that goal. But I'm still working out a way to do it.

I’m getting the hang of making YouTube Videos. And I think I’ve found a format that makes me comfortable. A simple black screen with audio.

And I think I’ve found what I want to talk about in those videos. Originally I wanted to make videos about my books and promoting them.. But I’m finding that I’m more comfortable with making videos about writing. So if I make any more videos, they’ll be about writing and related to writing and the business of writing..

2012 was a good year for me. I moved a little further along the road of progress, but I still have a long way to go. I still don’t make enough money to live off my writing. But I’ve made some progress towards making it pay.

I want to take a moment to thank all my readers for taking the time to check out the blog. Without all of you I wouldn't have come this far.


  1. Have you thought about creating pages on tumblr & deviant art? At least with deviant art you can do blogs and post the covers to your books.

    With deviant art you could do a contest for someone to draw a scene from one of your books. If you can't do a scene from your book what about a drawing?

  2. I do have a tumblr. I have the covers up there.

    I could do a contest asking someone to draw a scene from one of the novels. But what would be the prize for the winner? All of my paperbacks? Or my two recent ones?

    Thanks for the suggestion. You've got me thinking...

  3. Maybe the prize could be a paperback. Or the artist could do a cover for a book. You might not be able to pay for the cover but it might help that artist in finding work elsewhere. I mean having your work used on a real product does help build up a resume.

    And have you ever tried odesk? The website for contracted work? I have used it before and gotten assignments on there. It's a battle of patience at times.
    I just have seen tons of folks asking for writers. In some you don't keep the rights to the stories that some ask for(that's a downside). Some are looking for ghostwriters at $400.