My 2012 Year in Review

Ah, the end of another year. It’s that time of year when we all think about what has gone before and hope it looks good. So, before popping the cork on another bottle of champagne, I’ll review 2012 from one writer’s perspective.

Overall, the year gets a mixed review from me. On the positive side, I grew my business. At this time last year, I was a completely unheard-of newbie with a single novel available for download. Now, I’m a largely unheard-of veteran with two novels and two short stories available. The books are available in print and electronic form, although I do a lot more electronic sales than print.

"Sleeping Beauty" outsold all my other books in 2012

“Sleeping Beauty” outsold all my other books in 2012

“Sleeping Beauty” — my creepy retelling of the classic fairytale — has emerged as my bestselling product. It is consistently moving double-digit copies every month, and that is both gratifying and encouraging.

However, there are a number of disappointments wrapped up in that fact too. The first is that “Sleeping Beauty” is an 8000-word short story, so I really don’t feel I can charge more than 99 cents for it, which minimizes its profitability. Additionally, I was sort of hoping my novels would sell better than they have. They are the initial entries in a series, and there doesn’t seem to be as much interest in those, making me think I should have spent my time writing more things like “Sleeping Beauty.”

I experimented some with advertising this past year, and I believe it did raise my profile to the point where I sold more books. However, I have, to date, spent more in ad fees than I have reaped in sales. So, while that will certainly do me a favor come tax time, it still represents a net loss to the business.

But I’m really not complaining. The last three months have seen a significant improvement in sales. They have not raised me to a sustainable level yet, but I do feel as though I am building a foundation. I plan to release another novel in the first quarter of 2013, and my understanding is authors with a larger catalog have better sales. Certainly, my own sales have improved since I’ve expanded my offerings.

On a more ephemeral level, I published two short stories and a novel in 2012. I penned the first draft of another book. It’s been a busy and productive year. I’m very much looking forward to 2013.

To all my indie author friends, here’s to a prosperous new year. I hope your sales match your expectations, and you find lots of new readers. To my readers, thank you for your purchases, and may you find many excellent reads in 2013 . . . and hopefully some of them will be mine!

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2 thoughts on “My 2012 Year in Review

  1. I hope 2013 grows your readership John!

    Perhaps something to consider: a collection of short stories, whether set in the Wolf Dasher universe, or independent ones, which might spark another line of novellas and novels if something catches the zeitgeist?

    Allan.

    • I do have plans for a short story collection down the line. I just haven’t written all the stories yet! 😉

      Anyway, my plan is to release them one at a time ala “Sleeping Beauty” and then collect them into a single volume with a new story you can only get through the collection, so there is incentive to buy it for those who might have the other stories.

      But I’ve gotta write the stories first.

      Thanks for the comment, Allan!

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