Category Archives: Research

How did you find this book?

I’m curious, to any and all who drop by here: How did you find the book? Link in from somewhere else, browsing the Amazon top (whatever) list (which one?), an Amazon recommendation, or something else? As a first time author, I’m new to all this, too, so any and all feedback about how you came across the book or what specifically struck you as most interesting is welcome. I don’t do FB or Twitter or the rest because I hate datamining, so the only thing I care about your post is what you say in your post, not all the background metadata.

For those that are curious, I am working on another book, but it might not be the one you are expecting. I could easily outline a dozen books that tie into this one, but I plan on writing books that will stand alone just fine, but will enhance each other.

Interesting numbers

Ry forwarded this link to me, a report on author earnings. Some interesting numbers. It’s only Amazon data, and it isn’t sliced and diced in all the absolutely perfect ways for my tastes, and it’s got some serious caveats, but it’s data, a lot more than any publisher or book-seller makes public easily anywhere else.

The take-away is that ebooks can make some significant money, and the industry is changing, but it’s not an easy path because there is a lot of competition and it isn’t an unlimited supply of buyers. But I think it means that getting a big name publisher is not nearly as necessary for success as it used to be, at least not in those particular genres that this report looks at.

Learning new things

As an author/publisher, nobody tells you anything. Well, people tell you all kinds of things, but not necessarily what you want or need to know ahead of time. You don’t have an agent or publisher or mentor to guide you through things, point things out, and (hopefully) point you in the right direction while steering you around common pitfalls. I can search all day and night, pester friends until they are not friends any more, read books, download books, click through on links, and come up blank far more often than not. But then every now and again, you find something useful, like: Continue reading Learning new things

Halfway to breakeven

When I started out, I had a couple of goals, “threshold numbers” I wanted to hit. I passed the first one (100) a while ago fairly easily, as expected. The next number was 700, roughly the number where I was certain I had broken even on cash costs for editing, cover art, and this website. I’m now halfway there (not counting the 8 units borrowed by Prime members).  If sales hold steady at the current rate, I’ll hit 700 in three weeks or so, call it mid-February. Continue reading Halfway to breakeven

Painful lessons, learned slowly

The reviews are solid as I write this, 11 five-star reviews and a single four-star (didn’t like the format). Fine, I’ll take that – I already knew that some people wouldn’t like it. But if it’s a five-star story, writing, editing, and plot, and only get knocked down a single star because it’s a strange format? I’ll take a hundred more like that in a heartbeat.

So, what have I learned so far about releasing a book, as opposed to just writing it?
Continue reading Painful lessons, learned slowly

More Latin

Writing is educational. I keep learning new things. Recently, it’s been Latin. After a few go-rounds for clarification and refinement and correction with Paul and a prof at Seattle U, we have figured out the proper Latin for Tajemnica’s original motto and her new one.

Consero deletum was her commissioning motto, and it means “I close to destroy.” Simple, to the point, up front. Doesn’t leave a lot of room for misunderstanding.

Liberos transfero qui terras liberas faciant is the “new business” motto, meaning “I  carry free people to create free worlds.” Also to the point.

I think of them as two sides of the Armadillo coin. If you want to work with them for freedom, they’d be happy to help you out. Get in the way… and find out up close and personally just what deletum really means.

[Later edit and tangential note: I had contacted several UW Classics grad students with my Latin translation question. I wasn’t just asking them “here translate this for me,” it was “Latin is important, I want to do this properly, did I get it right?” I didn’t get so much as a form-letter email “we don’t do that” in reply from ANY of them. Upon the suggestion of my editor, a SU grad (“A lot of old Jesuits, there”), I picked the first one mentioning “Latin” in his profile and “cold-called,” sending him an email, only to receive a polite and helpful reply within hours. We exchanged a dozen or so emails to get the details ironed out. SU profs rocks! UW Classics grad students? Meh.]