I started consolidating my book sales numbers the other day and discovered something cool. Looking across platforms and counting free promos, I recently distributed my 1,000th book!
Thanks so much to all of my lovely readers for buying, reading, reviewing, spreading the word, and sending your love and support and encouragement. I say it all the time, but you are truly the best!
PS – For the curious, here’s a breakdown:
- About 75% of those copies were free to the readers, either as free promos or downloads of Hubris Towers Episode 1, which is perma-free. The rest have been paid sales.
- The Stone and the Song accounted for about 70% of the sales and 55% of the free promos. This surprised me a bit since there are three HT books and only one S&S. Some factors:
- S&S generated a big surge of interest pre-launch and got nearly 100 pre-orders.
- The first free promo for S&S got over 300 downloads with almost no publicity from me. Still not sure why.
- S&S has been available twice as long as the average HT episode.
- In-person sales of Hubris Towers pocket editions have provided just under a third of HT’s sales and just over half of HT’s profits. This makes sense because most online sales are ebooks, and all in-person sales are paperback sales where CreateSpace doesn’t take a cut.
- Excluding free copies of HT Ep1, we have about a 74% read-through rate from Ep1 to Ep2 and 31% from Ep1 to Ep3 (so far – one thing I’ve realized is that readers often take a few months to get to a book they bought.)
- If we include free copies of Ep1, rates drop to about 9% Ep1 to Ep2 and 4% Ep1 to Ep3.
- Currently we have about 42% read-through from Ep2 to Ep3.
- The land speed of an unladen (European) swallow appears to be 24 mph.1
I turned 32 on Friday and, as most things do, it got me thinking.
- I’m just a few years away from being twice as old as all the college freshmen.
- I’ve been married for over 20% of my life. (FTW! Best. Wife. Ever.)
- I’m a dad. Still not used to thinking of myself that way. The other day in church our pastor asked all the parents to raise their hands and it took me a second to realize I was a parent.
- It’s been six months since I self-published my first book. This one totally blew my mind. Since then my books have hit #1 Free in Humor and Top 10 Paid in Fairy Tales and we launched PintsAndProse.com and published 3 episodes of Hubris Towers and I’m on the verge of a brilliant new adventure with Clickworks Press. Wow. Six months. What can we do in five years?
- It seems I am now at a point in life where an hour and a half to hang out at Starbucks and write is an annual celebratory treat. (Cf. #3)
- We have another baby on the way! I’m really excited to meet her, and also worried about what this will mean for my capacity to build my writing career as I continue my regular career.
- I think I’m officially past the age threshold for most things being impressive due to the age at which I did them. Unless it’s stuff like becoming President, which I don’t really want to do.
- I really feel like I’m reaching the beginning of my prime. I’ve been hitting a new stride in life: more confident, making visible progress toward long-held goals, better established than I ever deserved. God has blessed me so richly that it’s honestly taking a lot of thought and strategizing just to figure out how to make the most of what I’ve been given.
- That said, I’m clearly at the front end of things. I don’t know what things will look like in 10 years, but it’s plausible to think that by then I’ll be writing full time and doing a lot to help others get more better stories into the world. I can’t wait to see it unfold.
All in all, I’m enjoying growing up. Yes, there are a lot of trade-offs. Yes, it’s way harder than it used to be to get stuff done. But I also find myself stepping up to the challenge. And my daughter is one of the most incredible people I know, and my day job has taken a real turn for the better, and my wife is a fountain of ever-flowing blessing and beauty, and my friends are delightful and challenging and brave and supportive, and I can drink coffee and tea and whiskey and eat at restaurants sometimes and support incredible groups like Kiva and Feed My Starving Children.
And I can have as many cookies as I want.
PS – An amazing, free, easy birthday present is reviews on my stories, especially Hubris Towers Episodes Two and Three. Reviews are a quick, permanent way to majorly increase my visibility on Amazon and other platforms. Thanks!