Well, 2012 is over and it’s the beginning of February, 2013. From my man cave, I find I’ve produced roughly 275,000 words last year. Most of them come from the two new books I’ve managed to finish first drafts of, and the “old” book I’ve taken to converting into something new.
This year, I hope to do better.
Just a recap, I started writing full time in Feb, 2011, after about 15 years of trying to get published with regular publishers. I immediately released 4 stories (two novels, a children’s book, and a “how-to” book which will be eventually discontinued). Following those books, I wrote and released a couple more full length novels, the biggest success coming just at the end of the year with the zombie survival tale called Mountain Man. If that book hadn’t sold, I would’ve had to pack things up and go back to the old day job.
With the leap from my old job to this, MM was the hand that caught the cliff’s edge, saving my ass. MM2 was the other hand clamping down and digging in, giving me just a little bit more of a breather. MM2: Safari sold about 75% of what MM did, and kept me alive a little longer.
Combined, MM 1 and 2 sold nearly 20,000 copies in 2012. Factor in my other books, I topped out the year with around 21,000 sales, which shows just how damn lucky I was in hitting that genre when I did. I did very little advertising, barely tweeted, and asked my readers to leave reviews if they had the time, as I feel word of mouth is the best advertisement possible.
With the money made from those two books, I feathered my nest so to speak. I rationed myself, moved into my folk’s basement, did without a car and essentially became a recluse. There weren’t any vacations. There weren’t any toys. 2012 became the year not to celebrate, but to work—because now I had a readership. And if it worked with zombies, it would hopefully work with the other genre I dabbled in—heroic fantasy. The cash the two zombie books brought in, while great, was put towards surviving; my living expenses, my business expenses, with a little left over to keep me from going buggy (spent mostly on pizza).
At the end of December, I released MM3—which sold 200 copies in last few days of 2102. In January, it went on to sell a little over 3100 copies. It was a great month, and MM3 sales helped MM and MM2 sales as well, selling about 2500 books between them in January this year. Not too shabby.
That cash will allow me to live (cautiously) for another year, and allow me to produce a few more books, without the immediate worry of wondering if I’ll have to go back and get a day job.
I plan to focus a little more on the fantasy line. Perhaps a 2:1 ratio of heroic fantasy to horror this year, with the one horror book probably being MM4 (depending on if people like MM3—and if I can get over my bout of zombie burn-out). I’m going to try for at least 3 books this year, possibly 4 if I can kick that bad habit of sleeping. I can always just drink coffee anyway.
The important thing is… as of right now, I’m doing the job. I’m doing the dream job, and even though I’m not off that cliff yet, even though I’m not out of danger, two hands holding on is a helluva lot better than one. I have another year of production which I’m very much looking forward to doing.
If you’ve bought and read any of my books in the last 2 years, thank you so very much.
If you’ve enjoyed what you read, then please stick around.
Best wishes for you and yours in 2013.