(Nala the Once-Feral-Cat with my seven novels to date.)
It's official! This past month, I surpassed 100,000 e-books sold. I completely missed the momentous day, since life beyond the keyboard keeps me busy. Thankfully, my husband is obsessed with Excel spreadsheets, because I stopped checking daily sales months ago. On bad sales days, I'd begin to spiral into a funk, sure that the glory days were over. On good sales days, it was too easy to just keep clicking 'refresh' on that KDP report page to the detriment of time spent productively. So I now let him do the bookkeeping and every 2-4 days I check totals, just to see what the recent trend is.
The majority of those sales were through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing program, although I also distribute to Nook, Kobo and iTunes via Draft2Digital. Paperback sales have exceeded 1,500 units total and I've recently launched my first audiobook, Uneasy Lies the Crown, narrated by Kyle McCarley.
In June of 2012 I blogged about my journey to 50,000 Kindle Books Sold. The next 50,000 definitely came quicker, but this year has had its ups and downs. I released two more books in that time. Uneasy Lies the Crown was my 6th and sales out of the gate were lower than any of my previous releases. After I slapped myself around a bit and chose a course of action, I tried putting it in the KDP Select program, which meant withdrawing it from other digital book sales channels. I've since given away over 60,000 copies of that Kindle book and the exposure has helped immensely with other sales, as well as with sales of the audiobook.
It took longer than I expected to write and publish In the Time of Kings, book #7, because ... Well, because I was having a mental meltdown. After putting out six books in three years, to say that I was burnt out was an understatement. Researching historical fiction and then checking, double-checking and re-checking facts is very labor intensive. In fact, I'd compare writing each of those books to completing a master's thesis. Or all six to three PhD dissertations.
So when I decided to transition to something with a modern storyline, I fretted that readers might be disappointed. Or that it would just plain suck. For months, I distracted myself with any activity at hand - re-organizing the basement, cleaning off my husband's desk (that was frightening!), training dogs, training for a half-marathon, gardening ... Eventually, I ran out of things to do. So it was either write again - or get a 9 to 5 job. How sobering. I love to write. What was I afraid of? Failure. Hmph. I've been there before. So what?
It took me awhile to work out the kinks in the plot for ITOK, but in the end it was a matter of just sitting down and thinking it through. The best part was that I got to write my own ending. The depressing part about writing epic biographicals is that the hero always dies at the end. This time, I was in control. That was both daunting and liberating.
Happily, I can report that In the Time of Kings is selling well and getting a warm reception. It's a new twist on time travel romance. Will there be a follow-up? I haven't decided yet, but it's possible.
I couldn't have gotten here without the thousands of readers that have bought, downloaded, and reviewed the books and recommended them to others, as well as my beta readers, cover artists, editors, proofreaders and a husband who has supported my dream for well over a decade. So a great big, super, wonderful, fabulous, ginormous THANK YOU!!! to everyone who has helped me get here.