Category Archives: Goals

Progress Report #1 No Sales Yet

As I mentioned in my first post here, I intend to use this blog to document my progress (or in this case, the lack of progress).  I started about two months ago and so far, I only have one short story (actually, it has two stories) up selling on Amazon and B&N.

So far, no sales!

But this is to be expected. Short stories don’t sell nearly as well as full-length novels and I have done next to nothing to promote it.

I intend to stick with this for a full year at least.  If possible, I’d like to have three novels and maybe ten short stories up by then.  I tend to start anything new slowly and then pick up speed as my feet get soaked.

The next move will be to release Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter (hopefully Monday).  I’m finishing up the audio book (which will be given freely to anyone who buys the ebook).

1) Upload the ebook to Amazon and B&N and Smashwords
2) Once approved, upload the promo video to Youtube.com (using both thejapanshop’s account and a new one I’ll create for me)
3) Email everyone I know to watch the video and buy it if possible!

But this is still only a short story (7,500 words).  I can’t wait until the novel is ready…

Edit: My other ebooks, however, are selling well.  As I mentioned in the About Page, I have about ten educational non-fiction titles.  I’m not making much, but it has steadily increased over the past few months.  I think things will only get better as more and more people buy Kindles (and Nooks)

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The Goal of this Blog

Well, here I go.

I have had a reoccurring dream (meaning, I start, then stop, then start…) of writing a novel.  I do enjoy writing–I won’t say I love it–but the reason for my stunted writing career is, quite simply, money.  I love my family too much to spend hundreds of hours on a writing project that never gets published.  In the past “never gets published” meant to never get paid. I figured my chances of being published was one in a million at best.

But now things are different.

For years, the internet and blogging systems like WordPress have given individuals a voice and a platform for that voice to reach thousands, if not millions.  But only very recently has this same opportunity presented itself for for-profit authors.  Amazon’s Kindle is doing what the blog did but, and this is the kicker, authors actually get paid by their readers.

No longer is an author at the mercy of some New York publisher.  No longer does an author have to wait months or even years for her book to come out.  Everyman can upload his Great American Novel on his own terms.  Obviously, this means more crap and a crap load of crap (I promise I won’t use that word again–it has been cleared out of my system!).  But people are smarter than politicians and self-appointed philosopher kings give them credit for.  People gravitate toward quality whether it be a blog or a $2.99 Amazon ebook.  Self-interested people make informed and deliberate choices that inevitably means better books will rise in sales rank, have better ratings, and will gain better than average visibility.

Back to my introduction…  I read Joe Konrath’s inspirational blog about how he has made an impressive living for himself mostly from self-publishing.  If you haven’t read any of his stuff, forget this blog and spend an afternoon over there while downing a full pot of coffee.

Mr. Konrath has been very open about his earnings, successes, and failures.  This has inspired me to do the same with this blog.  I am about to release my first short story (which may turn out to be the beginning of a series of short stories or the beginning of the end of a writing career) and I will post the good with the bad at least until my attention turns elsewhere (what a way to leave an out, CJ.).

I actually have a few non-fiction ebooks selling both at Amazon and BN.com right now; so I’m not going into this totally blind.  I’m not making much with those (about $200-300 a month) but for the purpose of this blog, I’m pretending like they don’t exist.  This blog will record the successes and failures of what’s new to me, fiction.

I have no illusions of making $50,000 a month like Mr. Konrath, but I do believe–if the readers like what I have to offer–I can create a decent passive income.  My first goal will be $500 USD a month.  Considering I’m starting with only one short story done (almost), I realize this will take some time (a year?) if I’m diligent.  But that is one of the purposes of this blog.  In addition to recording sales and feedback data for others to be inspired or laugh at, I also want it to be my daily New Year’s resolution reminder.  This blog will hold me accountable to my goals and promises I make to myself.

So, with that, I begin this blog full of hope, but as Benjamin Franklin once wisely said, “He that lives upon hope dies farting” (Yes, he actually wrote that: Almanack, 1736) I’ll take that advice and start writing. Now.