Saturday, January 5, 2013

2012: The Year in Review

Ok, I've finally made time to do the 2012 roundup. (BTW, happy 2013 everyone!)

I had hoped to make 2012 a year of writing. Unfortunately, much like 2011, 2012 was a year of publishing, but not so much of writing. However, unlike 2011, I now have a year's worth of sales data. :)

Sales numbers tell an interesting story. I sell more titles on Barnes & Noble than anywhere else. In fact, I sold more titles at B&N than at Amazon (all stores), Kobo, Smashwords (just them), and Sony combined. However, I make roughly equivalent dollar amounts between Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords (including Apple, Kobo, etc). Below is a sales chart showing titles sold, as well as some of the data for the free titles:

The top portion includes only sales for which I received money. The bottom portion is for "sales" that were free, either price-match or promotion. Apple and Kobo apparently do not report their free sales to Smashwords. I had some free sales through other Smashwords outlets, but I didn't count them here because they didn't result in any dollar sales through those outlets.

Dollar-wise, here's how those sales translate:
      Amazon US: $227.60 (didn't figure foreign sales as it is a hassle)
      Barnes & Noble: $233.29
      Smashwords (all channels): $299.60

For Amazon and Barnes & Noble, those are the royalties generated for the 2012 calendar year. For Smashwords it's a little trickier because of the delay in reporting and receiving; I basically added up the royalty payments for the calendar year (one of which hasn't gone out yet, of course, but I can see the numbers).

My best selling title is Scent and Shadow (yeay!) at 95, followed closely by "The Sub Fairy" at 88. My three most consistent sellers are Scent and Shadow, "The House That Pip Built", and "Geargirl"; each of those had at least one sale a month across all channels. (Heck, S&S and Pip had at least one sale a month just at B&N; Geargirl missed December or that one would have as well.) The story with the best average sales per month it's been available is "Cry Wolf."

I did manage to publish at least one title a month, which was a goal of mine from 2011. I didn't get any anthologies put together, but I have one that just needs a cover and another that should be ready in the next couple of months.

2012 (not counting unfinished projects):
Short stories written (final drafts written 2012): 4
Short stories sold to tradpub: 2 (one submitted in 2011)
Short story submissions to tradpub: 10
Short story rejections (including revoked submissions): 13
Short stories traditionally published: 1 (one forthcoming)
Total self-published word count (final drafts written 2012): 49,122

The four stories I did this year were Demon's Asylum, Night's Acolyte, "Husband's Little Helper," and "Care Packages." Demon's Asylum was mostly written before 2012, but I obviously didn't count it in last year's total, and the final draft was finished this year, so there you go. I'm not sure how to count The Once and Future Poet, since a large portion of it was, obviously, written over many years. But if we count all of Poet, that brings my writing total up to around 93,622, which isn't too bad.

I didn't get anywhere close to my 4000 words/week goal from last year. Frankly, making writing time is much harder than making publishing time, for some reason. I want to try and keep up my one-title-a-month trend, but I know that's going to be much harder this year. Last year I had stuff sitting around, and titles that had rights coming back. This year, I have only one finished short story (at least, that's long enough to be published as a single) available to pillage, and one title that will have the rights revert late in 2013. So I have at least 9 months to fill up. I might get to use anthologies for a couple, but I'm hoping to not use those as the "new" releases if I don't have to.

My big goal for 2013 actually isn't writing-related at all. I need to start working out consistently, and I need to make that a bigger priority than writing. That being said, some new software for my iPod is making it much easier for me to capture writing time, since I can save doc files between the iPod and my computer now. I got 250 words done the other day while The Husband was in the grocery store, for example. I've also discovered I write better when I can't see how much of the page is left to fill. That's a mental hang-up I didn't even realize I had until I started writing on the iPod.

My big writing goal for 2013 is to finish the first draft of Empire's Shadow. Ideally, I want to publish it this year, but I'm keeping my goals on the small side for now. Depression kicked my ass last year, so I don't want to stress myself out. I write less when I'm stressed about not writing. Weird, no? There are also a handful of print anthologies I have my eye one, so between those and my self-publishing I'm shooting for 10-12 finished short stories this year on top of the novel.

Oh, and I want to do the Scent and Shadow podiobook this year. I have the microphone and the recording space. I just need to suck up learning Audacity. Or maybe I'll hire that part out. (Hmm, if I tell myself that I'll hire it out, I'll be much more likely to start working on it... Writer, know thyself.) But first, I must record!

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