Monthly Archives: January 2014


A person can go crazy watching numbers too closely. It continues to plug along, staying on the charts in the middle of the mil-sci-fi and space-opera second page of the top 100, floating around between #25 and #35 mostly, while bouncing between #3000 and #8000 in overall sales rank. I know there is some lag, and some weighting on sales that show what “direction” they are trending, but it’s totally non-transparent as to why exactly it moves sometimes. I’ve seen it move up over a period when nothing sold, and down when it has sold several copies, so obviously it depends on sales relative to other books.

Not having any idea how a buyer found the book is also frustrating, but unless I get famous I doubt Amazon will readily share that info with me. Guess I gotta get famous, then :-).

Reviews continue to be good. The three 4-star reviews each gave a perfectly valid reason to dock it one star, and I really can’t argue with them. I’d count my self lucky to get another hundred reviews like them. Two thought it was a great story, but didn’t like the screenplay-like format, one thought the writing and story was solid, but not quite 5-star worthy (needed to be Heinlein or Jefferson level prose to earn a 5-star, which it isn’t). Not sure why, but several copies have been returned. Nothing to worry about, just curious why. I’ve heard that between 1/2% and 6% get returned, and after peaking at 2% it’s been inching down, though doing stats with small numbers isn’t very accurate. I won’t “trust” the return numbers until I have a statistically significant sales number, preferably over 3,000.

Guess I should go start writing a new book.

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

No Kindle?

A couple of people have asked me how to read it if they don’t have a Kindle. No problem. You can download a “kindle reading app” from Amazon. Pick your platform, download the app, then buy the book. If you have some other preferred reader, once you download the file, you can find it on your computer, then convert it with Calibre. Again, if you like it, spread the word, write a review, let me know.

Finding the book

Hard data is difficult to find when you are self-publishing. I have no idea how many that bought it heard about it, or what it was that appealed to them enough that they bought it.

So, a quick question to anyone that shows up here- how did you find the title? The obvious choices are: Follow The View From North Central Idaho, saw the Odds ‘n Sods post at Survival Blog, saw the Book Plug Friday post, saw the comments in Ace’s Sunday morning Book Thread., or saw it in one of Amazon’s top sellers list like these.  And, of course, the three people I know personally and sent an email to :-). Any other ways? Let me know!


Well, it’s officially ranked at #81 in paid Military sci fi at Amazon. Has been as high as #75, but it bounces around as various books are sold. Currently it’s at 82 copies sold, close to my target of the first “easy” hundred in the first week. Not sure what the ranking time-frame is, but I’m guessing it’s the last week.  Tell your friends about it. Write a review. Suggest marketing avenues.

Update: no longer genre ranked, at #13,858 overall. Looks like the “hot sellers” list is a window of only a couple days. 90 copies sold, 2 borrowed.

How it started

Most of us have have that “what would make a great movie scene” moments, where we had an idea about how something could or should happen on the big screen. Sometimes we even see them in movies. The problem is that they need to be strung together in a way that is coherent, and there is a reason for the actions you see to be, well, reasonable. There are FAR to many movies that are little more than an excuse for special effects and random events, with plot holes you could park a small mountain in. Continue reading How it started