Happy Friday friends!!
Yesterday was the one month release anniversary of The Girl Who Hid in the Trees!! I have to say, the first month has been a dream for Steve-o! The reception to this dark tale has been so humbling, but it started well before the ‘official’ release date.
My normal process once I believe I’m done is to get feedback from my beta’s/street team. I also send it to David Sodergren who copy edits my work, for his feedback as well. Sodergren has his pulse firmly on the horror world and I know he won’t sugar coat anything. When my beta’s and David both raved that they thought it was my best yet, I smiled.
Then I did a scary thing! Actually two! The first was, I asked Gavin at Kendall Reviews if he’d be willing to write a foreword. He lives and breathes horror but we never really hear his horror why? So I approached him and was delighted when he agreed.
The second was even scarier! I put together a list of folks who I respect and who interact with me a bunch and approached them about pre-reading before release date. I’m no tyrant, so in my approach I said (para-phrased) if you have time and can read it before then, fantastic, if not – no worries!
Every single person I approached said yes and even more surprisingly, when the official release date came around, 85% of them had read AND reviewed it on the Goodreads page!
I took a bit of heat by another author about how far out my pre-orders were, but I purposefully set it that way. As the reviews started being posted to Goodreads (I set up the Goodreads page well in advance to the release) I saw a pattern emerge. People would leave a review and I’d see a few pre-orders, and it just kept going.
Now a month later, it’s my little engine that could.
And this is where I talk about something most authors don’t (and I’ll expect one or two messages of anger at some point about it, and that’s fine).
I’m going to discuss sales numbers.
Now as you all know – once I found out that my friend Justin M. Woodward’s mom was diagnosed with Cancer, I pledged to donate all of the pre-orders from TGWHITT to their Go-Fund Me, which I already have. So – none of these numbers I’m listing are related to the pre-orders.
Since it’s release date on Feb 28th – I’ve had 49 sales of The Girl.
40 ebooks and 9 physical copies. 49 sales in 30 days! That equates to 1.6 sales per day!
Now look, I’ll never be a best seller. And that’s OK. For me it’s about releasing works I’m proud of, stories I want to read and ultimately, hopefully, having a moment in the future where my son sees my books on our book shelf and thinks ‘that’s so cool that my dad did this.’ But sales are also nice!
I’m also a writer who WANTS you to read my stuff. And frequently for new/newer indie authors, price can be a barrier. So this is why I will frequently offer up a few freebie days. It gives me a sense of if people have interest in my works, but also how well I’ve done “promoting” myself.
Guess what? Yesterday was also a freebie day as a thanks. So I offered up my novel Invisible and my first collection of shorts Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery. So how’d they do?
Invisible – 63 downloads
Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery – 45 downloads.
So that means yesterday 108 downloads occurred. For me that’s a fantastic number! If I assume that a single person downloaded both at the same time, that’s 54 new potential readers!! That’s just me estimating. I know for a fact some folks only snagged one or the other as they’d either already purchased one or got one before via a freebie day.
I had a moment a recently in a grocery store. I’ve received a few rejections lately (two shorts and 6 poems) and while I try to be positive, it was a bummer. I stopped at Safeway to grab something and went to the book section, as I always do.
The section is small and crammed there – shelf space a priority. I glanced at the authors they stocked. I was at first shocked to see no King or Crichton books, those always are volume movers. I wasn’t surprised to see a bunch of Patterson and Ludlum.
But then I looked closer and saw that most of the books had a fine layer of dust on them. I grabbed a few out to make sure I wasn’t seeing things, and sure enough – dust.
Now – don’t get me wrong, I’d love a 6 figure upfront and a movie deal and etc etc. But for the type of books I write, that’s a pipe dream.
And so, while I stood staring at these books that looked to be forgotten, I had a moment where I was happy with my relationships with my readers. Where I get pictures sent of my books being purchased and where the reader knows that they’ll be getting a thank you back.
I’ll never be a bestseller, but I’ll always be a real human, and I’ll always say thank you to each and every person that messages me saying they bought one of my books or leaves a review. Means the world to me.
And if you’re wondering about my royalties from the 49 sales of THWHITT – I keep my prices low purposefully. I want to be accessible. I make $2.07 off each ebook and $2.55 off each physical copy. So that’s $82.80 from ebooks and $22.95 from paperbacks for a total of $105.75 in one month. For some, seeing that number will make you laugh with hilarity – “THAT’S ALL HAHAHAH!!” for others they’ll see that and think “WOW! I HOPE TO MAKE THAT MUCH OFF MY BOOKS!”
Either way – just know I’m beyond proud of the $105. That pays our cell phones and some pizza for dinner tonight.
So thank you to each and every one of you, who’ve purchased it, read it, reviewed it, marked it as ‘to-read’ on Goodreads. It’s meant the world!
And thank you to everyone who’s reading this blog post. I really appreciate it!
Now – let’s do some of the normal stuff yeah?
What I’m Reading;
Second Lives – PD Cacek. Just started this one and already I’m intrigued!
Fangtastic Tales of Werewolf Savagery – Toneye Eyenot. Steve likes his werewolf stuff!
Tesla: Obliterating The Deep State – Jason Walker. Full on conspiracy theory stuff. Really fun.
Little Black Spots – John F.D. Taff. My first go around with the King of Pain. Good stuff!
What I’m Working On;
I’m always busy. Always haha!
The Stranger – GOT THE ARTWORK! OH MY GOD! Can’t wait for the reveal. I’ve also received the beta read feedback from my sensitive reader and I’m pleased to hear I didn’t overstep. Coming in June!
Ritual – I’m currently 25% into my last batch of edits. Cover done. October release.
I’ve actually started working on two releases for next year as well! More details as they come!
My Music This Week;
First off – this week has been all about the new Rammstein song and video. I read a rumour it was coming Thursday and it did. Their new song ‘Deutschland’ was fantastic and the video is stunning. I’m not sharing it here today, as Youtube has deemed it necessary to confirm your age to view, so I’ll let you check it out on your own.
Bury Your Dead – Collateral
As I’ve said before – I LOVE HARDCORE! Bury Your Dead have had a few singers and its been 11 years since we’ve last heard from them, but holy hell did they storm back!
This song is viscous in the best way possible!
Dimmu Borgir – Mourning Palace (Live)
I love Dimmu and have been fortunate enough to see them live. There most recent release has been a mixed bag for me. Saying that, they also recently released a live offering with a full orchestra and choir. I love this tune and this version is stellar. Also the best part is the one violinist who appears to be a fairly massive Dimmu fan as well!
Tiesto – Grapevine
As you know, I listen to a variety of stuff and I really enjoy the good vibes and sunshine lifts of EDM. I’m actually not a big Tiesto fan in general, but this song is a big exception. Fun stuff!
Amon Amarth – Raven’s Flight
This is one I’m on the fence about, and I’m actually leaning towards a dislike. Amon Amarth are a big fav of mine, I even have an Amon Amarth tattoo. Saying that – their new song was released and it was awesome on listen one, but now I’m finding it a big boring and underwhelming.
Take a listen and let me know your thoughts.
Nothing much on my end. It’s been really nice out, so we’ve been able to enjoy being outside a whole bunch! I’m at a conference in a few weeks in Vancouver so Amanda and Auryn will head up to Fort Mac for a couple weeks!
Otherwise, life as usual!
Take care friends!
See you next week!