Thursday, August 2, 2012

Going Indie - Day 15: Double Duty

Coming Soon!
This month is going to be totally insane! I've already determined that my vampire thriller Enura must be done at all costs. Now I’ve realized that I can’t just turn off my production of children's books, either. Ugh!

The solution? Continue publishing my children's books at a high rate while also editing my manuscript. And to torture myself even more, throw in this blog for good measure.

I think I need an aspirin.

Everything feels daunting at the moment, and slowly I'm pulling myself together. That's why I haven't published anything in the last couple days. My process is changing, and now I must invest every waking moment into either editing Enura or writing a new children's book. Yay!

Puppy Power

At the end of last month, I took a week and published five children's picture books about dogs (all right, four if you exclude the compilation). I'm not sure what possessed me to do them in the first place, but once I got started, I couldn't stop. Before I knew it, I'd written four of them, and was able to package them up in a compilation on the last day of July.

I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of sales. I didn't do a heavy amount of market research beforehand, I just told myself, "Hey, that's cute. I think that will sell," and dove right in.

To my surprise, Adorable Dogs: Beagles has sold well this month. In two days, it's sold seven copies (six in the U.S. and one in the U.K.). These aren't big numbers by any means, but I wasn't expecting any more than a couple sales, even though I gave away about 2,000 copies the month before.

But the real surprise is Adorable Dogs: Labradors. This is a project that I wrote for my friend Lucinda and the Lab Rescue of the LRCP. She suggested that I put together a book that illustrates what abandoned dogs go through while in captivity and the role her organization plays in finding new homes for them. The result is a moderately long picture book (about 50 pages) that took nearly as long to write as the other three combined. Apparently she likes it, because she told all her friends and I saw nine quick sales today. Again, not mind-blowing numbers, but this is how it starts.

It's also possible that her organization will get behind the book and help promote it. Wouldn't that be exciting?

Magic Butterfly

Another day, another new project, right? I stumbled across the artwork for Magic Butterfly today and couldn't believe my eyes. I knew that I had to make time for this one because it has real potential. Even better, this will my fourth children's book targeted towards girls. Finally I can put together Four Fantastic Stories for Girls, which will include Bubblegum Princess, Aveline, The Most Beautiful Flower and Magic Butterfly.

In addition, I will be putting together another collection called Four Fantastic Stories for Boys and Girls, which will include Magic Butterfly, Ninja Robot Repairmen, Aveline and Taming Your Pet Monster: An Operational Guide.

Suddenly one release turns into three new products. This is the cornerstone of building your backlist. Once these three products are released, there will be three new ways for customers to find me, not to mention the free promotional days that I get when I enroll them into KDP Select.

Final Thoughts

July was a decent month overall. I sold 1,657 e-books and had 379 borrows. August needs to be a lot better, and I suspect sales will improve at the end of the month since children are headed back to school. I would love to sell at least 2,000 e-books this month, but I might have to be content with holding my ground. If I stay focused and keep publishing great content in a timely manner, things will dramatically improve. It also helps that I'm choosing my projects more carefully this time.

I also plan to go back and overhaul two titles that I'm not entirely pleased with: Bubblegum Princess and Count Those Critters: Deep Sea Edition. Expect new versions of each this month along with follow-up content in the future.

As for my S.E. Gordon pen name, I plan to publish the first of my three short stories in The Sweetest Stalk series. Originally, I intended to sell the collection only, but since the project has stalled, it's time to get something out the door. The first short story will go on sale in early August for 99 cents (the story is written, it just needs a new cover and bonus content).

Things are piling up already and I still have Enura to contend with. I must stay focused and productive if I hope to achieve all my goals this month. I know what I must do. I have no idea how I'm going to get there (besides hard work), but I'll figure out a way.

More than anything, wish me good health. Luck will follow. ;D

Scott Gordon
Happily Insane Indie Author

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